Antinucci takes first win of the season
Richard Antinucci claimed an almost flag-to-flag victory in the opening round of the 2017 Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America season at Circuit of The Americas. The Change Racing driver jumped up from his second-place grid position on the opening lap, seizing control of a race he would eventually win by over two seconds.
The 2015 Super Trofeo North America Pro Driver Champion, was a comfortable leader for much of the race, despite a brief bobble which allowed Edoardo Piscopo and Taylor Proto in the US Racetronics car to close within a few seconds in the early stages of the race.
“It was a great start and really good first stint. I pressed the pit lane speed limiter one lap on the straight and lost two seconds,” Antinucci said after the race. “Then I was cruising. I was told he was catching, but I was really cruising.”
Second-place finishers Trent Hindman and Riccardo Agostini worked their way up to the podium from a fifth-place grid position. Agostini worked his way into third place before pitting midway through the race, allowing Hindman to take the wheel of the No. 1 Prestige Performance Laborghini Huracán Super Trofeo entry. Hindman, who had already been on track for another event earlier in the day, continued his teammate’s work getting past the pole-sitting car of Piscopo and Proto into second position.
Race one’s third-place finisher probably saw the most action of all the podium finishers. Super Trofeo-newcomer, Austin Versteeg piloted his DXDT Racing Huracán Super Trofeo to the last step of the overall podium after enduring battles through much of the event’s 50 minutes of green-flag racing. The 17-year-old, who started third on the grid, fell as low as fifth in the opening stage of the race, but battled back with several terrific on-track passes to reach third on Lap 17. The PRO-AM driver’s performance in his first sportscar start boosted his confidence, and Versteeg is already looking forward to another strong result in Race 2 tomorrow.
Making the most of her series debut, Ashley Freiberg piloted her DAC Motorsports machine to a third-place result in the PRO category. The sixth-place qualifier showed great resilience in her first race behind the wheel of the Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo, gaining ground after her pit stop, to finish in the top five overall.
The Amateur class saw a repeat winner, as Patrice Brisebois followed up his inaugural Super Trofeo North America victory from 2016 with another first-place finish on Friday. The former Stanley Cup winner drove the opening stint before handing over the DAC Motorsports car to his teammate, Emmanuel Anassis. Anassis inherited the car running second in the class and finally took the lead on Lap 18 after a fierce battle with the US RaceTronics Lamborghini of Brian Theines.
The top Lamborghini Cup entrants were also running in close proximity at race’s end. Class pole-sitter Paul Terry worked his way back to the front of the pack after pit stops and was lucky to avoid an incident when the two cars running immediately behind him spun simultaneously. The driver of the No. 62 DXDT Racing entry claimed victory a few laps later, earning the first LB Cup win of the 2017 Super Trofeo North America season.
Overall winner Antinucci hopes to maintain a similar level of performance for tomorrow’s race and may have an easier road to the top step of the podium with a first-place grid position. He was quick to praise the team that gave him a car capable of taking the first win of the season on a warm day in the Texas sun. “Thanks a lot to Change Racing. I’m so stoked to be back with them,” he said. “This is the perfect start, right?“