Michimi returns to top step
Shinya Michimi found his way back to the top step of the podium with a dominating performance on Sunday in Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo North America Round 6 at Road America. Michimi earned the 21.580-second win in the No. 1 Prestige Performance entry representing Lamborghini Paramus over Brandon Gdovic for his fourth win of the season.
It’s great to get the Wish for Our Heroes, Prestige Performance No. 1 car back in victory lane – Michimi said – I can’t thank the guys overseas and everyone here for all they do.
Michimi started the race in second position behind the No. 07 Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo LP 620-2 representing Lamborghini Las Vegas driven by Cédric Sbirrazzuoli. Sbirrazzuoli, one of Lamborghini Squadra Corse’s GT3 Junior Program drivers, led the field through Turn 1 at the drop of the green flag and Michimi settled into second position.
The two raced nose-to-tail through the first 15 minutes of the 50-minute race, pulling away from the rest of the field. At the 18-minute mark Michimi tried to make an outside move in Turn 5 but had to check up when he ran out of racing surface, giving a slight gap to Sbirrazzuoli. Two laps later Sbirrazzuoli got loose going through Turn 1 and opened the door for Michimi to take over the lead. Michimi pitted immediately when the mandatory pit stop window opened, while Sbirrazzuoli tried to make up some ground before handing off the car to his co-driver Larry DeGeorge. As the field cycled through DeGeorge came out of the pits just slightly in front of Michimi, but it took Michimi only half of the 14-turn, 4.048-mile circuit to reclaim first place. He would check out the remaining 20 minutes building the eventual 21.580-second margin of victory.
My gap kept getting a bit bigger – Michimi said – I was just in a good rhythm and for the last lap I decided to just turn it up a bit and see if I could best my best lap. The car was really good.
Meanwhile, behind him, the battle for the remaining podium positions was much tighter. Round 5 winner Trent Hindman took over the No. 10 Prestige Performance entry representing Lamborghini Paramus from teammate, Craig Duerson, in sixth position. Hindman meticulously started picking off the cars in front of him and making his way to the front. With ten minutes remaining Hindman was 10 seconds behind Gdovic. That gap was down to 1.645 seconds with five minutes to go and by the time the white flag flew he was right in Gdovic’s rear view mirror. Gdovic matched Hindman’s every move to hold him off and claim the second overall finish and the Pro-Am division win in the No. 46 DAC Motorsports entry representing Lamborghini Palm Beach. Hindman and Duerson followed up their Round 5 victory with a third-place overall finish and second-place PRO-AM finish.
Richard Antinucci and Brian Thienes earned their second PRO-AM division podium finish of the weekend in the No. 17 US RaceTronics entry representing Lamborghini Beverly Hills. Damon Ockey padded his Amateur division championship points lead with his third class win of the season in the No. 09 US RaceTronics entry representing Lamborghini Calgary. It wasn’t an easy victory battling with Josh Norman, driving as a solo entrant for the first time, in the No. 71 Change Racing entry representing Lamborghini Carolinas. Norman finished second in class for his second podium finish of the weekend. Luis Rodriguez Jr. finished third in the Amateur division in the No. 29 Change Racing entry representing Lamborghini Carolinas. Ross Chouest kept the winning streak alive as he earned his sixth straight Lamborghini Cup victory in the No. 3 DXDT Racing entry representing Lamborghini Miami. Jackie Heinricher finished second in class for the second consecutive race in her series debut in the No. 57 DAC Motorsports entry representing Lamborghini Palm Beach. Shawn Lawless rounded out the Lamborghini Cup podium with a third-place finish in the No. 27 Dream Racing Motorsport entry representing Lamborghini Las Vegas.
The next Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo America event will be Aug. 26-28 at VIRginia International Raceway. VIR is the only circuit that has hosted the North American series in each of their first four seasons.