Bernoldi Tames Rain for Round 10 Win at Road Atlanta; Lewis Clinches Pro-Am Driver Championship
Bernoldi earned his second win of the season in the No. 1 Prestige Performance Huracán representing Lamborghini Paramus, finishing 7.705 seconds ahead of Richard Antinucci and Edoardo Piscopo in the No. 50 O'Gara Motorsport entry representing Lamborghini Beverly Hills.
"I started by saving my tires because I thought if it doesn't rain, the track will get more dry and degrade the tires," Bernoldi said. "So I picked up my rhythm in the first stint, and after the pit stop, I pushed 100 percent. The car was there, and I could pass Richie (Antinucci) and open up a gap. I'm very happy."
After narrowly missing podium in Round 9 on Thursday, Madison Snow rebounded to place third in the No. 14 BAD Lambo Racing entry representing Lamborghini La Jolla for his fourth podium finish of the season.
Change Racing driver Justin Marks was fourth in the No. 99 Huracán representing Lamborghini Carolinas, and his teammate, Corey Lewis, rounded out the top five. Lewis was also the top Pro-Am finisher in the No. 29 Huracán LP 620-2 Super Trofeo representing Lamborghini Carolinas.
The win, Lewis' eighth straight this season, sealed his quest for a Pro-Am championship. Change Racing has produced three driver champions in the three seasons the series has been in North America.
"I'm so happy to have wrapped up the championship," Lewis said. "I really can't thank Change Racing, Lamborghini Carolinas and Monster Energy Drink enough for this year. It's been an amazing run so far. We've got two more in Sebring and then the World Final. I'm truly looking forward to that."
The field started Round 10 single file with rain coming down. Piscopo once again led the field to Turn 1 and built a 1.584-second lead on the field after one lap.
Cedric Sbirrazzuoli wasted little time in making his way to the front from fourth position. He passed Marks in Turn 1 on the opening lap of the race, followed by Bernoldi in Turn 5. Sbirrazzuoli closed the gap on Piscopo and made a move to the inside of Turn 6 on the second lap to take the lead.
The running order remained the same until the pit stops. Sbirrazzuoli waited as long as possible before handing the car off to his teammate, Lawrence DeGeorge, at the same time Piscopo passed off the No. 50 to his teammate, Antinucci.
At that point, Bernoldi had the advantage over Antinucci because he had found the fastest racing line on the wet track and maximum grip from the Pirelli tires on the 2.54-mile, 12-turn circuit.
"This is the worst conditions for guys sharing a car," Piscopo said. "Last year I lost a race the exact same way. I jumped in the second half of the race, and I had no references. It takes three laps to get up to speed, and that's how we lost the race."
Bernoldi attacked the lapped traffic with fury, trying to extend his lead and avoid a last-second pass like Antinucci's winning move in Round 9.
"I tried to understand where to use a little bit of a dry line and where not to so I didn't damage the tires so much," Bernoldi said. "It was good. I did risk a lot in traffic, trying to build a gap. That's part of the race. I had to try to extend because you never know at the end."
Mission accomplished. Bernoldi finished the race with his largest lead of the day, 7.705 seconds. The win also prevented Antinucci from clinching the Pro Driver Championship. He leads Bernoldi by 26 points, 132-106, with two rounds to go in the season.
Aaron Povoledo, driving for the first time solo in the No. 77 Musante-Courtney Racing Huracán representing Lamborghini Miami, finished sixth overall and second in the Pro-Am division.
Prestige Performance driver Kevin Conway rounded out the Pro-Am podium with his second podium of the weekend, finishing third in the No. 1 Huracán representing Lamborghini Paramus.
Damon Ockey earned his eighth straight podium with a second-place finish in the No. 09 O'Gara Motorsport Huracán representing Lamborghini Calgary. Ross Chouest rounded out the podium with a third-place finish in the No. 3 Musante-Courtney Racing entry representing Lamborghini Miami. It was Chouest's first podium since his runner-up finish in Round 1 in May at Laguna Seca.
A day after clinching the Gallardo Driver's Championship, Dylan Murcott finished seventh overall and picked up his seventh win of the season and fifth in a row. He has yet to finish off the podium this season in the No. 84 Lamborghini Gallardo LP 570-4 Super Trofeo.
He was joined on the podium by Mitchum Motorsport teammate, Brandon Gdovic, who finished eighth overall and second in the Gallardo class. He was also the first Gallardo Amateur finisher in the No. 46 representing Lamborghini Palm Beach.
Josh Hurley rounded out the Gallardo top finishers with a third-place result in the No. 76 Musante-Courtney Racing entry representing Lamborghini Miami.
Bryan Hixon was the second-place Gallardo Amateur finisher in the No. 23 Mitchum Motorsports machine representing Lamborghini Chicago, and Joe Chan and Paul Taylor finished third in the No. 15 Paragon Competition Gallardo representing Lamborghini Toronto.
The two rounds at Road Atlanta were the last two rounds before all three Super Trofeo series, Europe, Asia and North America, descend on Sebring International Raceway Nov. 19-22 for the final two rounds of the 2015 championships and the World Final.
A 60-minute show with highlights from both rounds at Road Atlanta will be televised from 9-10 p.m. (ET) Wednesday, Oct. 28 on CBS Sports Network.World-class hospitality for competitors and guests also is an important part of the event experience in the Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo. Guests from various Lamborghini dealerships are entertained at the Lamborghini and Blancpain Village, where gourmet food and drinks are provided in an elegant atmosphere worthy of the Lamborghini and Blancpain brand and lifestyle.