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Gdovic, Daly Hold Off Challengers for Victory in Round 9 at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca
Release Date: 14 September 2019
Ockey and Eidson Close In on ProAm Title
September 14, 2019, Monterey, Calif. – The ninth round of the Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America got underway under gleaming Northern California skies at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, with Saturday’s first race of the doubleheader weekend shining just as bright with competition.
Pole sitter Richard Antinucci got the jump at the start of the 50-minute race, pulling the No. 29 Change Racing, Lamborghini Charlotte ahead of the charging No. 46 Precision Performance Motorsports, Lamborghini Palm Beach driven by Brandon Gdovic.
After slipping from second to fifth on the start, Sandy Mitchell (No. 1 Prestige Performance/Wayne Taylor Racing, Lamborghini Paramus) locked into an early battle for fourth place with Steven Aghakhani (No. 6 US RaceTronics, Lamborghini Beverly Hills). After jockeying for more than five laps, Mitchell finally got by Aghakhani for position on Lap 10, shortly before the mandatory pit window opened.
Gdovic led the first group of drivers to pit lane on Lap 14, turning the No. 46 over to co-driver Conor Daly. Antinucci made his stop a lap later, with Corey Lewis taking the wheel of the No. 29. Following the pit exchange, Daly came out ahead and waited for the complete pit cycle to finish before assuming the race lead on Lap 19 when Dani Clos made his pit stop in the No. 69 Prestige Performance/Wayne Taylor Racing, Lamborghini Paramus and handed the car over to William Hubbell.
From there, the battles began to take shape in each of the four classes. Daly, Lewis and Andrea Amici (No. 1) ran together in formation at the front of the Pro class and the overall field. Lewis closed within the rear bumper of Daly on a few occasions but couldn’t muster the momentum to complete the overtake for the lead. They were still in that order when the time limit was reached, with Daly crossing the finish line 1.825 seconds ahead of Lewis and 3.116 seconds up on Amici.
After taking over for Damon Ockey in the No. 09 US RaceTronics, Lamborghini Vancouver, Jacob Eidson moved quickly past Hubbell in the No. 69 for the ProAm lead and wasn’t threatened. The No. 09 won the class and finished sixth overall. Dean Baker and Bruno Junqueira put the No. 53 Prestige Performance/Wayne Taylor Racing, Lamborghini Paramus into second in class, with the No. 69 of Clos and Hubbell third. Ockey and Eidson expanded their points lead to 123-78 in the class and can clinch the ProAm crown in Sunday’s race.
In the Amateur class, Aghakhani and James Sofronas (No. 14 GMG Racing, Lamborghini Newport Beach) put on a memorable duel in the closing stages. Sofronas – competing in his first Lamborghini North America race of the season – made the decisive maneuver past Aghakhani with just under 13 minutes to go in the race and pulled away to win the class. Cameron Cassels placed third in Am in the No. 33 Prestige Performance/Wayne Taylor Racing, Lamborghini Paramus.
LB Cup saw a spirited battle to the finish. Chad Reed and Justin Price took the class lead in the No. 22 Dream Racing Motorsport, Lamborghini Atlanta following the pit cycle. Closing fast, however, was Ashton Harrison in the No. 43 Prestige Performance/Wayne Taylor Racing, Lamborghini Paramus, after she took over for Stephanie Cemo.
On each of the final two laps, Harrison tried to pass Price coming out of the hairpin last turn. But each time, Price held position and clipped Harrison at the line by a mere 0.145 seconds. Mel Johnson and Thomas Lovelady finished third in LB Cup in the No. 08 GMG Racing, Lamborghini Newport Beach. Heading into Sunday’s race, Johnson leads the class standings by just two points over Harrison and Cemo.
Sunday’s race starts at 12:20 p.m. ET and streams on IMSA.tv or squadracorse.lamborghini.com/live-streaming with IMSA Radio commentary. NBCSN will broadcast the WeatherTech Raceway round at 3 p.m. ET Wednesday, Sept. 25.
WHAT THEY SAID
Brandon Gdovic, No. 46 Precision Performance Motorsports, Lamborghini Palm Beach
“I was trying to conserve as much tires as I could for Conor’s stint. It’s no surprise here that you have to do that. I tried to stay with Richy (Antinucci) during my stint and we had a good driver change. Conor did an awesome job in keeping the lead and bringing it home.”
Conor Daly, No. 46 Precision Performance Motorsports, Lamborghini Palm Beach
“It was tough today. It’s super-hot here and the tires were wearing down. So a lot of my work was tire conservation. I know it is tough to pass here so for me it was just trying to win at the slowest possible pace and to have the tires at the end if we needed them. That was our strategy and it played out perfectly. I tried to keep the same pace during my stint and I was successful in keeping yourself underneath you, and I was able to do that.”
Damon Ockey, No. 09 US RaceTronics, Lamborghini Vancouver
“The race today was great. The track got hot and the tires were soft. Jake did well in his stint. I started strong but I put two wheels off in Turn 1 and lost about 10 seconds and the car was going OK, but the tires went away. Jake drove well to get us back to first place.”
Jake Eidson, No. 09 US RaceTronics, Lamborghini Vancouver
“It was tough today because the tires fall off so you are in survival mode most of the time, but I was trying to pass as many cars as possible. That is hard to balance. It was a clean race and tomorrow we will look to make the overall podium.”
James Sofronas, No. 14 GMG Racing, Lamborghini Newport Beach
“When you are running against kids that are one-third your age, you have to give it everything you’ve got. I wanted to come here and help my clients by giving them extra data and setup video. We tried a different setup and mine was for race pace and tire management. I’ve been racing here for a long time. Today was great for GMG and Lamborghini Newport Beach, and to get to race with my friends is great. Steven pushed me today and he is a strong young talent. Track knowledge of Laguna Seca is good. Lamborghini looks good and sounds good and is such a fun car to drive.”
Chad Reed, No. 22 Dream Racing Motorsport, Lamborghini Atlanta
“It is my first time at Laguna on the track. So it was nice to get out there and stay close. I was trying to save tires and was able to do that. It is awesome to get another win.”
Justin Price, No. 22 Dream Racing Motorsport, Lamborghini Atlanta
“I had a little mistake at the end but those last couple of laps’ battles at the end were awesome. We have had such fun racing in LB Cup this year and everyone is having a good time, and that is what we are here for.”