April 28-May 1, 2016: Lamborghini Super Trofeo, Laguna Seca: #1 Shinya Michimi, Prestige Performance, Lamborghini Paramus (Pro)
MONTEREY, Calif. (May 1, 2016) – Prestige Performance used quick driving and strategy to earn dual wins in the overall and Pro-Am divisions in Race 2 of the Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo North America season Sunday at Laguna Seca in Monterey, California.
New Automobili Lamborghini CEO Stefano Domenicali spent the weekend in Monterey at his first Super Trofeo event, presenting trophies to the overall Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo North American finishers and meeting several United States and Canada Lamborghini dealers, strengthening the relationship between the automaker and its evolving racing programs.
Shinya Michimi produced a breakthrough performance in the No. 1 Prestige Performance Huracán LP 620-2 Super Trofeo representing Lamborghini Paramus, earning a 1.918-second victory over Corey Lewis for his first overall Super Trofeo victory.
“I’ve really got to thank all of my guys at Prestige Performance/ Lamborghini Paramus,” Michimi said. “They put together a really good car all weekend. We’ve been right on pace, and we finally really brought it out in the race. To have a good race car is really important.”
Michimi’s Prestige Performance teammates, Trent Hindman and Craig Duerson, made a spirited drive to climb from 10th to third overall and first in the Pro-Am division in the No. 1 Huracán representing Lamborghini Paramus.
Michimi, a Pro-Am championship contender in Super Trofeo Europe last season, took the green flag in second position for the second day in a row, following Madison Snow in the No. 48 DXDT Racing entry representing Lamborghini Palm Beach.
Snow had a clean start and gradually built a lead while Lewis and Michimi battled for second position. Lewis got the jump on the first lap, with Michimi following closely.
At the 10-minute mark of the 50-minute race, a car went off course in Turn 10, leaving dirt on the track surface. Snow crossed the dirt and slid off course, opening the door for Lewis and Michimi. The two stayed within one-half of a second of each other over the next 30 minutes, but pit strategy decided the outcome.
Michimi pitted early while Lewis stayed out, trying to extend his lead. Once Lewis pitted, Michimi laid down some quick laps to come out in front once the field cycled through the mandatory pit stops.
After taking the lead, Michimi managed the race and his tires to win.
“After the pit stop, our guys did a really good job timing it perfectly, and we were able to get out in front and give me a good lead,” Michimi said. “From there, it was just kind of timing things. I didn’t want to push too hard and kill the tires. It was just keeping the gap at a safe distance.”
James Sofronas finished fourth overall and second in the Pro-Am division for his third podium finish of the weekend after finishing third overall and first in Pro-Am in Race 1 in the No. 14 GMG Huracán representing Lamborghini Newport Beach.
The TRG-Lamborghini duo of James Davison and Derek DeBoer rounded out the Pro-Am podium, finishing third in their series debut weekend in the No. 66 Huracán representing Lamborghini Los Gatos.
Damon Ockey was the top Amateur finisher, improving his second-place finish from Race 1, in the No. 09 US RaceTronics Lamborghini representing Lamborghini Calgary.
The father-son duo of Jim and Josh Norman found the podium for the first time this season with a second-place finish in the Amateur division in the No. 71 Change Racing entry representing Lamborghini Carolinas. Rob Hodes rounded out the Amateur podium in the No. 51 DAC Motorsports machine representing Lamborghini Palm Beach with his second third-place finish of the weekend.
Ross Chouest swept the new Lamborghini Cup division, earning his second win of the weekend in the No. 3 DXDT Racing entry representing Lamborghini Dallas. Shawn Lawless was the second-place finisher in the division in the No. 27 Dream Racing Motorsports entry representing Lamborghini Dallas. eXclaim Racing/Migliore Motorsports’ Will James rounded out the podium finishers in the No. 11 Super Trofeo representing Lamborghini Paramus.
The next Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo North America event will be June 29-July 1 at Watkins Glen International.
The weekend at Laguna Seca is a part of the worldwide race action for the Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo championship, which continues to reach new levels of success at every round in Europe, North America and Asia.
The two races in North America followed the season opening races in Europe last weekend at Monza, Italy. The next race for the European series will be June 24-26 at Paul Ricard in France. Super Trofeo Asia will open its season May 20-22 in Shanghai.
Lamborghini and Blancpain provided world-class hospitality this weekend for clients and guests of Lamborghini dealers. Guests also participated in the IMSA Hot Lap Experience, high-speed rides around the circuit in a Lamborghini.
SHINYA MICHIMI (No. 1 Lamborghini Paramus, winner): “I’ve really got to thank all of my guys at Prestige Performance/Lamborghini Paramus. They put together a really good car all weekend. We’ve been right on pace, and we finally really brought it out in the race. To have a good race car is really important. We also seem to have a really good qualifying car, getting P2 in both races. So I’ve really got to thank them. They’ve had a lot of hard work over the winter. Big ups to them. The race was quite interesting. I lost a position on that first lap. I just didn’t have the front tires up to temperature where I wanted them. Corey (Lewis) got by me, and I noticed him and Madison (Snow) were pushing really hard. And I know this is a 50-minute race, not a 10-minute race. So I just decided to keep the gap level at one or two seconds to them so I could battle them at the end. And sure enough, I think they started losing their tires mid-race, and I started to gain up on Corey. After the pit stop, our guys did a really good job timing it perfectly, and we were able to get out in front and give me a good lead. From there, it was just kind of timing things. I didn’t want to push too hard and kill the tires. It was just keeping the gap at a safe distance.”
TRENT HINDMAN (No. 10 Lamborghini Paramus, first, Pro-Am): “It’s been a good weekend. Prestige Performance gave us a heck of a car. Craig (Duerson) put together a hell of a stint. For us, it was just about how we can continue improving our car, our driving and overall strategy because this is a lot different of a racing scenario than either of us has encountered. It’s interesting. It’s a learning curve, for sure. We’re excited. We’re happy. We just need to keep the momentum going. A huge thank you to everyone from Prestige for all the hard work.” (About managing traffic while chasing and passing for the class lead): “It was tough because all of these cars are so evenly matched. There are some very good drivers out there. It does make working through traffic pretty difficult. But at the end of the day, you’ve just got to be aggressive and take some chances every now and then and put yourself in a scenario when you know you can get around the other guy. Just keep on pushing. The only way we were able to do that and take that approach was with the car that Prestige gave us.”
CRAIG DUERSON (No. 10 Lamborghini Paramus, first, Pro-Am): “Prestige has put us in a great car. The Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo North America series has amazing cars. It’s a blast to drive. It was so much fun. I was smiling all the time. Trent (Hindman) and I are working really well together, and the team has put a good car underneath us. I’m just happy to be back racing. I just tried to run a clean stint and hand the car over to Trent and get it done.”
DAMON OCKEY (No. 09 Lamborghini Calgary, first, Amateur): “The race was great. The US RaceTronics team got a good car for me this morning. The track had perfect conditions. I started P7 overall and ended up P6 but first in class. Pretty clean drive. I had a few battles, but overall it was a pretty clean race. It was fun.”
ROSS CHOUEST (No. 3 Lamborghini Dallas, first, Lamborghini Cup): “I did a poor job on the start and restart yesterday. I was a little lackadaisical, left a little bit bigger gap than I should have. I got a really good start today. I was focused on getting off really good and minimizing the gap between me and the car in front of me. The car was running great, and it was a great race.”