Michimi Returns to Top Step in Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo North America Round 6
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 Cedric 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.
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): "My gap kept getting a bit bigger. 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. We've had some issues all weekend and we had the issue in race one, so it was great that the Prestige Performance guys were able to get everything fixed. They've worked a lot of hours this weekend to try and figure out what the issue was and it seems like they have it fixed now which is great. It's great to get the Wish for Our Heroes, Prestige Performance number one car back in Victory Lane. I can't thank the guys overseas and everyone here for all they do."
BRANDON GDOVIC (No. 46 Lamborghini Palm Beach, first, Pro-Am): "I think the conditions today suited our car better. On Thursday and Friday if you had talked to me I would have been in a lot different mood. I was just so frustrated because we came and tested and we were awesome and I was so happy with the car. And then we came back and the car was just completely different. And I was just all over the place and frustrated and it made me worse, and then I was messing the car up and it was just bad. We reset and went back to where we were in the test and it was definitely way better and the track conditions suited us and today was really good. There at the end I had no idea how fast the 10 was coming. I was just in cruise control there sitting in a hole because I had no idea what was going on behind me, and then I got by a lapped car and looked back and all of the sudden saw orange mirrors and thought geez it's time to pick it up the last couple of laps here. I was able to hold him off and win in Pro Am and second overall, so it was a good day."
DAMON OCKEY (No. 09 Lamborghini Calgary, first, Amateur): "The car was handling great. The team gave me a great car to work with. It was well balanced, turn-in was awesome and exit was really good as well. So the car was perfect. I kind of messed up in qualifying yesterday with our timing, so I had to start P12 overall and I think I was like fifth or sixth in class. I just put my head down and drove consistent 2:09's and ended up sixth overall and first in class. It was a great race."
ROSS CHOUEST (No. 3 Lamborghini Miami, first, Lamborghini Cup): "My starting position was a little bit better today than race one. A couple guys who were faster than me got caught behind me in qualifying two, so they must have had some issues. So on the first lap a few guys passed me and then I just got into my groove and I ended up with a nice gap. The guys who passed me pulled away and I pulled away from the guys behind me, so most of the race I had a nice gap."
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