Kyle Marcelli and Danny Formal. (IMSA Photo)

Marcelli, Formal Make Strong Opening Statement in Super Trofeo

MONTEREY, Calif. — As if anyone needed a reminder that they’re the Pro class favorites in Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America this year, Kyle Marcelli and Danny Formal completed an impressive weekend sweep of the 2023 opener with another victory Sunday at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.

The defending Pro class champions controlled the 50-minute race in the No. 1 Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti Autosport, Lamborghini Palm Beach Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo Evo2, winning the single-make series contest by more than five seconds. Other class winners Sunday were Tom Capizzi and John Dubets (No. 46 Precision Performance Motorsports, Lamborghini Palm Beach Huracán) in ProAm, David Staab (No. 48 Precision Performance Motorsports, Lamborghini Palm Beach Huracán) in Am and Mark Wilgus (No. 50 Forte Racing Powered by US RaceTronics, Lamborghini Beverly Hills Huracán) in LB Cup.

Marcelli and Formal won five races on their way to the 2022 Pro championship and appear stronger than ever in their now-red Huracán. Marcelli started from the pole position in Race 2 and built a comfortable gap over WTRAndretti teammate Ryan Norman (No. 84 Huracán) before turning the car over to Formal during the mandatory pit stop. Formal was never threatened, even though a full-course caution bunched the field and necessitated a restart with just under 15 minutes remaining.

“Kyle gave me a great car for the second stint and took care of the car really well for me,” Formal said. “Two for two this weekend, that’s a win every year here since I’ve been with WTR.”

By scoring the maximum weekend points in capturing both Pro poles and winning both races, Marcelli and Formal built an early eight-point lead over Norman – who finished second both times – in the point standings.

“Just a great weekend for WTRAndretti,” Marcelli said. “Danny and I, we’re having a lot of fun together. We’re still searching, looking for more speed and never going to give up. But we’ve got a great team around us and looking forward to the balance of the year.”

For Dubets and Capizzi, the ProAm victory provided a welcome turnaround after a podium finish in Saturday’s race was erased by a postrace penalty. Dubets took out his frustration in his stint to close Sunday’s race, charging from fourth in class to win by more than 26 seconds. He also advanced from 12th to sixth overall after taking the wheel.

“Redemption is sweet,” Dubets said. “Yesterday was a huge heartbreak but today, man, what a redemption story. Tom got in, put in a helluva start and got us in the spot where we could fight for the podium. I got in, made my way forward and a late-race caution put us in the spot for the win.”

Dubets and Capizzi leave the weekend one point behind ProAm championship leaders Keawn Tandon and Shehan Chandrasoma, who finished second Sunday in the No. 20 NTE Sport, Lamborghini Austin Huracán.

“I’m elated,” Capizzi said. “This sets us up really good for the rest of the season. Looking forward to Watkins Glen.”

Staab finished second in the Am class last year with co-driver Nikko Reger. The duo collected four victories in 2022 but Sunday’s win was Staab’s first on his own. He made one of the best moves of the race, passing Glenn McGee (No. 69 Precision Performance Motorsports, Lamborghini Palm Beach Huracán) with seven minutes to go and going on to win by 2.286 seconds.

“The Precision Performance guys gave us a phenomenal car this weekend,” Staab said, “to where we were able to adapt to this new Hankook tire really quickly and just get confidence in the car and go out and deliver. Up through the Corkscrew, the (No.) 69 car got a little loose on entry and it washed him out wide. I attacked from there, we went two wide through (Turn) 9, two wide through (Turn) 10 and closed it out from there.”

Staab leads the Am standings by a single point over McGee and co-driver Anthony McIntosh.

Like Marcelli and Formal in the Pro class, Wilgus completed a weekend win sweep in LB Cup, but it was far from easy. The No. 50 Huracán driver was shuffled down to fifth in class on the late restart but battled his way back to the lead less than five minutes later and won by 1.898 seconds over Fred Roberts (No. 89 NTE Sport, Lamborghini Dallas Huracán).

“I’m very pleased, obviously,” Wilgus said. “That was unexpected on the restart. I got bottled up, cars went around me and I just thought I’d put my head down and see what happens. I was hoping maybe to be on podium but I didn’t expect to come back to the front, so it’s pretty cool.”

Wilgus leads Roberts by seven points atop the LB Cup standings.