Watkins Glen, New York (Friday, June 30, 2017) – The ProAm duo of Edoardo Piscopo and Taylor Proto ran a flawless race to bring the No. 50 Lamborghini of Beverly Hills entry home with a win in class and a second-place overall finish. Piscopo drove the first stint, handing the car off in second-place overall. Taylor Proto took over with the drive of his young career, putting down his fastest lap of the weekend at 1:47.84. The LB Cup duo pulled off a podium finish in the No. 88 Lamborghini of La Jolla, while the No. 17 Lamborghini of Beverly Hills suffered a mechanical issue while leading the AM class.
Taylor Proto was ecstatic with today’s result as well as his and his teammate’s performances in the AquaHydrate No. 50 Lamborghini of Beverly Hills car.
“Today’s race…,” Proto said. “I couldn’t ask for a better result. I was really annoyed with myself in qualifying, but I think I really made up for it. P1 feels so good! I could definitely get used to this. I’m hoping that it’s the first of many. I’m still kind of running on adrenaline right now. Today was remarkable. I can’t thank the team enough for giving me such a perfect car. My co-driver perfectly handed it off to me; I drove the hell out of it and ran for my life and it paid off.”
Edoardo Piscopo was proud of the way his rookie teammate handled the pressure at the front of the field.
“What can I say?” Piscopo asked. “It was a good race from the beginning. I knew I had to give Taylor some gap and I pushed as much as I could to do that without damaging the tires and brakes. When I handed the car over we had a good gap and he (Taylor) drove a really flawless race. He didn’t make any mistakes even with all the pressure from Versteeg and Agostini and he drove like a pro, so I’m really proud of him.”
USRT’s LB Cup duo also managed to grab a podium finish in the No. 88 Lamborghini of La Jolla. Parris Mullins started the race and quickly moved the car forward in the field.
“The race obviously was better than qualifying,” Mullins said. “We made it on the podium, which is really good. Tomorrow, I think, is going to be a lot tougher, but I’m looking forward to it. I was pretty bummed out with my qualifying, so the race definitely made me feel better.”
Mullins’ teammate Mark Proto was happy with their podium, but possibly even happier with his son’s result on the day.
“I’m really proud of Taylor for his amazing drive today,” Proto said. “And, I’m happy that we put the No. 88 on the podium as well. Parris did a great job in the first stint and I was able to bring it home. It was important for us to walk away from this race with points. Now we’ve got to focus on the challenge ahead of us tomorrow.”
Brian Thienes came into the weekend leading the AM points race and was leading the AM class when disaster struck in the form of a mechanical issue on lap 24. While disappointed with today’s result, Thienes is optimistic about tomorrow’s race.
“The team did a great job today to give me a really good car,” Thienes said. “We were running strong all afternoon. Unfortunately, we had a mechanical problem and weren’t able to finish the race. We should be able to get the car back together in short order and hope to be competitive tomorrow and run up in the front again.”
While team owner Shane Seneviratne would have liked to have all three cars finish on the podium, he couldn’t say enough about the fantastic job that Taylor Proto did in the second-half of the race.
“Taylor drove a fantastic race today,” Seneviratne said. “You wouldn’t know he was a rookie from watching today’s race. Edo drove a perfect first stint and handed the car to Taylor in great shape. That’s one of the things we love about Edo, he’s really good at driving fast and hard while at the same time conserving tires and brakes. I’m also happy to have the LB Cup drivers take their second podium of the season. It would have been great if Brian could have finished on the podium as well, I am really disappointed with the mechanical. I have confidence that he’ll bounce back tomorrow with a solid race.”
Follow the action of Race 2 on tomorrow’s live steam beginning at 5:10 p.m. EDT on http://www.motortrendondemand.com/watch-live/, http://squadracorse.lamborghini.com/en-en/live-streaming, or http://imsatv.imsa.com/.
Photos Courtesy of Jamey Price