Watkins Glen, New York (Friday, June 28, 2019) – 16-year-old Steven Aghakhani won from pole position in AM class in his first race in the 2019 Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America championships. Aghakhani started seventh overall and drove a stellar race to not only win his class, but finished fourth overall to set the competition on notice. Aghakhani lost a position early to McKay Snow, but fought back to regain the lead midway through the race and held Snow at bay the final laps of the race to take the win. The Southern California native will start tomorrow’s race from second in class and seventh overall behind Snow, so expect another great race from the No. 6 Lamborghini of Beverly Hills.
Jacob Eidson and Damon Ockey started on pole for the ProAm class and sixth overall, but had to overcame an early drive-through penalty and work their way back through the field. Eidson drove phenomenally well the remainder of his stint, working his way back from 12th overall and third in class to hand the car over to Ockey from eighth-place, second in class. Ockey quickly took over the class lead, but was ultimately passed in the final laps after a yellow-flag bunched the field. Ockey battled hard to regain the lost spot, but ultimately brought the No. 09 Lamborghini of Vancouver car in the runner-up spot. Ockey will start tomorrow’s race third in class and 11th overall.
The Pro duo of Patrick Liddy and Bryce Miller were off to a great start to the weekend before disaster struck just a few laps from the end of Miller’s stint. Liddy started the race fifth overall and fifth in class, but quickly moved the No. 34 Lamborghini of Beverly Hills up to third. Competition was intense in the front of the field, but Liddy drove a really strong stint. Liddy handed the car over to Miller from fifth-place and Miller was eating up the distance to the fourth-place car when the left rear tire blew sending him into a spin at 130-mph. Thankfully, Miller was able to avoid the wall, but the day was done for the Pro drivers.
Ron Atapattu also had some unfortunate luck in his race. The No. 24 Elephantea Lamborghini of San Diego was moving up the LB Cup field when he was hit and spun on lap 7. Atapattu had an issue with the car resulting from the contact, but was able to limp it back to the pit and able to resume racing. Sadly, the incident took him out of contention for a podium finish. The car will be back in action tomorrow and Atapattu will be hungry for a better race.
Tomorrow’s Round 4 will go green at 10:25 a.m. Eastern. Make sure to follow the action with live streaming at: http://squadracorse.lamborghini.com/en-en/live-streaming.
Steven Aghakhani: “This was our first race out there and we did really good. The team performed perfectly. I didn’t have the best start, but managed to make it up early during the race. I was staying out looking for a very good time to pit. We went in and luckily pulled out right on the mark… on the money… and got right out in front of (McKay) Snow. He and I had a battle the entire time. The restart flag got thrown out and everyone got bunched up as I was pulling away. In the end he came around me, but on the last couple of laps I got back in front of him and it was just a battle toward the finish; just managing traffic and managing tires. But yeah, it was a great race.”
Jacob Eidson: “It was a good race. I was a little bit frustrated from the start after getting that drive-through. But, it’s racing. After we got the penalty, I had a pretty good recovery. We were able to fight back up to P1 in class. The car was really, really good. I was really happy with the balance of it. Peter and everyone at US RaceTronics gave us a great car, which made my job easier. Once I handed it over to Damon, he had his work cut out for him. He had P1 for most of the time, but he got nicked right there at the end. Given all the circumstances, I’m really happy with the result.”
Damon Ockey: “Today’s race was pretty exciting. We had a drive-through penalty, we had a full-course yellow, but we did really good. We ended up P2 in class. Jake drove a really good race to get back from the penalty we had. Then after that I was putting down some pretty good laps, but we had a full-course yellow and the pro guys behind me were able to catch up and one of them got around me, so we ended up P2. But otherwise, the car was great. US RaceTronics did a great job setting the car up. It felt really good getting in it after Jake manhandled it for half the race. But it was good. It was a fun race.”
Patrick Liddy: “We had a great race going; a fantastic start. I got us up from fifth to third straight away. We had a little bit of trouble with the car’s setup and I was out there trying my best to battle to stay in third. Unfortunately, we lost positions under a false yellow. I got a position back and then brought it into the pits. Bryce got in the car and was bringing it back to the front, but had a crazy blowout in the esses. I’m very glad he saved it and that he’s okay and also that the cars okay.”
Bryce Miller: “So…definitely an interesting race. Patrick did an awesome job on the start, jumping from fifth to third and then handed me what felt like a pretty good racecar. We were struggling a little bit with the balance, but I was putting in good laps. I was in fourth-place overall battling for a podium spot, right on the back of another car when I had one of the scariest moments I have experienced in racing. While coming through some traffic, we had a tire go down on the entry into the esses at over 130 mph. That left me doing three or four spins up the hill, but somehow, by the grace of God, I managed to keep it off the wall. Not how we wanted it to end, but at least we have a car to go racing with tomorrow.”
Ron Atapattu: “This driver was driving in the middle of the track. I was very patient, then I passed him and he came right across and hit me in the front. It spun my car out. I got it restarted after several tries, but I could not get speed. I had to come into the pits and have the crew reset the fuel shut off system. Then it was fine. It’s disappointing because I feel we would have had a podium finish.”
Shane Seneviratne: “A little bit of a disappointing result for Patrick Liddy and Bryce (Miller). I’m glad that Bryce is okay and that we didn’t get involved in a big incident. We had a tire blowout. We’ll rectify it for tomorrow; we’re working with the series and Pirelli to get that sorted out. What an amazing job that Steven did. Such a good result for him for his first race. Damon and Jacob had an average race and we’re hoping to improve on that tomorrow. But we still got valuable points and finished second. We got a drive-through penalty for getting boxed out of the start, but that’s what it is. We’ll try to get them on the top of the podium tomorrow. Ron had a great race going, but had contact with another car and unfortunately, he spun and when he did that the car went into limp mode because the fuel pressure dropped. He had to come into the pits so that we could reset the car and get him back out. We got him some good track time to help prepare him for tomorrow. Hats off to all the guys. They’ve been working long hours and really hard. We’re looking forward to a good race tomorrow.”
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