Monrovia, Calif. (Monday, May 8, 2017) – US RaceTronics (USRT) captures six podiums at the 2017 Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America (LBSTNA) season opener at Circuit of the Americas (COTA). The weekend started with the No. 50 Lamborghini of Beverly Hills seizing the pole for Race 1 in an impressive fashion. Pro driver Edoardo Piscopo laid down a lap of 206.289 which was 0.723 faster than his closest competitor.
Piscopo and co-driver Taylor Proto drove a great Race 1 finishing second in the Pro-Am class. Their teammate Brian Thienes also brought home a second-place finish in the AM class. Thienes’ considerable lead over the AM field disappeared after a racing incident that resulted in a drive-through penalty. The third USRT car suffered a mechanical issue and was unable to finish Race 1.
Race 2 saw all three USRT cars finish on their respective podiums along with the No. 50 Lamborghini of Beverly Hills Pro-Am entry grabbing second-place overall. Taylor Proto started the race in 12th, but quickly grabbed three spots on the opening lap. Proto continued to move through the field, handing the car off to Piscopo from sixth; third in class. Piscopo powered his Lamborghini Huracán to second-place overall; first in class.
“It was a fun race,” Piscopo said. “I knew that we had a chance to finish on the overall podium and we did that. The car was really good. Thank you to US RaceTronincs for such a great car and thank you to Taylor for handing over the car in very good condition. That allowed me to push hard in the last laps and overtake a few cars. I think we learned a lot and we’ll be even stronger at Watkins Glen.”
Taylor Proto ran solid races on both Friday and Saturday and was pleased with the weekend’s results. He was especially happy with how Race 2 played out.
“Today’s race was definitely an improvement,” the young driver said after Saturday’s race. “I think me starting and Edo finishing is really good formula for us to get into the points and have a stab at the top spot on the podium. The car, when I handed it off to Edoardo, felt great. The rear-end was starting to lose it, but that’s just the nature of the tires. Agostini and Edoardo had a really good fight and that got us a little bit of screen time which is good for advertising. The car felt amazing and we were able to better our result from Race 1. It was really an outstanding race and a great way to start the season.”
Race 2 also saw an incredible drive from USRT’s AM driver Brian Thienes. Due to a mechanical issue during Race 1 qualifying, Thienes was unable to clock a time in qualifying for Race 2 and as a result he started the race in last place. With a flawless drive, Thienes quickly moved to the front. He was in third-place in class by the end of lap five and maintained the focus necessary to bring the No. 17 Lamborghini of Beverly Hills home in first-place in class; fifth overall.
“Great results today,” Thienes said. “US RaceTronics once again gave me an awesome car to drive. I think as a team we definitely have an advantage with the engineering and the way they set the car up and prepare for the race. No details are spared and it shows in the car. All I had to do was drive it. That was the easy part I think. Congratulations to the team on a job well done. I’m looking forward to the next race.”
USRT’s Lamborghini Cup duo of Mark Proto and Parris Mullins rounded out the team’s podium finishes with a third-place finish in class in the No. 88 Lamborghini of La Jolla. Mullins started the race in 13th-place and built a lead of over 13 seconds on the class competition. Unfortunately a full course yellow before handing the car off to Proto negated that lead. Proto drove a strong stint earning the pair their first podium of the season.
“It was nice to have a car for Race 2,” Mullins said. “The best part really was the team getting the car back together. We noticed some issues with coolant as well and those guys went down to the wire to get the car to where it would last the whole race, so that we wouldn’t run into the same problem as in Race 1. It was great being out there the first stint and trying to build a gap for when I turned the car over to Mark. He did a great job. That car’s a handful the second stint, so we’re just really excited to walk away from the weekend in the points.”
“It’s been a fantastic weekend,” Mark Proto added. “We had some trouble in Race 1, but Race 2 really made up for it. This season is going to be all about learning for me and this was a great first learning experience. It feels really good to go home with a trophy.”
Team owner Shane Seneviratne was extremely pleased with the team’s debut weekend. The No. 17 and No. 88 cars had mechanical issues early in the weekend that required the crew to dig deep in order to get the cars repaired in time for the competition.
“I’m so proud of this team and all their hard work this weekend and in the weeks leading up to this event,” Seneviratne said. “We had a couple of early setbacks, but everyone jumped in and did what was necessary for all three cars to be successful in Race 2. We would have liked to have had podium finishes for all three cars in both races, but the fact that we were able to get the cars to the point where all five drivers were able to push their limits and bring home podiums in the second race was extraordinarily satisfying for me. We’ve put together a great team for the 2017 Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America season and I’m confident that we’ll continue to carry this weekend’s success forward through the rest of the season.”
The No. 50 and No. 17 Lamborghini of Beverly Hills entries leave the season opener leading the points in the Pro-Am and AM categories. The team’s next event is at Watkins Glen International June 28 – 30.
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*Photos Courtesy of Jamey Price