Early Contact Dampens Day for No. 17 Lamborghini of Beverly Hills
Salinas, California (April 30, 2016) – Canadian Driver Damon Ockey drove the No. 09 Lamborghini of Calgary entry home in eight overall and second in class despite some mid-race challenges with the power-steering in his 620 HP Huracán.
“The race started out really well,” Ockey said. “I made my way up a couple of positions into first place in class. I came in for the pit stop and when I restarted the car my power steering was out. I was down a good second a lap after that. It was a great workout though. Ended up P2. I made it back into P1 at one point, but just wasn’t able to hold the position because of the power steering issue. Still, a fun race. We did pretty good. We’re going to get the car sorted out for tomorrow and it’s going to be awesome.”
2015 LBSTNA Series’ champ Richard Antinucci started 12th behind the wheel of the No. 17 Lamborghini of Beverly Hills for Round 1. Antinucci had a great start and moved quickly through the field before contact ended his chances for a repeat of last year’s season opener win.
“A pretty exciting first race of the season at the season opener at Laguna Seca for the Super Trofeo Series,” Antinucci said following the race. “US RaceTronics can be proud of themselves for having the quickest pace in practice, but with yesterday’s red flagged qualifying we were on the back of the grid. We started 12th and drove through the pack really quickly and then encountered some overly optimistic drivers who lack experience. I’m going to drive it on the edge, that’s what I do, but if the person next to me doesn’t have that same understanding and knowledge then it’s hard to get through the corners together in one piece; we didn’t. We had three different incidents, so that’s definitely something to consider for tomorrow; something I need to learn as well in terms of who I’m racing. But the team, the engineer and the whole group here has to be proud of themselves. We probably would have gotten into the lead within the first stint, so I think that’s very good for starting 12th. We start in a similar position again tomorrow; let’s go for it.”
Brian Thienes, co-driver of the No. 17, was able to improve on the position he inherited at the mid-point of the race despite the condition of the damaged car.
“We had a difficult starting position and Richie did a really good job to get the car up to the front,” Thienes commented, “but with some contact the car got knocked out of alignment. Richie did a really good job to keep it on the track and keep his position up as far as he could. The team did a really good job getting us around the track. We were basically just trying to finish the race at that point. We’ll go out again tomorrow and hopefully have a better result.”
Team owner, Shane Seneviratne, was impressed by how well all three of his driver’s performed in the face of the challenges presented them today.
“I’m really proud of Damon for powering through and bringing the No. 09 home in second place. If he hadn’t had the power-steering issue, I’m certain he would have finished first. He’s a great driver and proved it again today. Unfortunately, Richie sustained some damage to the No. 17 from contact early in the race and both he and Brian had to struggle with poor handling issues after that point. They both did a remarkable job to keep the car on the track and Brian even managed to move up a couple of spots in the second stint. Eleventh wasn’t what we were hoping for today, but we’ll take those points and look to do better tomorrow. We learned a lot today and I think it will show when we go out for Round 2.”
Round 2 of the 2016 Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo North American Series goes green at 8:30 a.m. PDT Sunday morning.