Monrovia, California (Tuesday, August 7, 2018) – Taylor Proto and Edoardo Piscopo moved the No. 50 Lamborghini of Beverly Hills into a first-place tie in the PRO championship with a win in Round 6 of the Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America Championship. Proto put the Huracan Evo on pole Saturday morning which gave the pair the advantage they needed to get the first overall win of the 2018 season for US RaceTronics. Damon Ockey finished Sunday’s race in second-place which moved him into a tie for the lead in the AM Championship. Meanwhile, Mark Proto and Parris Mullins continued their streak of podium finishes with a third-place finish. They still lead the LB Cup Championship. Brian Thienes had a strong drive from the back of the field to finish in the top-ten.
“There’s not much to say about this race, which is a great thing to say in racing,” Taylor Proto said after Sunday’s race. “We were on pole from qualifying two and I was able to get a good start pulling away from Cecotto. I immediately started making my way down through turn 1 and we were in the lead and from that point on. I just started knocking the laps down, not looking in my mirrors and creating as much space as possible. The first lap was a little hairy with cold tires and brakes, but once everything got heated up it was much better, and we were able to really pull away from the rest of the field. We finished with a 6-second gap and I’m really happy with that one. We’re going to take these points and hopefully be able to pull out into the lead at VIR and Laguna Seca. As of right now, we’re tied for the points lead and I’m feeling really good and really confident going into the next round.”
“It was a textbook race,” co-driver Edoardo Piscopo added. “We developed the car a lot throughout the weekend and I’m glad that we finally managed to find our pace. Good job to the team. Good job to Taylor. It was a perfect race.”
Sunday’s race wasn’t quite as perfect as Saturday’s for Damon Ockey in the No. 09 Lamborghini of Calgary, but he was able to bring the car home in second-place which moved him back into the lead of the AM championship. His 74 points ties him with Ryan Hardwick at the half-way mark of the season.
“The race went pretty well today,” Ockey said. “I started P2 and ended P2. The car was great, and the team did a great job setting it up. The guys in front just had a great pace through the whole race and I was never able to catch up to them. Most of the race I just drove by myself. It was kind of like a big practice session. But, it was still a fun race. It was an overall good weekend for me.”
The No. 88 Lamborghini of La Jolla had a more challenging race with an incident in the first stint that resulted in a drive-through penalty, but the driver-duo of Parris Mullins and Mark Proto still managed to come back to finish third in LB Cup. The pair will head to VIR still leading their championship.
“It was one hell of a race today,” Mullins said shortly after leaving the podium. “I didn’t get the best start, but I tried to hang in there. I made a mistake that caused Sheena (Monk) and I to come together in Canada Corner and that definitely cost us. When I handed the car over to Mark he did a fantastic job. He was able to get past Price and get us on the podium.”
“So, third-place for us today was good for our points position,” Mark Proto added, “but it’s not exactly the result we were hoping for. It was a tough race and both Parris and I had some mistakes. But, overall we’re happy to have come out third. The car was really loose late in the race, so we’re going to go back to the drawing board to find out what we can do for the next weekend in order to settle the car down a bit. But yeah, overall happy with the weekend.”
Brian Thienes faced an uphill battle on Sunday. The driver of the No. 17 Lamborghini of Beverly Hills had to start in the back of the field while driving a replacement car as a result of Saturday’s crash. Thienes did an amazing job to bring home a top-ten finish considering he had zero time in the new car before the start of the weekend’s second race.
“Great job to US RaceTronics for putting together the race car after such a big wreck yesterday,” Thienes said. “It was a very difficult job for the crew to put a car together without any testing or shakedown. We had no time to test the car after prepping it, but he team did a great job putting it together so quickly. I did my best to keep it on the track and stay out of trouble. I’m looking forward to VIR where we’ll have much better results.”
Team owner Shane Seneviratne was thrilled with the team’s first overall win of the season as well as the success of the other three cars on Sunday.
“It was a great race and nice to get the team’s first overall win of the season,” Seneviratne said. “Taylor did an amazing job putting the car on the pole along with a solid first stint. Edoardo drove a strong second-half of the race to bring home the win. It was great seeing them both on the top step of the podium. Damon had a good points race as well. We finished second and I’m pretty sure we should be tied for first now with his car. Parris and Mark didn’t have the best race, but they finished on the podium and I think in general we’re maintaining our points well in LB Cup. I’m very happy for Brian that we were able to get him a car so that he was able to finish out the weekend and get some valuable points. He finished strong especially considering that it was the first time he’d driven that chassis. I don’t think we had the best setup for him, but he made the best of it. I think we’ll have a good platform for him to race at VIR. I want to thank Rob (Schnabel) and Brandon (West) from LPR for all the hard work they do on the 50 and 88 cars. They’ve done a tremendous job this year and we couldn’t have gotten these great results without all their hard work and effort.”
The team will be racing next at Virginia International Raceway August 17-19, 2018 and the races will be streamed live at http://squadracorse.lamborghini.com/en-en/live-streaming and http://imsatv.imsa.com/.