Monrovia, California (Tuesday, August 21, 2018) – Taylor Proto and Edoardo Piscopo came into this past weekend’s Lamborghini Super Trofeo event tied for first-place in the championship with Corey Lewis and Madison Snow but with Saturday’s overall win, the point for the Race 1 pole along with the points earned in Sunday’s race, the drivers of the No. 50 Lamborghini of Beverly Hills have taken sole possession of the championship lead with four races remaining. Brian Thienes scored 27 points, the most by any AM driver this weekend, in the No. 17 Lamborghini of Beverly Hills, while Parris Mullins and Mark Proto continued their streak of LB Cup podium finishes in the No. 88 Lamborghini of La Jolla. Damon Ockey had a tough weekend in the No. 09 Lamborghini of Calgary but is still in the hunt for the AM championship.
“Today was a learning experience for sure,” Taylor Proto said after the race. “I had an error on the third lap and had to focus on trying to close as much of the gap back as I could. It’s a shame, because if we’d have had probably another three laps we probably could have caught up and gotten third-place in our class. The main thing is that we’re leaving here still with the lead in the championship and looking really good. We have the pace to take the 29 car so that’s what really matters. Then we’ve just got to find a little bit more for the No. 1. All-in-all this was a really good weekend points-wise and nothing can detract from yesterday’s win. Now we’re just going to focus forward.”
“Not the end result we were expecting unfortunately,” Piscopo added. “We lost too much time in the first stint and then it was almost impossible to recover. I almost caught the third-place car, but I needed about three more laps. Overall we’re leading the series by one point and I think we scored more points this weekend than anyone else, so that’s good. Now we go to Laguna Seca with confidence.”
Brian Thienes made quite the comeback from his struggles at Road America scoring more points than any other AM driver over the course of the weekend. With his class win on Saturday and second-place finish on Sunday, the driver of the No. 17 Lamborghini of Beverly Hills solidified his third-place standing and increasing his points lead over the fourth-place team of Barkey and Holbrook.
“Great job by US RaceTronics today for giving me a really fast race car,” Thienes said Sunday. “We had a really good race pace, unfortunately we just got bad luck with traffic and I wasn’t able to keep the pressure on Hardwick like I wanted to. But, very happy with a runner-up finish. Now I’m looking forward to getting a couple of wins at Laguna Seca. That track suits my driving style, so I’m expecting good results there.”
Parris Mullins started Sunday’s race behind the wheel of the No. 88 Lamborghini of La Jolla. While he and co-driver Mark Proto would have liked to have gotten wins in both races, the duo was satisfied with their overall performance at VIR.
“It would have been nice to have gotten back-to-back wins this weekend,” Mullins said, “but I’m pleased that we were able to follow up our win with another podium finish. Mark has been doing a fantastic job this season and I’m really proud of him. We’re leading the LB Cup championship heading into Laguna Seca, which is one of my favorite tracks, so I’m happy about that and looking forward to hopefully getting another win there.”
“Today didn’t go as expected,” Mark Proto added after Race 2. “It wasn’t our best result, but we finished third which helps us maintain a strong lead in our championship. I’m looking forward to Laguna Seca. I really like that place. We’re going to bring our A-game there and try to extend our podium streak.”
Damon Ockey, driver of the No. 09 Lamborghini of Calgary, scored a third-place finish on Sunday, but still considered VIR his toughest weekend of the season. He’s more than ready to focus his attention on getting back in the winner’s circle at Laguna Seca.
“We started out with a really strong weekend,” Ockey said. “We had a P1 start in Race 1 and a P2 start for the second race. We just made a few mistakes in both races, so we didn’t get the results we wanted. We’re going to regroup for Laguna Seca and for Italy and do what we can to get back into the lead in the championship.”
With the team heading next to their home race at Laguna Seca, team owner Shane Seneviratne was focused on the bigger picture after Sunday’s race.
“Today wasn’t our best performance, but overall we had a great race yesterday so it kind of averaged out. We gained points in the PRO championship, while we lost a few points in the AM championship. We’ve got to work hard to recover those points lost within the next four races. Mark and Parris did pretty well getting a win and third-place finish and have a nice gap in their class, so overall it was a good weekend. I want to thank the entire crew for all their hard work. We’re looking forward to going to Laguna Seca. That’s our home race so it should be fun.”
The team will arrive at Laguna Seca on Wednesday, September 5, 2018 and will participate in the promoter test day on September 6th. The race weekend will kick off with two practice sessions and qualifying on Friday. Round 9 is from 11:35 a.m. to 12:25 a.m. PT on Saturday, September 8, 2019, while Round 10 goes green Sunday, September 9, 2018 at 11:25 a.m. PT. The races will be streamed live at http://squadracorse.lamborghini.com/en-en/live-streaming and http://imsatv.imsa.com/.