Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin (August 6, 2017) – US RaceTronics has seen a fair share of ups and downs this weekend at the famed 4.048 mile, 14-turn Road America road course. Yesterday’s race was one of the ups. Pro-Am duo Edoardo Piscopo and Taylor Proto came into the weekend leading the points and extended their lead with a second-place finish in class. Brian Thienes in the No. 17 Lamborghini of Beverly Hills was tied for first coming into today’s race, but was able to take sole possession of the championship lead when he also took the checkered flag with a second-place finish.
Mark Proto and Parris Mullins exchanged cars with Piscopo and Taylor Proto after Taylor crashed the No. 50 Lamborghini of Beverly Hills in practice 1 Friday morning in the rain. The exchange allowed the Pro-Am pair to continue the weekend’s track schedule uninterrupted while the team worked to repair the No. 50. The LB Cup duo was sidelined when they were unable to qualify the repaired car due to an internal crack in the engine block which was a result of the impact from Friday’s crash. The crew put in another long night last night in hopes of having the car ready for Race 2.
Taylor Proto drove a solid first stint to start Race 1 in the No. 88 Lamborghini Huracan and didn’t show any signs of slowing down due to the injury he suffered to his ankle in Friday’s crash. He goes into Race 2 with added confidence after his Race 1 performance.
“It’s been a bit of a challenge this weekend,” Proto said. “Coming off the crash in the No. 50, we were luckily able to go to the No. 88. We were able to push the 88 car to its limits and managed a P2 finish in class and a fifth overall after starting P8. It’ll be interesting to see how it goes tomorrow, considering we’re starting fifth with Edo and finishing with me. It’s supposed to be raining, but hopefully we’ll miss all of that. I’m confident for tomorrow. Today was a really good confidence booster, especially after my injury and all that. The car felt fine and I didn’t feel any discomfort. Driving was a real pleasure today. I had a good fight with (JC) Perez and I’m just looking forward to tomorrow.
Taylor’s co-driver Edoardo Piscopo was pleased with their result at the end of the day. As much as he’s driven to win, he recognizes that winning the championship is more important goal.
“It was a good race for us,” Piscopo said. “Our weekend didn’t start very well… a lot of ups and downs with some issues. P1 in practice and then we had some other issues in qualifying. Right now I’m quite happy with our second in class finish. We extended the lead in the championship, which at the end of the day is what we’re here for. I think we’ve got a good shot to win Race 2, but our focus is to stay consistent, run a clean race and extend our lead even further.”
Brian Thienes has also had good and not-so-good moments since arriving at Road America. The California native qualified P1 in class, but had contact during the race and finished in second place.
“Great job by US RaceTronics for putting the car back together after an incident earlier this week,” Thienes said. “The team had a lot of work to do to get everything back together and sorted out. They did a really great job with the car. I had a good battle going for first-place in my class, but unfortunately there was some contact which set me back awhile. I feel lucky to have brought the car home for second-place points. I’m really proud of the effort US RaceTronics put out in order to get the car up and running for a good race today.”
Considering the challenges that the week has thrown at the team, owner Shane Seneviratne chooses to look for the positives rather than focusing on the negatives.
“It’s been a challenging few days for the team,” Seneviratne said. “We had to recover from a couple of incidents, but the guys pulled together and worked really hard. Some of the guys worked 24 hours straight to get the cars back on track and make everything possible. We had an excellent race. The two cars that are battling for class championships were able to score valuable points and I’m really happy about that. That was our goal going into the race and we accomplished that. Again, hats off to all the guys for working hard to make everything happen. A big thanks to Mark Proto and Parris Mullins for handing their car over to Taylor and Edoardo so that they could continue their quest in the Pro-Am championship.”
The weekend will wrap up for US RaceTronics on Sunday, August 6, 2017 when the green flag drops for Race 2 at 11:55 a.m. EDT.