Monrovia, California (Tuesday, July 3, 2018) – US RaceTronics added another three podiums on Saturday at Watkins Glen International in Round 4 of the 2018 Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America Championship. Taylor Proto and Edoardo Piscopo brought the No. 50 Lamborghini of Beverly Hills home in third-place overall, second in the PRO class. Brian Thienes finished second in the AM class in the No. 17 Lamborghini of Beverly Hills, while Mark Proto and Parris Mullins fought back in the No. 88 Lamborghini of La Jolla to finish third in LB Cup. Damon Ockey just missed the podium with his fourth-place finish in the No. 09 Lamborghini of Calgary.
Taylor Proto started Race 2 of the weekend behind the wheel of the No. 50 Lamborghini of Beverly Hills fifth overall on the grid, fourth in the PRO class. Proto quickly moved up one spot and spent his stint working hard to build as big a gap as possible on the competition before handing the car over to Edoardo Piscopo early in the pit-stop window.
“Today was a really fun race,” Taylor Proto said after Saturday’s race. “There was a lot more going on in terms of car-to-car action as opposed to yesterday. I had a good start with a run on J.C. (Perez), but we decided to back out in the interest of the car. At that point I fell into a consistent pace so that I could build a gap for Edoardo so that he’d have something to work with. We knew the 71-car was kind of a rocket, so we tried to position ourselves best to take advantage of the 29 and 1. Luckily, the 29 jumped the start and received a penalty, so in the end we didn’t really need to battle them. Today was a clean race both by me and Edoardo. The car held up great, so thanks to the team. It was a good day for the points as well. I think we moved up to second in the championship and now we’re just two points out of the lead.”
“Starting from P5 it would have been hard to do any better than P2 in class,” Piscopo added, “so I think overall it was a good weekend. We closed the gap in the championship. We’re now second, only two points behind. I’m looking forward to Road America.”
Brian Thienes started the day third-place on the grid in the AM class but moved into the lead after a flawless the pit-stop. Thienes looked like he would get his first win of the season until he relinquished the lead in the esses late in the race to the eventual race winner.
“Thanks again to US RaceTronics for a really good car,” Thienes said. “I ran up front of almost half the race but unfortunately made a mistake in the esses, which is not a place you want to make a mistake. Hardwick passed me and we got tangled up in lapped traffic, so I wasn’t able to pass him back. Although that was a great opportunity I just wasn’t able to make it happen. Congratulations to Ryan for a really great race.”
The No. 88 Lamborghini of La Jolla finished off the top step of the LB Cup podium for the first time this season. Mark Proto was running second in class and was closing the gap on the leader when he was hit and spun. After the incident the No. 88 fell back to fourth in class which is where it was when Parris Mullins jumped behind the wheel. Mullins drove hard and made a pass in the closing laps of the race to grab the last spot of the podium for the LB Cup duo.
“Not an ideal result for us today,” Mark Proto said. “The car performed well, but we got hit in the first stint of the race while I was driving. That spun us out in turn 1 and we had problems getting the car re-fired, so we lost a lot of ground. Luckily, my teammate, Parris, drove an amazing race to claw us all the way back up to third. I think with another lap he could have had second. I’m looking forward to going on to Road America.”
“The caution added a different element to our race today,” Mullins added. “Mark did the best that he could on the restart and was driving great but got hit going into turn 1 which spun him around. The car had a hard time firing back up, so that cost us. I had so much fun today trying to catch up once he handed the car over to me. It was a great race! We really earned our third spot today. I’m really happy.”
The No. 09 Lamborghini of Calgary was leading the AM race from the pole position until having to serve a drive-through penalty for a pit-speed violation. The drive-through dropped the Canadian driver all the way back to tenth overall and fifth in class. Ockey was able to power back through traffic to fourth in class but fell short of his goal for the weekend.
“Overall the weekend was okay,” Ockey said. “I got a third and a fourth but that wasn’t quite what I wanted. Started the race P1 in class and was doing really well. I had a pit-lane speeding violation that resulted in a drive-through. That put me back into P5. I made it back up to P4 and that’s where I finished. The team gave me a great car. I was able to put down some really fast laps, but I was so far behind that there was no way I was going to catch up to the leaders. On to Road America.”
Team owner Shane Seneviratne was pleased with the weekend’s results and the progress the team has made since the season-opener, but still sees areas for improvement moving forward.
“The team did a great job,” Seneviratne said. “We made big improvements as a team from Mid-Ohio. We’re slowly expanding and getting used to running four cars. We had a few glitches in our first race this weekend with the pit-lane timers, but other than that I think we had a good weekend overall. It was unfortunate that Damon got the drive-through penalty for the pit speed infraction. We’re going to take some steps to prevent that from happening again. Great job to all the crew and drivers for bringing home some good results and making it a successful weekend.”
The team next heads to Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin August 1st – 5th. As always, the races will be streamed live at http://squadracorse.lamborghini.com/en-en/live-streaming and http://imsatv.imsa.com/.