Monrovia, California (Tuesday, August 11, 2020) – US RaceTronics started the 2020 Lamborghini Super Trofeo (LST) season in impressive style with all three cars finishing on the podium in both races at the storied Road America circuit in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.
Race 1 saw Pro driver Steven Aghakhani starting second on the grid in the No. 6 Lamborghini of Beverly Hills. Aghakhani had a strong start, handing his co-driver, Jacob Eidson, the car in great condition to allow him to continue to battle for the win. While no opportunities to take the lead presented themselves, the duo was able to maintain their competitiveness and finish second overall for their first podium of the season.
“First race of the season after a very long off season was very fun, you know,” Aghakhani said following the second-place finish. “Coming back having the feeling to race these cars, especially with people in a very high skill group, having my teammate for the year Jacob Eidson. It was an amazing experience to drive with him. We performed the best we could; the team did their best. We came out finishing second place, but we still have another race tomorrow so hopefully that goes much better than today.”
“So far, an awesome start to the season,” Eidson added. “It was a little unpredictable knowing that we were going from ProAm to ProPro right before qualifying. So that was a bit of a surprise, but I think we handled it well. We finished P2 overall, which is an awesome finish. Of course, we always want more. Steven had a great start and a great stint and the team did an awesome job with the car setup. I know the team will work on the car again throughout the night and we will come back tomorrow even stronger.”
US RaceTronics’ ProAm driver Leo Lamelas started Race 1 eighth overall and P3 in class in his appearance at Road America. The skillful young Brazilian was impressive in his LST debut, moving up one spot to finish seventh in the overall field and third-place in ProAm behind the wheel of the No. 24 Lamborghini of Westlake.
“It’s my first time here in Road America and my second time in the car (Super Trofeo),” Lamelas said after Race 1. “I’m very happy for the pace we showed, but still lots of things to improve on both with the car and myself in such a short period of time. But today was very nice considering I started out with a podium. Tomorrow we have another race, so hopefully I can improve and get another podium.”
John Hennessy had a stellar performance in the No. 33 Lamborghini of La Jolla finishing 10th overall. The LB Cup driver started P3 in class, but made a great pass shortly after his mandatory pit stop to take over the second-place position in class and finish on the second step of the podium in his LST debut.
“It’s been an incredible experience,” Hennessy said. “I couldn’t be more pleased with Shane and the entire US RaceTronics team. Amazing support; I couldn’t even come close without them and my coach Patrick Byrne. For the race tomorrow, I feel better knowing that I can see my pace in my class since I ended up in P2. It helps being around a great group of people.”
Team Manager Josh Harris was proud of the team’s performance in the first race of the 2020 LST season.
“I’m excited we are finally racing. The team did a great job today. Steven and Jacob had great pace and had a look at winning overall. It was great to see a battle starting to form up front especially in the closing laps. Leo maintained his position and was trying to put up pressure on second but was never close enough to engage. John’s performance has continued to improve throughout the weekend. Strategy played in our favor and he was able to make a pass during the pit stop rotation. We should be fast tomorrow with the race in morning. I’m excited to get round two underway.”
Round 2 on Saturday had even better results for the US RaceTronics team. Jacob Eidson led the field to the starting line from the pole-position, before laying down the fastest lap of the race (2:06.617) on lap 2. Eidson was able to build a lead that came in handy when the team experienced an issue with the driver restraints during their driver change ensuing in a longer than normal pit stop. Aghakhani was able to make up some of the time lost during his stint and between their quick pace and the 5-second penalty assessed to the No. 16 Change Racing car for an early start, the No. 6 Lamborghini Beverly Hills was able to come through with the race win.
“Really crazy race especially after our driver change, had a bit of a hiccup there,” Eidson said after Saturday’s win. “All in all, it was a really good race. Steven’s pace there at the end was incredible, especially what we needed from him. We had a good opening few laps, good start, was able to get out in the front and hold a good lead. I passed it over to Steven and he did an awesome job even with hiccup with the driver change. I’ve got to thank the team because they did an awesome job getting the car ready. It’s an awesome start to the season. I’m looking forward to the rest of the season and I know we will be competitive in the lineup.”
“The start of the second race… Jacob had an amazing start,” Aghakhani said. “The 16 car got a 5 second penalty, and we kept that in the back of our minds while we ran our own race. Jacob pulled off to a 4-5 second gap and we were very comfortable with our lead. Brought the car into the pit, we had a little bit of an issue getting the harnesses connected, but we didn’t want to leave until the harness was fully connected/tied and fastened down so we took the extra time. After the pit, we were passed by the 16 car and we were down by around 12 seconds. Somehow, I was able to bring the gap down to 3.3 seconds and was able to win the race due to the 5 second penalty on the 16 car. Car felt amazing, team did amazing, mechanics, everyone. All in all, it was just an amazing weekend and I’m super happy to be out here.”
Lead Strategist for the No. 6 Lamborghini of Beverly Hills Armik Aghakhani was ecstatic about Saturday’s win.
“It was an amazing race,” Aghakhani said. “Race 2 was a nail biter considering that we are competing against Rolex 24 Hours Champions with our 17-year-old driver. Jacob did an impressive job as expected from his caliber; he managed his tires for Steven and created a gap of 4 seconds as per our strategy before he came into the pits. Our strategy was to pit early with that gap and give Steven more time behind the wheel to gain more experience racing these veteran drivers. But we had an issue with our pit stop and Steven lost 12 seconds to the leaders. Due to a 5-second post-race penalty to car No. 16, we told Steven to go into qualifying mode to try and close the gap for the overall win. Steven did an remarkable job on older tires to be able to drive the car to the limit without losing control and he brought the car to a 3.3-second gap. With the 5-second penalty we won the overall race.”
“Everybody in the team did a hell of a job. I can’t thank them enough for giving us such a perfect car; our car was amazing. Special thanks to US RaceTronics and the entire crew. Also, I would like to thank our sponsors SADA, Carney Shegerian, TKX Staffing, MLS and Aghakhani and Luke LLP. Thank you!”
Leo Lamelas had a bit of a disadvantage for Round 2, starting ninth overall and third in the ProAm class. But that just pushed the talented Brazilian to up his game from the start, passing the No. 3 car on the first lap. Lamelas also came out of the pit stop strong, passing on the No. 25 car on lap 14 and then the No. 29 car the following lap, bringing the No. 24 Lamborghini of Westlake home sixth overall and second in ProAm.
“I’m very happy for the improvement we had,” Lamelas said after Saturday’s race. “Compared to yesterday’s race now one step ahead on the podium from yesterday. I’m pretty excited for the next rounds. As I’ve said, it’s a new world completely for me; the car is new for me. Road America was one of just have two tracks in this series that I haven’t been to, the other three I’ve already been to. I’ve been to VIR, Road Atlanta and Sebring twice, so I think this is one step ahead for me to be a little more comfortable. I just need to keep improving myself with working on the car.”
American John Hennessy proved his abilities again on Saturday. The LB Cup driver started tenth overall and P2 in class, but dropped back to twelfth and P4 early in the race. Undeterred by the early setup, Hennessy drove a clean race into the pit stop and came out with a resolution to regain his earlier standings. He took his first step toward that goal on lap 13 with a pass on the No. 03 car, but didn’t stop there. On the very next lap, Hennessy got around the No. 36, finishing tenth overall and P2 in LB Cup in the No. 33 Lamborghini of La Jolla.
“I was slow on the start just like yesterday,” Hennessy said. “I got passed right off the bat and got held up for quite a long period of time. When I got on the back of the gentleman coming out of (turn) 14, I almost hit him. Because of that, the person behind me got a good run on the straight and was able to pass me, so all of the sudden I found myself in last place going ‘Oh my God, what’s going on’. But, I knew that I had good pace, and so with the strategy of US RaceTronics and the great team there, they decided to bring me in early. That allowed me to get some clean air when I went back out giving me the opportunity to get some good laps in and leapfrog the competition and that’s what happened. I unfortunately lost a lot of time in the first 10-15 laps and wasn’t able to catch up with Randy (Sellari) in the No. 1. He did a great job by the way. Anyway, I’m so happy to be here and doing this. Just a dream come true. What a great family team here with US RaceTronics and everybody. I’m happy with the results for sure my first time out.”
The team heads to Virginia International Raceway for Rounds 3 and 4 of the 2020 Lamborghini SuperTrofeo season August 21-23.
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