Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin (Tuesday, August 8, 2017) – With third-place finishes by the Pro-Am duo of Edoardo Piscopo and Taylor Proto as well as AM driver Brian Thienes, US RaceTronics leaves Road America with the points lead in both classes. Piscopo and Taylor Proto have amassed 76 points through the first six races of the season and are in sole possession of first-place. Thienes’ 72 points have him tied with Yuki Harata with six races left. LB Cup drivers Mark Proto and Parris Mullins were happy to be back on track for the first time since practice 1 on Friday morning.
Edoardo started the race in fifth place overall and felt that he and Taylor came out of the weekend as well as could be expected considering all the challenges they and the team faced.
“It was a good race,” Piscopo said. “We did some damage control and overcame some fairly big challenges this week. We still lead the championship by 17 points, so we’re good. I think we learned a lot from this race, but now we’re even more motivated to go to VIR and win both races there.”
Taylor Proto had a great day as well, battling for second-place in class through much of his stint. He was ultimately passed by D. Bryce Miller on the last turn of the last lap, landing the pair on the third step of the podium.
“This was a really great race,” Taylor said. “We accomplished what we wanted, which was grabbing as many points as possible and extending our lead in the championship. Luckily, me and Bryce (Miller) were able to race pretty fairly and clean and I learned a lot of race-craft from him. I have to look back on that as a positive. Being able to run with Bryce and (Alex) Popow and some of the other Pros up at the front, even for just awhile, it was good. It’s a good sign of what’s to come and hopefully I can take the lessons I learned and apply them to later races. I’m looking forward to VIR where I’m a bit quicker on the pace, so that’ll be a fun one.”
Brian Thienes was disappointed with his third-place finish, but is confident that he and the team will have better results in the next two rounds at VIR.
“I want to thank US RaceTronics and the guys for all their hard work this week,” Thienes said. “I wish I could have gotten them the result they deserved, but we still managed two podium finishes and are leaving the track tied for first-place. This was a tough weekend. I thought after yesterday’s race that we were in a good spot to finish higher today, but the speed just wasn’t there. I’m putting this weekend behind me and focusing my thoughts toward VIR. We had a successful test there last month and I fully expect us to be back on the top step of the podium there.”
LB Cup drivers Parris Mullins and Mark Proto were at a serious disadvantage when they took the track on Sunday. After swapping cars with Taylor Proto and Edoardo Piscopo, the pair didn’t get any time in the No. 50 Lamborghini of Beverly Hills until they started Sunday’s race.
“It was a challenging weekend,” Mark Proto said. “I felt that it was important that Taylor and Edo have the opportunity to extend their lead in the Pro-Am class and it’s clear that I made the right choice in giving them the No. 88 Friday afternoon. I’m extremely proud of how well Taylor is doing in his first season of competitive racing. The team worked around the clock to get the 50 car back on track, but we had so little track time here compared to our competitors that we were at a distinct disadvantage during the race.”
Parris Mullins started the race in the No. 50 Lamborghini of Beverly Hills and drove an incredible stint. He was able to overtake several cars before handing the car over to Mark.
“It was a good race,” Mullins said. “We didn’t get in a ton of track time this weekend, but this track really suits my driving style, so I was able to be competitive from the start. I drove hard and was able to get around a few cars. It was a fun race for me. I’m really looking forward to getting to VIR and hopefully getting back on the podium.”
Team owner Shane Seneviratne is proud of his drivers and everyone on his team. They dug deep and put in some crazy hours to get all three cars ready for Sunday’s race.
“It was a tough week for sure,” Seneviratne said. “We had some major challenges, but the guys all stepped up and did what needed to be done in order to get all three cars ready in time for today’s race. We would have liked to have had all three cars on the podium, but I think Mark and Parris did a great job considering the limited amount of time they spent in the car here. I’m happy that we’re leaving here leading the points in both the Pro-Am and AM classes and think we’ll be able to get back to winning with those cars at VIR. I proud of the drivers for their efforts in the cars and proud of the crew for their dedication and perseverance through the challenges thrown at them this week.”
The team head to Virginia International Raceway on August 23rd happy to put Road America in their rear-view mirror.
Follow US RaceTronics and their drivers all season at:
www.USRaceTronics.com, and through Twitter www.twitter.com/usracetronics, Facebook www.facebook.com/usracetronics, and Instagram www.instagram.com/usracetronics
Photos Courtesy of Jamey Price