Monrovia, California (Friday, August 28, 2020) – US RaceTronics had a great start to the race weekend at Virginia International Raceway with both the No. 6 Lamborghini of Beverly Hills and the No. 24 Lamborghini of Westlake qualifying on pole for both races.
Steven Aghakhani had a great start from the overall pole and quickly created a substantial gap over the rest of the field. The 17-year-old American drove a flawless stint before handing the car over to teammate Jacob Eidson during another great pit stop for the team. Eidson continued pushing the No. 6 Lamborghini of Beverly Hills, crossing the finish line for the win with a 3.817 second gap over the second-place finisher. The win moved the pair into the championship points lead.
“Race 1 at VIR went better than expected,” Aghakhani said after Saturday’s race. “Got pole in qualifying and kept it there for the race, had a really good race start, keeping tires nice and clean for Jacob. I wanted to give him as much tire life as possible so he could keep it clean till the end of his stint. Engineers, mechanics, everyone did and amazing job, Jacob did an amazing job driving his end of the car. All in all, it was so amazing, the #6 car is performing flawlessly and we are excited to come back and do it again tomorrow.”
“Awesome start to the weekend.” Eidson added. “Getting a win is obviously what we wanted, especially coming from Road America. We had two solid results there, so we really wanted to do the same thing here. I gotta thank US RaceTronics, Shane, Armik, SADA, everyone that supported this program and I’m really excited to get another win. Tomorrow we are going to keep our heads down and do the same thing.”
Leo Lamelas started from the ProAm pole and P2 on the grid in the No. 24 Lamborghini of Westlake. The young Brazilian’s great qualifying and great pace throughout the race were enough to earn him his first win of the young season and a fifth-place overall finish. Lamelas raced again without co-driver Ron Atapattu who is still recovering from a recent back surgery related to a crash in Barcelona several years ago and exacerbated by his current fitness and running regimens.
“I’m very happy for the win today,” Lamelas said. “We were able to get both poles and the team is doing a perfect job, thanks to Shane and everybody on the crew. It was good points for the championship today, so I hope we can win again tomorrow to put us in a good position to win the championship.”
‘Of course, I’m disappointed in not driving this race,” stated Atapattu, “But I expect to be back in the seat in a short period of time. In the meantime, I’m very proud of Leo and happy to share the #24 Wild elephant™ Lamborghini with him this season. Just like last year’s series with co-driver Patrick Liddy, I believe that Leo brings a complimentary set of skills to the team that will help propel us to a strong finish in every race.”
Team owner Shane Seneviratne was happy with his team’s qualifying and Race 1 results.
“I’m very pleased with the results and proud of the team’s hard work and accomplishments. We worked pretty hard over the last couple of weeks to get these results. Steven and Jacob both continue to prove their talent and skill as drivers and Leo showed everyone today that he’s got what it takes to be successful in this sport as well. Everyone put in their best efforts today and did what it took to get the wins. I couldn’t be happier.”
Race 2 on Sunday however didn’t go as planned. Jacob Eidson started again from the overall position, but was hit from behind on turn 1 in the opening lap and spun off track. Eidson was able to get the No. 6 Lamborghini of Beverly Hills back on track, but had dropped to the back of the field. The talented young American was undeterred and pushed his Huracan Evo past multiple competitors before bringing the car in early in the pit window. Unfortunately, the valve stem on the right rear was broken and leaking air, which necessitated a tire change, costing the team extra time over the mandatory minimum. Aghakhani took over P5 in class and P9 overall, but was able to make a couple of great passes on track to finish fourth in class and seventh overall.
“In racing there’s always the A factor and the B factor,” Eidson said after Sunday’s race. “The A factor is what you can control and the B factor is what you can’t. Unfortunately, in Race#2 the B factor got the better of us. We got spun around in turn 1 on the start, and fell to the back of the grid and also had a small tire puncture. When we came into the pit we had to replace the tire, which ended up costing us more time. US RaceTronics always does a good job, even when our backs are against the wall, so hopefully we can bounce back from this and get a better result in Road Atlanta.”
“Got the car on pole for qualifying #2, Jacob did an excellent job,” Aghakhani added. “Start of the race Jacob got a monster start. He blasts away from the field, and was going into the first turn and had a little incident including our teammate. Nothing to worry about, but he had a little trouble getting the car fired up, it wouldn’t start at the back of the pack and just losing time after time. But again, we can’t look down on it so Jacob got back on track, just kept pushing, brought the car back from I think P17 up until about P6, and passed the car over to me. We saw we had a tire going down, but had to wait for the 60 second pit stop to end before we could start working on the car. There was a rear right tire we changed out really quick and I just went out there and did what I could. I was able to get the car from 5th in class back to 4th in class and was able to score a couple points for the team itself and hopefully this doesn’t happen next time. Of course, we are going to be more prepared and we are going to the next race at Road Atlanta and hopefully should be good.”
After a great qualifying for Race 2, Leo Lamelas started Sunday’s race once again on pole in ProAm and third on the overall grid. Lamelas was making a move on the second-place car going into turn 1, but got a bit too far into the corner and hit the right rear of the No. 6 car. While Eidson was able to continue, unfortunately the No. 24 Lamborghini of Westlake suffered a broken toe link and was out of the race. Despite the disappointment, team owner Shane Seneviratne was still proud of everyone’s efforts for the race weekend.
“Well overall it was a great weekend. We got four pole positions, we had the pace, and executed Race 1 really well. Both cars ran strong, finished first overall and first is class. “The second race didn’t go according to plan,” Seneviratne said. “We just had a little miss judgement on our breaking point and we came together, so that compromised both of our finishing positions. Unfortunately, Leo couldn’t continue and finish the race. Jacob and Steven were able to rejoin in the back of the field. We had to change their tire in the pit stop and lost another 30 seconds or so, but both drivers drove really strong. I think we set the second fastest time in the race with a bent wishbone and a compromised car, so hats off to them. If we didn’t have that incident, we could have easily finished both classes in first position, but that’s racing. We move forward. Everybody on the team handled the situation quite well, I’m proud of that. We learned our lesson, so we’re going to move forward and try to start where we left off from the first race and try to finish strong in both races at Road Atlanta.”
The team will next be on track at Road Atlanta September 4th through 6th.