Jerez, Spain (Friday, October 25, 2019) – US RaceTronics wrapped the 2019 Lamborghini Super Trofeo North American season with all three cars on podium in both races today at Circuito de Jerez. Damon Ockey and Jacob Eidson won both Pro-Am races, while rookie Steven Aghakhani captured the top-step for both Am races. Aghakhani gained maximum points this weekend starting from the pole-position in both races, but still came up one point short of McKay Snow in the Am championship. Ron Atapattu and Patrick Liddy were on track for two second-place finishes, but had a tire blowout in the first race of the day dropping them to third-place. They came back strong and finished second in Race 2, securing third-place in the North American Pro-Am championship.
Jacob Eidson started race one from the overall pole-position in the No. 109 Lamborghini of Vancouver and led the race for his entire stint. Damon Ockey came out of the pits in first-place, but was unable to hold off a few the Pro drivers who had a slightly faster pace than he did. Ockey ultimately finished fifth in the US overall and P1 in Pro-Am.
Unable to get a gap in yesterday’s second qualifying session, Ockey started Race 2 from 11th overall and third in Pro-Am. He maintained a good pace while keeping the car in good shape for Eidson who drove the second stint. After taking the wheel Eidson quickly moved the car through the field, passing William Hubbell to take control of second-place in class just a few laps into his stint. He later made the pass on teammate Ron Atapattu to take over first-place and was battling for fourth-place overall when the checkered-flag dropped. Today’s wins were numbers 10 and 11 on the season for Ockey and Eidson. The Pro-Am duo won all but one race in this season’s Pro-Am championship campaign. Congratulations to Damon Ockey and Jacob Eidson on a great season!
Steven Aghakhani has had an amazing weekend thus far in Jerez as well. The 16-year-old Southern California native won the pole-position for both Am races yesterday and won both Am races today in the No. 106 Lamborghini of Beverly Hills. Aghakhani also started and finished both races in sixth-place overall showcasing his skills here in Spain.
Aghakhani maximized the points he could earn in the final round of the North American championship and had hopes of capturing the Am title in his rookie season. Having missed the season-opener at Barber, the youngster started his season with a 32-point deficit, but has been impressive all season, slowly closing the gap on McKay Snow. But, as impressive as Aghakhani’s weekend has been, Snow was able to hold him off, winning the Am championship by one point. Aghakhani is happy to have come so close considering his circumstances and is looking to prove himself even more in this weekend’s World Finals. US RaceTronics is extremely proud of their young driver and his amazing performance in his rookie season.
Ron Atapattu started Race 1 in the No. 124 Elephantea Lamborghini of La Jolla. He was running strong in second-place in Pro-Am for the majority of his stint. He dropped to third two laps before the pit-window opened, but was able to keep close enough that Liddy was easily able to move back into second-place coming out of the pits. Unfortunately, just a few laps into his stint, Liddy began experiencing a vibration as the right rear tire started going down. Moments later the tire blew, but Liddy was able to nurse the car back to the pit for a new tire. Quick work by the crew allowed him to rejoin the race and bring the car home P3 in Pro-Am.
Liddy started Race 2 in second-place overall and stayed there his entire stint. He stayed out late into the pit-window, giving him the overall lead prior to handing the car over to Atapattu who drove a strong second-half of the race. Atapattu was able to hold off several cars to finish ninth overall and P2 in Pro-Am. The pair’s strong showing this weekend moved them up to third-place in the North American Pro-Am Championship. Like Aghakhani, Atapattu and Liddy had to overcome a huge deficit to finish in the top-three in their class. Atapattu started the season in LB Cup, while Liddy started in the Pro class with co-driver D. Bryce Miller. Atapattu and Liddy joined forces and moved to Pro-Am starting with Race 2 at Road America, which was the sixth race of the season. Both drivers have done a great job all season and the team is tremendously proud of them as well.
The team now prepares for the World Finals which start with qualifying tomorrow morning and Race 1 tomorrow afternoon. After the success of their North American season finale, the team is hopeful that their momentum from today will carry them to the podium tomorrow and Sunday. Live timing for all sessions at Jerez can be found at: lamborghiniWFresultsemail@example.com.
RACE 1 QUOTES:
Damon Ockey – “Great race today! The car setup from US RaceTronics was perfect; really well balanced. Jake started the first half of the race from P1 and stayed out in front until he came into the pits. I was able to do a few laps in front, but unfortunately the Pro guys are a little bit quicker than me and were able to get around me. I think we ended up P5 overall, which is pretty good… respectable. We won our class (Pro-Am) which is good. Looking to repeat that in this afternoon’s race.”
Jacob Eidson – “Good race; great start! It was a little bit of a quagmire there at the beginning with the Asians. They had some issues on their start, so I wasn’t quite sure what to do for our start but, we got a clean restart. I held onto P1 until I pitted and Damon did a great job to finish P1 in Pro-Am. Really clean race and I think it was a great way to start going into the World Finals.”
Steven Aghakhani – “First race out of the weekend… first place finish! The car felt amazing! We’re going to get right back to it for the next race later today. We did what we could. Obviously, not being able to race at Barber for the first race of the season threw us back in points so we weren’t able to snag a championship victory. We’re going to put that behind us and try to podium and finish first for every single race this weekend. Super pumped and excited for it. Really happy to be out here.”
Patrick Liddy – “We had a really good start to the race and kept putting down good lap times. Unfortunately, there was a bunch of mayhem at the start and Ron got hit in the right rear. We weren’t aware of the problem until after our pit stop, so we had a couple of laps going and there was a vibration in the tire that just kept getting worse and worse before it popped. Luckily, we were able to keep it on the track and get back to the pits. We put a new tire on and finished the race third in class (Pro-Am). It’s the best we could do in a bad situation. Looking forward to the race this afternoon.”
Ron Atapattu – “”There was quite a lot of activity in the beginning of the race because we had an extended yellow, so there was some confusion at the back of the grid as to where everyone’s car position should be, so no one got a penalty for jumping the grid. We had an extra two laps of yellow at the start. I think there was oil on the track and they had to clear that up. The start was a bit crazy because it was unclear where to be, where to start. I just started racing when I heard on the radio ‘green, green, green’. After that things settled down but there were a lot of cars on the track, so you always needed to watch the mirrors. I got hit in the back by a car going into Turn 2. That upset my car and gave me a vibration in the back, which later turn into a flat. It was challenging but I’m glad we finished P3 and we look forward to the next race.”
Shane Seneviratne – “Well, one down… three to go! Good race. Good start. We had a good qualifying session yesterday that led to a good race. Jacob and Damon did a great job bringing home another first-place. Unfortunately, Ron and Patrick had a little issue with a tire blowing out. I think it was from contact that another car had with Ron early in the race. It led to a flat tire and eventually the tire coming apart. But they were still able to come in and the guys did a great job changing the tire out and we were able to get back out and finish third in their class (Pro-Am). Steven Aghankhani… what an amazing year he’s had so far! He came into the series 32 points behind and has been clawing away at the (Am) championship. We couldn’t have done any better. We maximized our points with a pole and a first-place finish, so that all we can do. We’ll keep doing it for the next race and then we have an opportunity to try and compete for the World Championship. Looking forward to that race. We’ve got three more races to go. Watch us on TV with the live stream. All the best to the team for the next three races.”
RACE 2 QUOTES:
Steven Aghakhani – “We just finished the second and final race of the North American season here at Jerez and it was quite amazing. We took first-place again and kept the car clean the entire time except for a little contact again on the start. But again, the car felt perfectly fine, so we put it behind our head. I held off some of the Pro drivers that were coming up behind us, but I had my eyes forward and didn’t worry about them. We did what we had to do and I’m happy to bring the car home in one piece. Now we’re excited for the World Finals.”
Jacob Eidson – “Great race! It was pretty exciting there toward the end trying to get around the P4 car, but at the same time I didn’t want to lose anything. Just wanted to have a nice clean race. Damon did a great job. The team did a great job. I’m excited for World Finals and hopefully we can get another class(Pro-Am) win.”
Damon Ockey – “It was a great race to round out the North American series. Ended up P1 and that was awesome. I started the race and kept my position and then Jake got in the car and put down the hammer and made up some positions. We ended up P5 overall. There was a little bit of drama in front of us with cars going off and some crashing, but overall, I think we did really good in the race. I’m pretty happy.”
Ron Atapattu – “The afternoon Race 2 was a little less complicated than the first race. I think everyone got the hang of racing here at Jerez with all these cars at the same time. It was hot, the track was slippery, and it took a little bit more effort to drive this afternoon, but we did fine. We finished ninth overall and second in class (Pro-Am), so I’m happy that we conclude the season without any major wrecks or damage to the car and in one piece. We finished third in the championship, so it’s a nice way to end the North American Lamborghini series 2019 season.”
Patrick Liddy – “We had a great race! It was awesome from the start! I had a bit of trouble keeping up with Cedric (Sbirrazzuoli) from Dream Racing, but we kept it P2 overall the entire time and brought it in from P1 overall. We finished P2 in Pro-Am, which was a great way to wrap up the North American championship. I’m very happy with today and the whole week so far. Looking forward to World Finals.”
Shane Seneviratne – “What an amazing year for the North American championship! Steven missed the championship by one point, which is quite a remarkable comeback from a 32-point deficiency. IMSA was a little reluctant to give him a license; he had to go through a pretty thorough evaluation process, but I’m pretty sure everyone looks back and absolutely knows that we made the right decision. He should be used as an example for what young kids could do in this series. Amazing job by all the drivers on the team. We have such a great family atmosphere here with Ron, Patrick, Jacob, Damon, and the Aghakhani family. Its been a very good year for us. Looking forward to competing in the World Finals. I think we have a chance to be competitive. Let’s see what we can bring home. We’re going to try and collect a few more trophies before we leave Spain.”