Birmingham, Alabama (Saturday, April 6, 2019) – ProAm drivers Jacob Eidson and Damon Ockey drove a strong race today to bring the No. 09 Lamborghini of Vancouver Huracan Evo home first in their class. Eidson started second overall and kept the car clean through an interesting first lap of the season opener. Eidson and USRT’s Pro driver Patrick Liddy worked extremely well together, swapping positions a couple of times early on. Eidson moved back into second-place after the No. 29 served a drive-through penalty and made a pass for the lead on lap 15. Eidson was in the overall lead when he handed the car off to Ockey late in the pitstop window. With the tires wearing down, Ockey was unable to hold off a group of Pro drivers, but continued to race hard crossing the finish-line fourth overall and first in class.
Pro drivers Patrick Liddy and Bryce Miller where poised to finish just behind Ockey, but lost a spot due to contact on the last corner of the last lap. Liddy drove a great first stint and was running second in class when he handed the car off to Miller. Unfortunately, Miller lost a couple of positions in the extremely competitive Pro class as he was getting up to speed coming out of the pits. Even with the contact, Miller was able to bring the No. 34 Lamborghini of Beverly Hills car home in sixth-place overall.
Ron Atapattu returned to Lamborghini racing today in the No. 24 Elephantea Lamborghini of La Jolla. The veteran driver looked poised for a strong finish in LB Cup, but lost the opportunity for a podium finish with a drive-through penalty in the second-half of the race. Atapattu is confident that he’ll better his result in tomorrow’s race.
Team owner Shane Seneviratne was pleased with how well all of the USRT drivers did today. He was happy with the overall results despite a couple of setbacks and is looking forward to tomorrow’s action. Race 2 from Barber Motorsports Park goes green tomorrow, Sunday, April 7, 2019 at 12:55 p.m. CDT.
Driver / Owner quotes:
Jacob Eidson – “Really crazy start. I’m really happy to have gotten through it in one piece. I think at one point we were three-wide, so I wasn’t able to get the best track position going into turn 2 and we fell back a little bit. And then there was a little bit more craziness in turn 5, so we were able to make up a position. After that I was battling with one of the PPM cars and had Patrick (Liddy) behind me, so I was trying to manage being in the middle of that sandwich. Patrick got around me and then I was able to get back around him and then after that it was a matter of maintaining the car and the tires. The rear tires were falling off really quick toward the end of my stint. I handed the car off to Damon and he did a stellar job of finishing strong. He had a lot of pressure… he had to race with a lot of the Pro guys. You could see that it was a stressful race for him, but he did an awesome job and didn’t put a foot wrong. I’m really happy with the result.”
Damon Ockey – “The race went really well today,” Ockey said. “Jacob did a great job at the start of the race. He was able to get into the lead and put down some really fast laps while he was out front. He brought the car into me in first-place, which was great. The tires were a little bit worn, but that was to be expected on a track like this. I was able to hold off some of the Pro drivers for a bit, but eventually they got around me, so we ended up P4 overall, first in class. It was a pretty good start to the season. I’m happy with today’s results and am looking forward to the race tomorrow.”
Patrick Liddy – “We had a really fast car and a great team. Jacob and I worked really well together navigating traffic and working together on the best strategy for the both of us. I think we put in the best stint we could possibly do. We were really fast in the race. I think we nailed down the second fastest lap of the day and had consistent laps after that. Unfortunately, we had some contact when Bryce was in the car on the last lap and lost some positions. But it was a good start to the season.”
Bryce Miller – “I’m glad to have the first race of the year under our belts for sure. It didn’t unfortunately end the way we would have liked it to. I was having a pretty decent stint, still getting up to speed, but running consistent laps at least. Unfortunately, on the last corner of the last lap I had some contact with another car. We were running side-by-side and I left all the racing room I could in the previous corner, but then the other car turned down on in that final corner of the final lap. I’m disappointed to have lost a spot there. We bruised the car, but we’ll get it fixed and be ready for tomorrow.”
Ron Atapattu – “It was like a stampeding herd of elephants running in the wild. It’s a great feeling to be back with Lamborghini. I’m enjoying all the racing and think that without the drive-through we could have had a podium. I’m looking forward to getting back out on the track tomorrow to see if we can bring the Elephantea car home with our first podium finish of the season.”
Shane Seneviratne – “Not a bad first race. It was a good start to the season. Our ProAm car finished first in class and fourth overall. Jacob and Damon did a great job. Jacob was able to get us into the lead with a nice pass and handed the car over to Damon with the overall lead. I’m proud of how well Jacob and all our drivers drove. Damon held the lead for a while before the Pro guys came up on him. At that point we were just managing risk with the goal of securing first-place in ProAm; that was our strategy. Bryce and Patrick had a decent race as well. Patrick was pretty quick at the beginning and we worked as a team letting the quicker car go ahead. When Jacob started getting a little bit quicker, we thought it would be better for him to challenge for the lead we managed that as a team and I’m proud of them for working together. Towards the end of the race it was unfortunate that Bryce and Lind got together. We have a little bit of damage to fix for tomorrow, but we’ll make sure the car is good to go and try to have another strong race. I’m really proud of Ron. He finished his first Super Trofeo race after a long absence. He hasn’t been in a race car for awhile and he did great. He was getting up to speed slowly, but unfortunately, we had a drive-through penalty that set us back. It not for that I think he would have finished stronger. We still have one more race tomorrow and I’m looking forward to having a strong finish to our good weekend so far at Barber.”
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