Series Championships Decided in Imola for Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America

Press Release (ePRNews.com) - IMOLA, Italy - Nov 20, 2017 - ​​As the late season, final rounds 11 and 12 for the Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America competitors kicked off this week in Imola, Italy, they were welcomed to the beautiful Italian countryside by unusually cold temperatures and of all things, snow.

Needless to say, the snowfall and inclement weather put a damper on the week’s proceedings and most of the test sessions were ultimately canceled, putting competitors on the defensive as they approached the practice and qualifying sessions with little to no test time Thursday.

But as Friday dawned to showcase two 50-minute feature races merely hours apart for the 14 participating entries, the sun came out and forecast tremendous competition to end what has been a thrilling season thus far with clean racing and extremely tight championship battles.

With the LB Cup and Amateur (Am) Championships already secured leading into this weekend by JC Perez and Yuki Harata respectively, Friday’s races were highlighted by the Pro-Am Championship culminating in a final-round drag race to the checkered flag which saw the duo of Edoardo Piscopo and Taylor Proto in the No. 150 entry for US RaceTronics and Lamborghini Beverly Hills claiming the Championship over their fiercest competitor, Austin Versteeg in the No. 116 entry for Change Racing and Lamborghini Carolinas. A brutal battle all season long, the three drivers have swapped the lead several times, and it was only fitting that it came down to the round of competition.

Earlier Friday morning, Round 11 saw the Pro Championship finalized, with another talented duo taking the overall prize. Trent Hindman and Riccardo Agostini secured two more hard fought Pro category race wins this week in the final two rounds and clinched the title for Prestige Performance and Lamborghini Paramus.

The series now looks forward to the World Finals which will take place Saturday, pitting competitors from all three series, Europe, Asia and North America in a final battle for the ultimate Lamborghini Super Trofeo honors. The finals consist of two 50-minute race features with the Am and LB Cup Classes sharing the track in the first round and the Pro and Pro-Am categories competing in the second. The day will wrap up with the Championship Awards program and a celebration of the 2017 season.

In Round 11 Friday morning, the green flag dropped and it was Edoardo Piscopo that set the tone for the day and took advantage of the hesitant start by front runners Riccardo Agostini and Jeroen Mul by threading through the middle of the two Pro drivers and capturing the lead before the first turn.

Not to be dissuaded by the turn of events, Agostini rebounded quickly in his No. 101 Huracán Super Trofeo entry and recaptured his lead before the start of the second lap. At that point, it was clear sailing for Agostini, but fellow Italian Piscopo, never fell completely out of Agostini’s mirrors and as the pit windows opened, the gap was less than two seconds.

In looking for an advantage, and to escape the clutches of Michele Beretta, it was Mul who entered the pits first in the No. 134 entry for Change Racing and Lamborghini Carolinas. The veteran sportscar driver conducted a flawless stop and headed out ahead of his fellow Pro competitors.

But as Agostini transferred the car over to Hindman, the game was “afoot” and Hindman quickly retook the lead and never looked back, claiming their sixth win of the season and clinching the Pro Championship.

Mul settled for second position on the Pro Podium and was followed by Brandon Gdovic, who ran a smooth and steady race despite a half-second penalty issued for a pit lane infraction, moving around Taylor Proto just before the one and only caution period of the race to take third place.

In Pro-Am competition, it was Austin Versteeg who ensured that the Championship would be pushed into the final round. The young driver in the No. 116 entry for Change Racing and Lamborghini Carolinas made a brilliant pass on Taylor Proto in the renowned Tamburello Chicane with just three minutes remaining to secure the class win and fourth overall.

Proto and co-driver Piscopo were relegated to second place and fifth overall, but well in contention for the championship as Round 12 would prove.

Series newcomer Yuki Harata enjoyed a stellar season of competition in North America, and despite already clinching the championship in September at Laguna Seca, the driver of the No. 155 entry for Dream Racing Motorsport maintained his sixth place starting position throughout the entirety of the race and claimed his sixth victory of the season.

Emmanuel Anassis, in the No. 118 entry for DAC Motorsports, supported by Toro Loco by MTech and Lamborghini Palm Beach has been dogging Harata’s heels all season, and Friday morning’s race was no different. The series veteran took the checkered flag in second place, with Ross Chouest taking third in his No. 103 entry supported by Antonelli Motorsport and Lamborghini Dallas. Chouest had minor contact with a driver in the Asian series which set him back and foreshadowed the rest of his day.

Another series newcomer, Ryan Hardwick in the No. 102 entry for Dream Racing Motorsport and Lamborghini Atlanta claimed his first LB Cup victory of the season finishing in eighth overall and edging out Cameron Cassels who only competed in one other race this season at Laguna Seca, running in the Pro-Am category.

LB Cup Champion JC Perez finished third in category in his No. 178 entry for Antonelli Motorsport and Lamborghini Broward, but he has been pulling dual duty, sharing a car with veteran Corey Lewis in the European series running in the Pro-Am category and finishing as high as second place in category.

As the final race of the day began, it was Jeroen Mul who led the field to the final green flag of the 2017 season.

The young Dutch driver held the lead for an impressive length of time before his mirrors filled up with the black and blue No. 101 with Hindman behind the wheel. Despite having already clinched the Pro category champion, Hindman stayed on the gas and quickly maneuvered himself back into the lead, to ultimately take the Round 12 victory and giving him a double-race sweep.

The rest of the Pro podium mirrored Round 11, with Mul finishing in second and Gdovic taking third-place honors. Michele Beretta, running in the No. 110 entry he shared with sportscar racing veteran Katherine Legge took fourth place overall in their Prestige Performance entry for Lamborghini Paramus.

But it was the Pro-Am category that was shaken down, as the championship came right down to a drag race to the finish between Versteeg and the duo of Proto and Piscopo. In a nail-biting performance, Piscopo managed to hold off the hard charging Versteeg for the last eight minutes of the race to take the class win and ultimately, the championship. It is Proto’s first season of competition in North America and his first category Championship.

Following in Hindman and Agostini’s footsteps, Harata swept the Am competition, taking his seventh and final victory of the season. As per usual, he was joined on the podium by Anassis and Chouest once again in second and third respectively. Chouest had some trouble early in the race and was forced to pit, pushing him four laps down.

In LB Cup, the top two steps were also a repeat of Round 11 with Hardwick securing his second victory and race sweep, with Cassels following in his footsteps to secure second place.

Shaking it up however, was series newcomer Sheena Monk in the No. 111 entry for Prestige Performance and Lamborghini Paramus. In her first race with the North American season, the self-professed gear head had an issue in Round 11, taking her out of contention, but rebounded to take her first series podium finish in third place, ending her season as a potential preview for what is to come in 2018.

LB Cup Champion Perez locked up the brakes early in the race in a pass on Hardwick, which forced him off-track and into early retirement from the race.

The Huracán LP 620-2 Super Trofeo adopts the V10 direct injection engine mounted on the road car, managed by a MoTeC control unit that delivers a maximum output of 620 horsepower. The frame is a hybrid carbon/aluminum construction with modified geometries to house an improved radiator up front and better accommodate the racing gearbox at the rear, which also provides better aerodynamics.

Lamborghini and its dealers entertain VIP guests at every Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America event in the Lamborghini Village, which features lavish hospitality and amenities.

For more information on Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America, visit squadracorse.lamborghini.com, follow @LamborghiniSC on Twitter and Instagram and like the Lamborghini Squadra Corse Facebook and YouTube pages.

Race 1 Post-Race Quotes:

AUSTIN VERSTEEG (No. 116 Change Racing, winner, first ProAm):

“The race was crazy. Everyone was very aggressive on the first few laps of the race; just had to keep the nose clean and pick my way through traffic. We had a little bit of a rough go in qualifying, but we always have really good race pace, and that’s been shown throughout the year. Once I got past a few of the guys, it was just trying to close the gap between [Edoardo] Piscopo and [Taylor] Proto and we did that. Luckily enough, we then had a yellow that helped us even more and I was able to make the move with three laps left to get ahead and win the class, and more importantly, take control of the championship headed into the final race. We have one more to do, but it was awesome having to manage tires because this track’s quite harsh over the curves with the tires and the heavy full load. But yeah, very happy and can’t thank Change Racing enough along with DXDT. They’re the ones that helped me get to this point all the way to the U.S. Championship, and I hope to have the same result in race two and end up being the champion.”

TRENT HINDMAN (No. 101 Prestige Performance, winner, first Pro):

“I’m getting more and more comfortable I feel with the track every lap. It’s a scenario where, unfortunately with the weather, there wasn’t too many laps to be had earlier on this week, so for me, every lap is a learning process and hopefully we’re improving. Ricky had a great qualifying effort and a really great first stint. A pretty big gap opened up, and we had a killer pit stop. The Prestige Performance guys and Wayne Taylor Racing timed it beautifully. They gave us a great car. We came out of pit lane and were able to expand the gap by a little bit, but then we had the safety car. At that point, I was starting to get a little bit anxious because I knew we had some tough competition behind us and I’m not fully comfortable with the track yet. For me, it was a scenario where it was do-or-die for the most part. Just had to go out and push and see what happened. Fortunately, it all worked out. Little bit of wheel spin on the restart to get the nerves going, so that was great. But no, for the most part, we had a really good end of stint speed, which was awesome. We were fortunate to be able to finish the mandatory 70 percent of the race and lock up the drivers, teams and dealerships championship for Prestige Performance, Wayne Taylor Racing and Lamborghini Paramus, so really cool there. Pressure is off a little bit now, so we can relax, but we still need to focus fully on how we’re going to improve ourselves and the car for the World Final.”

RICCARDO AGOSTINI (No. 101 Prestige Performance, winner, first Pro):

“Honestly, we’ll try to give our best as always. Today’s race was really good, especially first stint and during second stint, we had a really good pace. We’ll see what will happen this afternoon. We’re trying to work on the car to have a good performance in the World Final. So yeah, we’ll see. We’ll try to do our best.”

YUKI HARATA (No. 155 Dream Racing Motorsport, winner, first Am):

“I’m super happy. I was trying to follow the Pro group and trying to make a gap to the second group, and the pace was really good. I’m trying not to push too much before the championship, and I think I’m good for the championship and the second race. I’m trying to push to be ready for the World Final.”

RYAN HARDWICK (No. 102 Dream Racing Motorsport, winner, first LB Cup):

“It was a great race. The start was a little tough for me. Everyone bunched up and I was lucky to get through there alive. I fell back in class at the start, but I kept consistent pace and we were there in the end. I was able to make some passes late in the race and brought it home first in class, and I’m really proud of seventh overall for the USA grid.”

[Tell us about race strategy for race two and onto the World Finals for the rest of the weekend.]

“Yeah, race two we’re viewing as preparation for the World Finals. We’re here for the World Finals. Unfortunately, I’m out of the running for the U.S. Championship in my class, but I’m focused on doing my best for the world championship. We’re going to continue to work on our car setup, which is pretty good right now, and we’re focused on winning the B Cup Class for the World Finals.”

Race 2 Post-Race Quotes:

TRENT HINDMAN (No. 101 Prestige Performance, winner, first Pro):

“Really good preparation for the World Finals, but race number one we had the pressure on.We had the dealership championship on the line for Lamborghini Paramus, and the Team Championship on the line for Prestige [Performance] and Wayne Taylor Racing, so once we got past 70 percent of race one, we were able to relax a little bit, but I mean obviously you don’t show up to one of these races to cruise around and not push for a win, so specifically for race 2, I really wanted to get the lead at the start, but Jeroen [Mul] had a good reaction time as well. I thought I would be able to jump him there because you know Americans and drag racing and that sort of stuff but it was good, we had a good scrap with him. I just knew that once we started catching traffic, I started picking the points where he was having some trouble and where I could stay right with him. I followed him through on a couple passes and fortunately it worked. I would like to think that we forced him into a little bit of an error just putting him under pressure, but I know he is too good of a driver for that, so I think maybe we just timed it right, but either way, incredible run by Riccardo [Agostini] setting quick laps at the end. Really good race overall. I think we have a good platform to work off and I think we were in good shape.”

EDOARDO PISCOPO (No. 150 US RaceTronics, winner, first Pro-Am):

“I think honestly Taylor [Proto] drove his best race of the season. His move on [Austin] Versteeg was what really made us win the Championship. I’m really proud him. This year we had some highs and lows which is typical in motorsport. We started and seemed very strong in COTA, we had some bad luck in the middle of the season and now we are back strong. This is my fourth season in Super Trofeo, I am kind of the veteran in this series, but I’ve enjoyed it this year in my new role as Pro-Am, driver coaching Taylor. I think we really have a good shot tomorrow to maybe bring home the world title too.”

TAYLOR PROTO (No. 150 US RaceTronics, winner, first Pro-Am):

“I couldn’t have asked for a better debut season. I had an outstanding co-driver who taught me everything he knew and I still got a little bit to go, but I am so appreciative for everything he’s been able to do for me this season from consistent results to be an outstanding teacher. Really crafting my driving style. Competition was stiff as it could have been, down to the last race in the championship. I couldn’t have asked for a better way to push myself and all credit to Austin [Versteeg], he’s an outstanding driver and he races completely fair. I am just extremely happy. I’m glad I chose to do this. I’m glad I actually have a path now.”

RICCARDO AGOSTINI (No. 101 Prestige Performance, winner, first Pro):

“I’m feeling really great. We have really good pace. Me and Trent [Hindman] are very quick, so let’s hope for the best tomorrow and we will see what happens.”

YUKI HARATA (No. 155 Dream Racing Motorsport, winner, first Am):

“It feels amazing and I am happy I became a North American Champion. It was amazing first of the year for me. It was a lot of fun and I am almost ready to go to be a World Champion too.”

All media inquiries please contact the Squadra Corse Press Office: 

Lorenzo Facchinetti

M. +39 348 8629861

extern.lorenzo.facchinetti@lamborghini.com

Source : Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America
Business Info :
LST Marketing

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