Carter Gets the Win
The second successful race weekend for the North American Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo series has been greeted by US race fans and the home race community with huge enthusiasm and support as it embraced roval racing as part of this weekend's GRAND-AM meeting.
After the spectacle yesterday's night race, little more excitement could reasonably be expected from the weekend's second race, but in the event, today's race delivered more action, more overtaking, more strategy and an oscillating leaderboard that kept the Kansas Speedway audience guessing until the final lap.
The action started from the gun, with James Sofronas snatching the lead from third position, with other notable starts from Lamborghini Gold Coast GMG Racing's Ryan Eversley catapulting from the back of the grid into the top four on the opening lap.
With electrical problems, Kevin Conway was dropping backwards through the field, seemingly unlikely to repeat his winning performance of the day previous, while one of yeserday's casualties, Lawson Aschenson, was heading in the other direction, looking to snatch the lead from Sofronas. The momentum of the race was temporarily interrupted with a Safety Car at 9 minutes into the race.
The pit window opened on lap 14, but as the early stoppers headed to pit road for tire changes and in some cases, driver changes, a accident for the #1 car of Lee Carpentier close to the pit lane entry sent the Pace Car out again. Lee was subsequently given the all-clear after a precautionary check in the medical centre.
Back on track, Lawson Aschenson again was unfortunate to have passed the pit lane entry just after the Pace Car intervention. Like yesterday, this would cost him first place, and Al Carter, who had been tracking in second, took on the race lead. But the Palm Beach Lamborghini man had a fight on his hands as Kevin Conway, refreshed after a re-boot to the electrical systems of his car during his pitstop, was pushing hard and dropped low on the track at the re-start and punched his way from fourth into second place to complete an amazing recovery from the back of the field.
Another man on the move was Aschenson, who had dropped to 8th after the stops, but was busy setting fastest times to the crowd's delight, and on lap 26, he broke into the 1 minute 14s, the only driver to achieve this during the race.
Meantime, still more action was to unfold before the flag. Conway continued his recovery and eventually took the lead of the race, but on lap 26, a mistake gave Carter the opportunity to get by - an advantage he held to the flag. Jason Clunie closed out the podium in an impressive third and first amateur home.
The Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo North American series heads to Canada for round three, to be held at Calabogie Motorsports Park in Ottawa on the 7th & 8th of September as part of the IMSA meeting.
P1 Al Carter #80, Lamborghini Palm Beach Mitchum Motorsports
"It's my first win with me behind the wheel, so it's a pretty big deal. I'm a little worn out, but very happy! I tell you what, these Lamborghinis hustle round the track, these cars and that track are a fun deal. Lots happened in the race, but my main focus was on Kevin who ran me hard, but we got there in the end. Thanks to Chris Mitchum for getting me in the car, thanks to Lamborghini Palm Beach, to Pirelli and everyone at Kansas."
P2 Kevin Conway #29, Change Racing Lamborghini Carolinas
"I lost some time with an ECU problem, but we re-set it in the stops and the car came back to life. It was a fight to get back into the lead, but I messed up one corner and gave it to Al, but he did a good job and he deserves all our congratulations. After winning yesterday, second feels like a disappointment, but we climbed back into the race from the back, so we'll take that. It's been a solid weekend for Change Racing and Lamborghini Carolinas, all the guys on the team worked really hard and we'll be back for the wins in Calabogie."
P3 & first amateur, Jason Clunie #93, Lamborghini Dallas Exclusive Auto Sports/I-MOTO
"We profited from a little more time with car in this race, the balance came in and the car was so good, I think it could have driven itself! For the first stint I took it steady, taking care of the tyres in particular, but as the race progressed, the car just got quicker and quicker. It's been a fantastic weekend, great competitors, nice clean racing and the car has been a joy to drive. I have to thank the crew at Exclusive Autosport/I-MOTO who did a great job and I also have to say thanks to Exclusive Management."