Corey Lewis and PRN Ignition’s very own Aaron Povoledo earned their first victory of the Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo North America season, winning Round 9 Saturday, Aug. 23 at Virginia International Raceway.
Povoledo and Lewis ran away with the race in their No. 76 Gallardo LP 570-4 Super Trofeo representing Lamborghini Boston and fielded by Musante Motorsport with a victory of 15.055 seconds over championship leader Kevin Conway in the No. 29 Change Racing entry representing Lamborghini Carolinas.
Conway’s Change Racing teammate, Victor Gonzalez, rounded out the top three in the No. 99 Lamborghini Carolinas entry on the 17-turn, 3.27-mile circuit.
“It’s rare you get to control from the front that well,” Povoledo said. “It’s a testimony of the hard work the Musante/Courtney team put into it. We were quick all weekend but only by a fraction of a second. I think we found some mechanical advantages in the setup and that allowed us to have the race we wanted to and dictate it from the front, which is really a special feeling when you work so hard to get to that point.”
Dillon Machavern finished fourth in the No. 07 Lamborghini Gallardo and first in the Amateur division. Machavern took first in the Amateur standings.
Musante Motorsports teammates Joe Courtney and Peter Argetsinger finished second in the Amateur class in the No. 77 Lamborghini Boston, followed by Kevin O’Connell in the No. 9 Lamborghini Houston fielded by Rick Ware Racing.
Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo Europe driver Jake Rattenbury finished 12th in the No. 1 entry fielded by Jota Corse Racing and representing Lamborghini Dallas after qualifying second in his first race in the North America series. Rattenbury, from Cardiff, Wales, qualified second and was running in the top three for the first half of the 50-minute race. His car slowed on the final lap of the race, dropping him down the order.
Lewis and Povoledo led from wire to wire after Povoledo qualified the team on the pole. Lewis, first in the car, built a 15-second lead before a caution bunched the field. The Musante team took the yellow flag opportunity to make the driver switch.
“I just got into a solid pace and tried to conserve the tires as much as possible for Aaron,” Lewis said. “After the yellow, I knew we had the car to break back away, but I also knew we were in the pit window to get Aaron in the car. So as soon as it came out, I dove right in, and it couldn’t have been more perfect timing.”
Conway is on the brink of his second consecutive season championship. He leads second place John Farano – who is not competing this weekend – by 42 points and third-place Gonzalez by 45. Conway must lead after Round 10 Sunday by 31 points or more to seal the championship.
The weekend at VIR continues a busy stretch of action worldwide for the Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo championship, which continues to reach new levels of success at every round in Europe, North America and Asia.
The Asian Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo championship resumes Aug. 30-31 at Fuji Speedway in Oyama, Japan. The Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo Europe last competed July 25-26 at Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, with the next event Sept. 19-21 at Nurburg, Germany.
ROUND 9 POST-RACE QUOTES:
AARON POVOLEDO (No. 76 Lamborghini Boston, Winner): “The stint was a joy to drive. I got to push hard for the first couple of laps to build up a gap, and then it was just a matter of taking care of the car as much as possible. It’s rare you get to control from the front that well. It’s a testimony of the hard work the Musante/Courtney team put in to it and a testimony to working and working and improving the car. We were quick all weekend but only by a fraction of a second. I think we found some mechanical advantages in the setup and that allowed us to have the race we wanted to and dictate it from the front, which is really a special feeling when you work so hard to get to that point.”
COREY LEWIS (No. 76 Lamborghini Boston, winner): “The start of the race was great. I just got into a solid pace and tried to conserve the tires as much as possible for Aaron (Povoledo). The car was just absolutely amazing. Musante and Joe Courtney Racing were absolutely on point all weekend long. We have to apologize for all the setup changes we made, but it was definitely worth it. I knew we had the car to break back away, but I also knew we were in the pit window to get Aaron in the car. So as soon as it came out, I dove right in, and it couldn’t have been more perfect timing.”
KEVIN CONWAY (No. 29 Lamborghini Carolinas, second): “All in all, it was a good race for us. Had a good start, got in second position and pretty much rode there. We didn’t have anything for Aaron (Povoledo) and Corey (Lewis) at all. They had a really, really fast car. We did what we had to do to try to gain as many points as possible to try to lock up the Drivers’ Championship and add to our lead in the Team Championship. My teammate, Victor Gonzalez, did a great job. For Change Racing to come out second and third, we’re excited. We’ll take it. I’m very happy for Eddie Littlefield at Lamborghini Carolinas and Robby Benton, everybody who makes this happen.” (Any chance of catching Aaron Povoledo on the restart after the caution?): “No. I think they had a new Huracán engine in that thing, or something.”
VICTOR GONZALEZ (No. 99 Lamborghini Carolinas, third): “It was a hot race. The humidity was pretty high. It was tough competition. At the beginning, I had a bad start, and I fall all the way to fifth, so I had to fight my way back. I knew we had a good car. The guys did an awesome job. Robby Benton and Eddie Littlefield, I’m happy for Kevin Conway to put a lock on the championship. I’m pretty happy. Thanks to everybody on the Lamborghini crew, Super Trofeo. Great to be here in Virginia, and tomorrow is another day.”
DILLON MACHAVERN (No. 07 Lamborghini, first Amateur): “It was a pretty good race. We had a poor qualifying so we had to start pretty far back, but we were consistently working our way up even though we had some issues with the setup. I was driving hard, and everybody was clean. We’ll probably tighten the car up a little bit so we can get on the front straightaway better because that’s where we were getting killed. Hopefully an even better result tomorrow.”
JOE COURTNEY (No. 77 Lamborghini Boston, second Amateur): “I had a pretty good start, got into it real quick. I just tried to keep my lap times down so when Pete (Argetsinger) got in the car, he could take over and do his thing. We got lucky with the yellow, so we bunched back up and we were able to get what he did. It was just a good race.”
PETER ARGETSINGER (No. 77 Lamborghini Boston, second Amateur): “Joe (Courtney) started the race and started beautiful. We came in early, so we missed the full-course caution, and that hurt us. He got us up to 12th, and when I came out, we were 14th or 15th. But on the restart, I did OK and got it from 13th up to sixth. And then I held up to a huge challenge from the two guys behind me. It was a fun race.”