Hennessy started on the pole in LB Cup, drove an extremely competitive race and took home his first win of the season and his first career win in a major competition in the No. 33 Lamborghini of La Jolla. The impressive first-year driver, who wasn’t available to compete at VIR, got the win in just his third start of the season.
“My first high level race win is a life highlight for me,” Hennessy said after Saturday’s race win. “I now truly appreciate how many variables have to come together to cross that finish line first. The effort by Shane and the entire RaceTronics Team brought it all together. From the perfect car setup, meticulous detail to safety and performance and exceptional coaching made our victory possible.”
Saturday’s race saw Leo Lamelas on top of the podium for the second time this season in the No. 24 Lamborghini of Westlake, having also won at VIR last month. The talented Brazilian started the race second in the ProAm class, but drove an exceptional race to capture the win and bring him within seven points of the championship lead.
“I’m very happy with the win today,” Lamelas stated. “We had some problems in qualifying yesterday because we didn’t have the time we are expecting, from the old tires to the new ones. But today we did a good job and I was kind of edging the tires the first stint of the race. Then on the second stint I was able to push more than the other cars. So very thankful for the win today and good points for the championship. We are getting close to the championship lead, so I hope we can win again tomorrow and take that champ lead pass.”
Steven Aghakhani started Saturday’s race from P2 behind the wheel of the No. 6 Lamborghini of Beverly Hills. Aghakhani dropped a couple of spots on the start, but was moving forward in the field before going off-track just as the pit stop window opened. Eidson took over driver duties, coming out for the second stint in P6 in class and P14 overall. The always competitive Eidson quickly move up to P5 overall and P7 in class and made a late pass to bring the car home P4 in class and P5 overall. While disappointing, the pair were still just three points behind Madison Snow in the championship at the end of the day.
“Tough day,” Eidson said, “but we still managed to get a P4 result, which is still good in terms of points. We’re just focusing more on tomorrow. We’re gonna be starting on pole position. Trying to get that win and extend our points lead, we are still very much in the hunt. I obviously need to thank US RaceTronics, SADA, and Carney Chegerian for all of the support.”
Team technical director Peter Jacobs was pleased with the team’s performance on Saturday.
“I think overall we had a good performance as a team,” Jacob’s said. “We struggled a little bit as a team with the heat in practice and qualifying, but we were able to get the car setup pretty good for the race. Even with the incident that car 6 had, Steven and Jacob were able to do consistently fast laps in the race. Hats off to John Hennessy for coming back after a weekend off and getting right back on the saddle claiming both poles and winning race 1. We are hoping to repeat that tomorrow. Leo had a little bit of a struggle in qualifying. His qualifying wasn’t that great in Q1, but we had a race strategy and stuck to that and was able to execute and get the race win. Overall, I’m happy with the performance. I think the team did great job. Looking forward to another race tomorrow.”
John Hennessy was the top finisher for the team in Sunday’s race finishing P2 in LB Cup and getting his second top-10 overall finish of the weekend. Hennessy started from the LB Cup pole in the No. 33 Lamborghini of La Jolla and was competitive for the majority of the race, but was passed in the closing laps. Unfortunately for the team, the other two cars suffered flat tires, also near the end of the race, ending the team’s hopes of adding another win to their season.
“We had it all going for us through the majority of the race,” Hennessy said Sunday, “but a few racing incidents dropped us from first to second in the closing minutes of the race. The good news is, I learned a lot. We know the car can win and overall, the race weekend was a huge success. With a win Saturday, second place Sunday, fastest laps in class over the three days, we are positioned for big things in the future! Can’t wait for Laguna Seca!”
Jacob Eidson started the race from pole in the No. 6 Lamborghini of Beverly Hills and held the lead going into the pit stop, but with just one lap to go, with Steven Aghakhani behind the wheel, the left front tire sustained a puncture dropping the duo back to P4 in class for the second consecutive race and P11 overall. While disappointing, the pair are already looking to recapture their winning ways in the next two rounds at Laguna Seca.
“Tough results after race 2 especially knowing our pace and qualifying,” Eidson said. “It’s just one of those weekends where we seemed to have some bad luck in the race, but it’s nobody’s fault and we will learn from this and will make ourselves better and faster for Laguna Seca”
“Second race at Road Atlanta, second time at the track ever.” Aghakhani added. “Frankly we did what we could. Obviously, you have that A and B factor, which comes out to C which is finishing on pole position. Jacob and I had that A factor, but unfortunately, we just had a tire go out and we can’t do anything about that. Yes, got passed in the second stint by the #16 car. They had a lap ahead for tire warmth, so they were able to close the gap on that. After we got passed, I kept holding a 3 second gap I believe. Just trying to put lap after lap I eventually brought the gap down and we knew they had a 1 second penalty. I unfortunately, coming onto turn 1 on the second to last lap, I had a tire blow out. Nothing we could do about that so I just tried to bring the car home safe. The team did what they could. Jacob did his part and I did my part. Overall, we’re going to put this weekend behind us and go over to Laguna Seca. Of course, I want to thank all of our sponsors, US RaceTronics, SADA Systems, and Carney Chegerian for all of the support.”
Leo Lamelas, who started P2 in ProAm and P9 overall in the No. 24 Lamborghini of Westlake, was having a great race moving up to P1 in class and P4 overall before a flat left rear tire late in the race dropped him out of contention for the win. Lamelas ended the day P4 in ProAm and P13 overall, but is also looking toward redemption at Laguna Seca and staying focused on the championship.
“We had a flat tire with 2 laps remaining,” Lamelas said. “We were in first position and I knew we could win the race. With those points we were going to take the championship lead, but unfortunately racing is like this, things happen. So next round, we are going to battle for the wins again and try to take the championship lead back. Then in Sebring we should take the title home.”
Team owner Shane Seneviratne was somewhat disappointed with the overall weekend results, but is confident that the team will get back to their winning ways and continue to battle for the championship.
“Overall, I would say it was a disappointing race weekend,” Seneviratne said after Sunday’s race. “We had good pace to start, but at the end of the weekend we just didn’t execute and get the best results possible. But it wasn’t from a lack of everyone working hard and trying, we just had some issues with our tires in race two that we will evaluate and get sorted out for the next race. Overall, I think we showed good promise, we just got to get things tidied up for the next two races and try to secure a good position for the championship.”
The team has a few weeks off before heading to Laguna Seca October 30 – November 1, 2020.
Photos Courtesy of Jamey Price