Hindman/Agostini score fourth win
Trent Hindman and Riccardo Agostini claimed their fourth Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America win in a row for at VIR for Prestige Performance/Lamborghini Paramus. Agostini started from the pole position, but victory was hardly straightforward for the championship leaders. After holding a comfortable gap until the mandatory pit stops, the Italian driver clipped the pit entry commitment line, earning a drive through penalty. Hindman served the penalty almost immediately, dropping back as far as fifth overall, before setting off in hunt of the race leaders.
The American began turning quick laps, setting a new race lap record on his way back to the front of the field. With just minutes to go, he had his Lamborghini Huracán within sight of race leader Austin Versteeg. Hindman was tight on the tail of the young, PRO-AM driver at the checkered flag, and although he didn’t finish first on track, he was granted the overall victory after Versteeg received a one-second time penalty for a too short pit stop.
“We were very fast, very competitive today,” explained Agostini after the race. “Trent did an amazing job because obviously it wasn’t easy to close the gap and win the race in the end. Congrats to him and everyone that did a great job today.”
Versteeg looked to have achieved his first overall victory in spectacular fashion but fell just short of that accomplishment thanks to the post-race time penalty. Still, the driver of the DXDT Racing entry, representing Lamborghini Dallas, was happy with his performance and the close battles he enjoyed with some of sportscar racing’s greatest drivers.
After working his way up from a backward shuffle in the first stint, Versteeg ran second behind Andy Lally in the Change Racing/Lamborghini Carolinas car for much of the second stint. With just four laps to go, Versteeg, knowing that Hindman was closing in, pressured Lally into a mistake, taking the lead and a chance to earn his first overall Super Trofeo win.
“We didn’t have a great first qualifying and I knew it was going to be hard, starting from sixth,” said Versteeg. “It was full out all the time. Flat out throughout the entire race. Andy [Lally] is amazing. It’s awesome to be out there with someone from the WeatherTech series and learning from him as I’m driving.”
Yuki Harata continued his run of good results in the AM category, earning a more comfortable third consecutive win to extend his championship lead. The class polesitter had a blistering start in his Dream Racing Motorsport/Lamborghini Las Vegas Huracán, jumping from ninth on the grid to fifth in one lap. The Japanese battled with PRO-AM drivers throughout the first stint, before settling into a more relaxed pace in the race’s second half, conserving his tires until he reached the checkered flag.
“Somehow, I started from ninth and after the first corner, I was fifth. That was a pretty good start,” said a smiling Harata after the podium. “The first stint, I had a big enough gap, but the second stint was getting closer and closer to the second guy. It was a tough race for me. So hot. It was amazing.”
Dream Racing Motorsport earned a second win on the day with Ryan Hardwick in the Lamborghini Cup class, making its return to the top step of the podium for the third time this season, marking a return to form for Hardwick, after a pair of difficult outings at Road America earlier this month.
“It feels good after the last round for sure,” said Hardwick. “The race was good. It was a little bit easier than what I thought it was going to be. Too bad for J.C.[Perez] that he had the penalty. We battled for half the race and I was looking forward to another battle toward the end, but we’ll take it. A win’s a win.”
Hindman and Agostini will start on pole in race two yet again, hoping to repeat their success and continue to grow their championship lead. Versteeg will be hot on their heels, however, and eager to prove himself after narrowly missing his first overall win. The 19-year-old will start second in Sunday morning’s race.
“That was a crazy one. I don’t even know where to start, but a big thank you to the Prestige Performance Wayne Taylor Racing guys and TRIM-TEX Drywall Products. Obviously, Riccardo for his efforts. He did a great job of putting it on pole and leading his entire stint. Unfortunately, we just got caught out on pit road, but it is what it is. I knew when we had the drive through that we had our work cut out, but that’s OK. We have a great car and took advantage of it. Congrats to Austin [Versteeg]. He drove a really great race. Unfortunate to see that he got a penalty and we couldn’t settle it on track, but it is what it is an we’re going to try to do the same thing tomorrow“, said Hindman speaking about the race.
“Obviously I’m happy with the result. We just got a penalty. I missed the line for pit in, so that’s why, but anyway we were very fast, very competitive today. The car was amazing. We’ve been lucky having bad luck, but I’m happy with the way everything ended. Trent did an amazing job because obviously it wasn’t easy to close the gap and to win the race in the end, so congrats to him and to everybody that did a great job today“, added Agostini.