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Ward “Enormously Proud” of U.S. Success in Lamborghini World Final

Chris Ward said the recent success of Lamborghini ST NA competitors in Imola has left them wanting more…

Photo: Prestige Performance

Lamborghini America’s motorsport manager Chris Ward said the recent success of Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America teams and drivers at the Lamborghini World Final in Imola has left all involved wanting more.

A banner weekend in Italy saw North America-based teams and drivers collect the Pro and Pro-Am championships along with multiple race wins, headlined by Riccardo Agostini and Trent Hindman’s overall championship for Prestige Performance.

The series’ competitors also secured a near-sweep of seven class-pole positions in an impressive showing against a stacked grid of their European and Asian series counterparts.

Ward said that he was extremely proud of the competitors that raced under his banner but admitted there was the potential for even more accolades.

“Honestly, somewhat mixed feelings after taking home the Pro and Pro-Am titles,” he told Sportscar365. “It’s an enormous honor for Team USA.

“We’ve had the title four out of the five previous World Final years now, so to be taking the overall title back to the USA is a huge achievement for the USA customers.

“Candidly, I’m somewhat disappointed with the Am and the Cup results. If we reflect on it we could be going home with all four championships with the potential that we had.

“But that’s why we show up and run the races, and at the end of the day we’ve taken home the overall title at one of the most challenging circuits in the world.

“I’m enormously proud of all the USA teams and couldn’t be more excited for the 2018 season to come back to wherever we’re going to run the World Finals next year and defend the title again.”

The U.S.-based Englishman said the development of the drivers in the Super Trofeo North America system year-on-year was a major reason for the return to World Final glory after a relatively disappointing outing in Valencia in last year’s edition of the event.

“I think it’s a testament to the work that the teams have put in, to the development of the car, and most particularly to the development of the drivers,” Ward said.

“When I look at the relative inexperience of some of the lineups in some of our championships, it makes me hugely proud to see what they’ve accomplished.

“When I look at the way Austin Versteeg, for example, has joined the championship this year and achieved what that young man has, Trent Hindman must be applauded for his efforts, Brandon Gdovic, actually all of our Super Trofeo Young Drivers.

“All of them have done tremendously well all year and to come up against such stiff competition in Europe and achieve what they have is tremendous.

“JC Perez in his first year of competition, Ryan Hardwick, a fantastic new find in Sheena Monk who competed in her first ever competitive motorsport event this week with a third-place in Lamborghini Cup, I think we have a really strong platform [in Am and Cup] to come back and maybe take all those titles away from the World Finals next year.”

Ward mentioned that the strong showing for the North American series on the world stage figures to be a boon for the series’ teams as they prepare their programs for 2018.

He added that the level of competition on display has been enticing for European and Asian series competitors who have expressed interest in competing Stateside.

“I think for the individual teams to take home a title, it’s clearly a good springboard for them to put programs together for the subsequent year,” Ward said. “For the championship as a whole, it elevates our platform.

“I’ve been inundated this week with interest from both our Asian customers and our European customers, some of whom have already confirmed interest to participate in the USA.

“I look forward to welcoming them to our shores, and beating them over there again of course!”

Ryan Myrehn is an Indianapolis-based journalist and sportscaster, covering IMSA and Pirelli World Challenge. Myrehn, a graduate of DePauw University, is also the host of Sportscar365's “Double Stint” Podcast.

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