Any victory is sweet in a series as competitive as the Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America championship, but there is something extra special about your first win of any season.
And the way my amazing co-driver Jacob Eidson, the no-quit US RaceTronics team and I scored our first victory of 2021 just a couple of weeks ago at Watkins Glen was particularly memorable and rewarding.
The day didn’t start off that way, however, as we arrived at the legendary Watkins Glen circuit Saturday morning still stinging from a bad result in the weekend’s opening race a day earlier.
For the second time this year, we had a rear tire puncture knock us from winning contention.
Jacob was in our No. 6 SADA Systems/USRT Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeo Evo and was running early in the lead pack, where he usually is. He was just starting to settle down and get in a groove when the tire went down, and he had to pit.
We recovered as best we could but had to settle for a distant seventh-place Pro-class finish and minimal championship points.
We suffered a similar setback at Circuit of The Americas in May when a cut tire ruined our second race after starting the year with a third-place finish in the season-opening sprint the day before.
Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America is an extremely competitive series that is also a lot of fun, but it is also one of the shortest race schedules with just 12 sprints over the course of six doubleheader weekends. Two setbacks like we had at COTA and The Glen could make it impossible for some teams to recover and stay in the championship fight.
After Friday’s disappointment, we weren’t in the brightest mood the morning of the final race at The Glen, but we had to pick ourselves up and remember we have a whole war to win.
Nothing short of a victory was needed in Saturday’s race, and everyone on the team knew it.
Jacob had an amazing first stint and kept the car where we wanted it. I hopped in and did exactly what I had to do, just go out there and hold everybody off.
That’s what we did, and the team did an amazing job too. Everyone came out in support, and it was a blessing to have that positive energy.
Team spirits are high right now, and the USRT guys never quit working. They spent all their time through the night Friday putting the car back together.
I told Kevin Madsen, my best friend and coach, once you get that first win, the season can start snowballing and you can stay up there. We are excited to be out there, our next race is Road America where we won last year, so everyone’s ready to go and do this.
The P1 podium finish in the last race at The Glen is the perfect lead-in – sort of a prequel if you will – for the premiere of our new movie “The Pursuit of Speed,” a full-length documentary film focusing on our 2020 IMSA Lamborghini Super season.
The movie by Jeffrey John Hart, our friend who has been filming us at the track as long as I can remember, will premiere in a private red-carpet screening in Los Angeles this Saturday, July 10.
This initial viewing is just for our friends, family, sponsors and a few VIP and media guests, but if the film is well received, perhaps we will work on opening it up to some larger audiences.
It’s really one insane film! We put in so much time putting this together, and it goes behind the scenes of what really happens beyond just being on the race track.
It provides some big details most people don’t get to ever see, everything that goes on, and the various parts of the on-track and off-track process. Some very cool insight!
Pulling no punches, it also gives viewers a real-world look at the dual relationship between me and my father Armik Aghakhani, who isn’t exactly a behind-the-scenes type of a guy! We have both father-and-son and driver/team director relationships, and the film takes you inside many aspects of those interactions while focusing on what it takes to pursue a major sports car racing championship.
Who knows, if we end up with a run to the 2021 Super Trofeo Pro title that is “made for the movies,” as the saying goes, maybe we will go to work on a sequel to “The Pursuit of Speed” right away! That would be my kind of “Hollywood Ending” to this season for sure!
Thanks as always to all of you that take the time to read these columns and Sportscar365 for so graciously letting us have this space so many times each year.
I will check in again soon and look for you at the track!