What a difference a year makes. In 2017, Sheena Monk was attending her first Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America event as a spectator at Virignia International Raceway.
This weekend, Monk arrives at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca as the most recent LB Cup class winner after driving the No. 7 Wayne Taylor Racing Lamborghini Huracán Evo Super Trofeo in her first full-season with the series.
“I feel like this win marks a big milestone for me, especially since the first Super Trofeo race I attended to spectate was at VIR in 2017,” Monk said. “It’s funny what a difference a year can make.
“It’s so good to finally get this win, not only for myself but also the Wayne Taylor Racing team.
“They work so hard to give me the best car every single outing. I found myself feeling frustrated after a handful of second place finishes in a row but I stayed positive and kept putting in the work off track to finally get over the hump.”
The persistence has paid off, as Monk sits in second place in the LB Cup championship points battle, only 16 points out of the lead with four rounds remaining.
“Becoming a driver in the fastest one-make series in the world is an absolute dream come true,” she said. “I’m so thankful that the Squadra Corse Pilota program gave me the opportunity to start this journey.”
A contributing factor along the journey to early success has been Monk’s driver coach, veteran IMSA WeatherTech Championship driver Katherine Legge.
“Katherine has been an integral part of the growth I’ve experienced in such a short period of time,” Monk said.
“We were introduced through Wayne Taylor Racing before my first event weekend in Imola, Italy during the last round of the Super Trofeo races last year and we hit it off immediately.”
With each race weekend bringing a new track and a new set of challenges, the first-year driver is thankful to have such an experienced driver in her corner.
“I respect Katherine’s experience immensely and I’m so grateful for the tremendous effort she puts into passing along every crumb of information she possesses.”
This weekend at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, Monk will once again lean on her team and coach to help her quickly master the famed Corkscrew.
“Although I have only been a spectator at Laguna Seca previously, I have been looking forward to this event most of all this season,” said Monk.
“The track is so iconic and has hosted some of the most amazing races, on both two and four wheels.
“I’m preparing for it just like I have with any other track by watching film from previous years.
“It’s tough going to new places because I need to figure out the track quickly in real time and find my pace that much quicker. But I’m getting used to the challenge.
“With a little luck after four consecutive second place finishes, hopefully now I am starting a streak on the top step.”
Notching a second career win this weekend would certainly go a long way in helping Monk achieve her career aspirations.
“My goal is to compete at higher levels in sports car racing but realistically, I know that will take time,” Monk said.
“Next year, I will most likely be racing another season of Lamborghini Super Trofeo and perhaps testing in other types of cars to gain as much experience as possible. I’m putting all my trust in the people around me to reach my goal of driving in GTD but my focus is completely on building a proper foundation first.”
The next step in that foundation begins with the North America championship rounds nine and ten this weekend.
Leaders in other classes will be looking to extend their lead as this is the penultimate weekend in the series before its conclusion in Italy in November.
In the Pro class, Taylor Proto and Edoardo Piscopo (No. 50 US RaceTronics) has a one-point lead over the No. 29 Change Racing duo of Corey Lewis and Madison Snow.
The tandem of JC Perez and Loris Spinelli in the No. 71 P1 Motorsports in the Pro-Am cass have a sizable lead and will be looking to clinch the championship this weekend.
Ryan Hardwick (No. 2 Dream Racing) has a nine-point lead over Damon Ockey (No. 09 US RaceTronics) heading into the final four races of the 2018.
Action gets underway with a pair of practice sessions on Friday, followed by qualifying at 7:35 p.m. EDT/4:35 p.m. PDT.
Race 1 will take place on Saturday at 2:35 p.m. ET/ 11:35 a.m. PT and Race 2 on Sunday at 2:25 p.m. ET/ 11:25 a.m. PT.
Both races can be streamed on IMSA.TV and squadracorse.lamborghini.com/super-trofeo/north-america.