The debut of the new Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo Evo and the series’ return to Mid-Ohio are among the key talking points heading into the seventh season of Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America.
The single-make championship kicks off on May 4-6 at Mid-Ohio, site of the first-ever Super Trofeo North America event in 2013, with the new-generation Huracán Super Trofeo being front and center.
Launched at last year’s season-ending round at Laguna Seca, the Huracán Super Trofeo Evo features an all-new aero package, along with other various updates that makes the car considerably quicker than its predecessor.
All Super Trofeo teams will be required to either purchase an upgrade kit for its existing Huracán Super Trofeo, or opt for an all-new car, according to Chris Ward, Senior Manager, Motorsport for Automobili Lamborghini America.
Ward said he expects roughly half the grid to be comprised of brand-new cars, having already sold out on its initial allocation of Super Trofeo Evos for the North American market.
The Italian manufacturer recently completed the build of its 300th Huracán race car worldwide.
“We are more than double on the expected volume for the Evo worldwide,” Ward told Sportscar365. “We’ve already exceeded the North American target.
“Some of our customers have had a Huracán Super Trofeo for three years and are now replacing it with an Evo.
“But then there are others that are newcomers to the championship, which is great.”
New, Returning Teams
A number of new or returning teams are set for the six-round championship, which will conclude at Vallelunga on Nov. 15-16 ahead of the World Final at the same venue.
Prestige Performance, which claimed the 2017 Pro class and World Final titles last year, is expected to return but under the Wayne Taylor Racing banner completely, with DAC Racing transforming into Precision Performance Motorsport, under the direction of Rick Gdovic.
Dream Racing and P1 Motorsports, meanwhile, are also both slated to continue, with Ryan Hardwick already confirmed in one of Dream’s entries.
Longtime Lamborghini squad Change Racing, which claimed the inaugural series title, meanwhile, has closed its doors following team principal Robby Benton’s move to a management role at Team Penske.
Ward indicated that programs from several new teams have yet to be announced.
Rules Changes for 2018
While maintaining its four-class structure, two-driver lineups will now be mandatory for both the Pro and Pro-Am classes, as part of a rules change to align the North American series with its counterparts in Europe and Asia.
Previously, several teams had utilized single-driver lineups for the two top classes.
“We’re hoping it’s a benefit because it means that funded or partially funded pro drivers can split the cost of the the car,” Ward said. “It’s always been possible but maybe not spelt out.”
Another minor rules change is the mandatory usage of Motec in-car cameras for coaching, data and incident evaluation.
“It’s all about maintaining the driving standard because we saw so few caution periods last year. I think the standards in Super Trofeo are already very high,” Ward added.
The series, meanwhile, will continue with its TV package with CBS Sports Network and live streaming on IMSA.tv and the Squadra Corse Web site, but in a revised commentary team featuring Paul Miller Racing drivers Bryan Sellers and Madison Snow at alternating races.
Ward said he’s looking forward to the series’ return to Mid-Ohio, which was the site of the first-ever Super Trofeo North America event in 2013.
The championship has seen a massive growth since, along with the success of Lamborghini’s GT3 efforts, which has included GT Daytona class wins in this year’s Rolex 24 at Daytona and Twelve Hours of Sebring.
“For me, personally, having stood on the grassy knoll hospitality area of Mid-Ohio in 2013 and looking out at the paddock and dreaming of what Squadra Corse’s motorsport program might look like in the future, not in my wildest dreams would I think I’d be going back six years later on the back of a Daytona and Sebring win with our GT3 car,” Ward said. “None of us could have dreamt that.
“Then with a fully fledged Super Trofeo grid. It’s been a massive achievement for the brand, in only our sixth season of competition globally.”
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