Supercross and motocross champion Chad Reed is set for his Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America debut in this weekend’s round at Watkins Glen International.
The Australian rider, who has previous four-wheeled experience in Supercars and rally competition, will team up with reigning Lamborghini World Final Am champion Ryan Hardwick in one of PPM’s Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeo EVOs.
“I’ve jumped in a couple of different things, whether it be Supercars in Australia and I’ve done a couple of things in rally cars and late models, but mainly just more testing than racing,” Reed said.
“I also ran the Monza Rally last year, and that was an outstanding experience, for what it was. It was consecutive days of night and day racing, and I experienced different things that I really hadn’t before and had a good time.
“So I think doing something like this again will be totally new.
“Obviously doing all my research on The Glen and I need to go in there and be smart and enjoy it. But, you know, like as a racer you always want to be there and try to be as competitive as possible. But for me, it’s more about the experience and, keeping the car in between the white lines.”
The deal to put the 37-year-old in the car came through Hardwick, who was connected with Reed through a mutual friend.
Hardwick graduated to full-time IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship competition this year in Paul Miller Racing’s GT Daytona class Lamborghini Huracan GT3.
“Chad asked me if what I thought of Super Trofeo and he wanted my opinion if it was a perfect car, in a perfect series to prepare for something like GT Daytona racing,” Hardwick said. “And he knew that Lamborghini has had a history of putting some kind of big-name motorcycle guys in a Super Trofeo.
“I called Giorgio Sanna, head of motorsport for Lamborghini, who is also a massive motocross fan, and he said that Chad is literally like his hero.
“He’s like, ‘you’re kidding me,’ so I also I called up Enrico Bertaggia the owner of Dream Racing.
“I said, ‘Hey Enrico, I got this guy Chad Reed and he’s a big dirt bike guy,’ and he was like, I know who Chad Reed is. From there Giorgio said Chad should test a car, and let’s see what he’s got and depending on the test go from there.”
Sanna told Hardwick that if everything worked out, he wanted to pair them together in the Pro-Am class for the upcoming race at Watkins Glen.
“Chad is a hero of mine as well,” Hardwick added. “And I told Giorgio that I am really focused on GTD right now and that I would have to speak to Paul Miller. It didn’t take us long to realize that Chad has an immensely high talent level in driving the car.”
The Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeo EVO will feature Hardwick’s Mountain Motorsports company and Reed’s famous No. 22.
“That’s a nice little touch that,” Reed said. “For one obviously being fortunate that nobody else uses the number and then that I’m the one requesting it and being able to use it. Something familiar is always nice as I am jumping into four-wheel racing and will be able to see a No. 22 will make it a little more fun.”
Reed on Comeback Trail After Season-Ending Supercross Crash
Reed is making a comeback of sorts as on March 23 he crashed on the start of a supercross event in Seattle. He sustained multiple injuries including eight broken ribs, a broken scapula and a collapsed lung.
Those injuries ended his 2019 supercross season.
“I actually rode my dirt bike for the first time last week,” Reed said. “It was 12, almost 13 weeks off the bike. I wouldn’t say I’m in full race mode, back to full training and getting my health back. Jumping in a race car is actually a good, healthy thing. Whether if it’s the motorcycle or car, the mind all works the same. So I’m excited to get out there.”
It will mark Reed’s first trip to Watkins Glen.
“I am a racer at heart, and it’s what I love to do,” he said. “People always say that with age, get a cage. So at some point, the motorcycle racing has to come to an end.
“Racing is something that I’ve known since I was three years old and would like to continue. As I get older and my mind works differently, going car racing and looking over the data and learning the breaking points in all the different things is something I find interesting, fun and challenging.
“I’m not naive in the fact that at some point the motorcycle racing has to end. If the right opportunity came up and I was getting the same feeling that I get from racing my dirt bike in another form of racing, then I definitely would be open and willing to make a career change.
“Here I am climbing into my first Super Trofeo race. Kind of just right place, right time, with me having some time off in the summer and coming back from injury it’s all perfect. My wife is joining me for the weekend, and I am really excited to get up there and see what happens.”