The record-breaking year-to-year growth of Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America has been a “multi-faceted” effort according to Automobili Lamborghini America motorsport senior manager Chris Ward.
The highly competitive single-make series kicks off this weekend at Circuit of The Americas with a record 30-car entry, including nine Pro class Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeo Evos that will do battle over the inaugural NASCAR event at the Texas circuit.
Among the additions to the grid for the 2021 season include Kelly-Moss Road and Race, TR3 Racing and the return of Dream Racing Motorsport, all of which are set to campaign entries across multiple classes.
“There’s been a lot of effort of engaging new teams from within the IMSA and SRO paddocks,” Ward told Sportscar365. “Education has been a big part too.
“For some time, I’ve jokingly called Super Trofeo the best kept secret in sports car racing in America. I think we’ve had an awareness issue.
“I think we put on some really good racing so that’s attracted some people.
“Our constant focus on keeping the costs down for competitors, in terms of parts and brake consumption, is also reaping rewards.
“The dealer engagement — having the dealers financially engaged in the program — at some level of support with the customers has been beneficial.
“I think it’s multi-faceted. And I’m just delighted it’s materialized and couldn’t be more excited for this weekend.”
While Madison Snow will return to defend his Pro class title, he will face competition from the likes of reigning Michelin Pilot Challenge champion Kyle Marcelli, former ABB FIA Formula E Champion Nelson Piquet Jr., LMP2 ace Nico Jamin and the return of Richard Antinucci.
In addition to being a record overall entry, the series also has a record-breaking grid of Pro class competitors.
“I think the teams have redoubled their efforts this year to find pro drivers and put programs together that mean they will be competitive at the sharp end,” Ward explained.
“The teams have realized that if they stand a chance of winning overall they are going to need a really stout driver lineup. That’s evident of some of the people the teams have put in the cars.
“I can’t wait to see some of those names go head-to-head. I think we have the opportunity to put on some of the best sports car racing together in the country this year.
“When it’s single-car, single series, 30 cars, it’s down to the driver at the end of the day.”
Ward believes that Super Trofeo’s stable sporting regulations, which again remain unchanged for this year, has been one of the big selling points as well.
“I think that’s part of the success of the championship,” he said. “We’ve got a couple of drivers from the European championship competing over here this year.
“When you have that common platform and stability in the rules and regulations, that’s part of the success of the championship.”
COTA With NASCAR “Exciting and Daunting” At Same Time
Ward said this weekend’s season-opener at COTA, alongside NASCAR, presents an “exciting and daunting” opportunity for the single-make series at the same time.
“The principals of the NASCAR organization will be there,” he said. “They were big supporters of us coming and being the only other ‘family’ product to support that event, for which we’re very honored and thankful.
“From that side, we’re very excited. But also with the expectation of fans… I understand from the circuit and the promoter, SMI, that all the camping around the circuit is sold out and all of the suites are sold out. We’re expecting a big crowd.
“As we eek our way through the pandemic and start to open up more and more, hopefully this is a sign of things to come.”