Lamborghini Super trofeo: Ashton Harrison takes victory and third place in Road America
WTR driver Ashton Harrison claimed another class victory and a third place at Road America, fourth round of the Lamborghini Super Trofeo. The American driver is now third in the championship standings.
At the 4.048 mile Road America circuit, Ashton Harrison continued her remarkable Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America campaign with a class victory and a further podium, adding 25 more points to her championship tally after 4 double-headers this season. The American driver, who is also part of the HPD GT3 Driver Academy and is competing for top team Wayne Taylor Racing, had already claimed victory at the season opener at Circuit of the Americas and is now in contention for the AM class title. Harrison was third in the final standings in 2020, when she shared the Harrison Contracting with WTR Lamborghini Huracán GT3 with factory driver Andrea Amici in the Pro-Am class. At one of North America's most iconic race venues, Harrison immediately showed speed in the opening practice sessions, where she finished on top of the timing sheets in FP2 and was second in FP2, also breaking in the top-10 in the overall standings in the secon session. Her performance was surely encouraging coming into qualifying, but heavy rain and thunderstorms above the circuit forced the IMSA officials to cancel the sessions. Initially, it was believed that the starting order would be set based on championship points - but then the second practice results shaped the starting order, with Harrison starting second in the AM class. Danny Formal (Prestige Performance with Wayne Taylor Racing) started from overall pole position in Race 1 and held off the pressure of Loris Spinelli (Taurino Racing) throughout the first stint of the competition, in a race that saw no Full Course Yellow interruptions. While the leading duo had pulled away from the rest of the pack, Steven McAleer (Change Racing) climbed to third place from sixth on the grid, overtaking Steven Aghakhani for P3. At the half-way mandatory pit stop window, Formal handed over to Kyle Marcelli, who held the lead as he rejoined. Behind him, though, a position swap saw Jeroen Mul moving into second place, as the #16 Change Racing Huracan previously driven by McAleer jumped ahead of the Taurino Racing car of Spinelli/Senhoreti. Spinelli had extended his driving stint until the end of the pit window, but the strategy wasn't enough to allow Claude Senhoreti to keep the runner up spot. Senhoreti - initially the highest placed Pro-Am - started to drop back and was passed by Jacob Eidson, who had taken over from Aghakhani in the #6 O'Gara Motorsport entry, before dropping down to P12 overall. Marcelli secured victory for WTR, despite a late charge by Jeroen Mul who couldn't get closer enough to attempt an attack. It was Eidson to take the final step of the podium, ahead of Missig - in his first Pro-Am victory of the season. Ashton Harrison completed a stunning pass on lap 5 to advance into the lead, demoting Dream Racing Motorsport's Berkeley to second in class. She then checked out and won in commanding fashion, finishing eighth overall. The second race - the 100th in the history of the series - was contested on Sunday and saw Kyle Marcelli starting from pole as a result of the Race 1 finishing order, alongside Eidson and ahead of Eidson and Missig on the second row. Ashton Harrison lined up on the fourth row, on AM class pole position. On the first lap, Eidson passed Mul around the outside of Turn 5 and kept pressure on the race leader Marcelli, but the Wayne Taylor Racing's driver held off the attacks and maintained first place throughout his stint. Marcelli pitted on lap 11, one lap later than Eidson, but the #1 crew still held the lead once Danny Formal got behind the wheel. He would then extend the gap to Aghakhani to over five seconds, as the driver of the O'Gara Motorsport Lamborghini had to defend from the return of Steven McAleer. In the Am class, Ashton Harrison was caught in a lap 1 multi-car battle and, after contact with a rival, lost many positions in both the overall and Am classify. But, despite the damages, her pace continued to be competitive enough to charge through the field and move into third place in class, P13 overall. Luke Berkeley (Dream Racing Motorsport) inherited the class lead at the first lap and held off Alan Metni (Change Racing), while Harrison recovered. Her progression, though, was halted on lap 16, when Olson hit the barriers hard at the Kink, moving the concrete barriers. While the driver was unhurt, track repair caused the race to be called behind the pace car, after three laps of neutralization. “Happy with another podium here at Road America, unfortunately due to contact from another competitor we were struggling with steering and front end damage the entire race." - explained Harrison after the race. "Happy to have made up several spots to finish P3. Thankful for my coach Tom Long and the WTR team. Our Harrison Contracting customers had an amazing weekend and that’s what matters! Onto Laguna!” Harrison now sits third in the championship standings, 7 points behind Luke Berkeley and 10 points from class leader Alan Metni. The next round of the 2021 Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America will be contested on another iconic venue: the WeatherTech Raceway at Laguna Seca, for the fifth double-header of the season, on September 11-12.