Monterey, Calif. (30 April 2016) – Picking up right where the team closed out last year, the 2016 Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo North America season got off to a winning start for Change Racing and Lamborghini Carolinas on Saturday. With the team launching a three-car campaign in Monterey, Change Racing scored a double victory with wins in the Pro and Am classes in Round 1 of the 2016 championship as part of the IMSA Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca event on Saturday.
After starting from the final spot on the grid, Monster Energy Athlete Corey Lewis powered to the front to win in his first Pro class start, while Luis Rodriguez Jr. scored a win in the Am class in his first-ever Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo race start.
Lewis started from last on the grid after a poorly timed red flag in qualifying kept him from setting a time. But that only served to fire up the 24-year-old, who deftly worked his way through the field. Taking advantage of a yellow flag at Lap 4, which brought the field back together, Lewis continued his advance and took the overall lead on Lap 17 of the 31-lap race.
Team principal Robby Benton and Lewis made the most of the strategy, as Lewis brought the Change Racing Huracán out of the pit lane in second position after the mandatory 60-second pit stop, taking the lead on Lap 20 and never looking back to score his first win in Pro.
Luis Rodriguez, Jr. started his No. 29 Change Racing/Legacy Homebuilders Lamborghini
The father/son duo of Dr. Jim and Josh Norman started 14th overall and third in the Amateur category in the No. 71 BAD Lambo/Change Racing/highbloodcalciumisbad.
“It’s a very good start to the Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo North America season,” said Change Racing team principal Robby Benton. “We were able to pick up where we left off last year. It’s nice to put two of the Lamborghini Carolinas cars on the top step of their respective classes, in Pro and Am. It’s a big testament to the team, and it means a lot to Eddie Littlefield, the owner of Lamborghini Carolinas, who is here. It’s great to start the season on a high note and to know that we haven’t lost anything from last season. We still have a lot of work to do but we were fortunate to have some things go our way in the race, especially in the way the cautions fell. We’ll make the cars better, but we’re very happy with the way things went today.”
The Change Racing/Lamborghini Carolinas trio will be back on track Sunday morning at 8:30 AM local time for Race 2. Motor Trend on Demand and IMSA.tv will stream live coverage of all Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo races in 2016. CBS Sports Network will air a recap show on Sunday afternoons, check local listings.
“I was pretty amped up before we even took the green flag! I knew we had a lot of work to do and I was afraid the leaders would break away, which they did. The tail-end guys were so far back at the start; I felt as though I was 100 yards off at the green flag, which was frustrating. But I just put my head down and tried to be smooth and consistent. The yellows helped to bunch everyone back up and I was able to pick a couple of guys off a lap.
“Robby (Benton, Team Principal) called a great pit strategy and it was smooth sailing after that, just trying to maximize everything we could and learn as much as we could for tomorrow’s race. Robby and I really click on the radio – he knows the tone of my voice. He’s very precise and gives me exactly what I need. I appreciate everything the guys at Change Racing and Lamborghini Carolinas have done for me, to have me back this year. We’ll start much further forward in tomorrow’s race and hope for more of the same.”
Luis Rodriguez, Jr.:
“The start was a little bit hairy, going into the first corner. I got hit on the outside by one of the Pro-Am guys, but I collected myself and the race just started to come to me. I passed the Am leader, but I’m not sure what happened in Turn 9. I lost a little bit of control and he was able to pass me back for the lead during the pit stop. I had a nice pass going into Turn 11 for the lead and after that, it was a smooth ride all the way home. But I love driving the Lamborghini Huracán. It’s different from what I’m used to, because of all the aero on the car, but I’m proud of the way things went today. I’ll make some small changes to myself, limit the mistakes and hopefully we’ll be back up there tomorrow.”
June 1, 2016