Andrew Palmer, age 19 takes the checkered flag ahead of 18-year-old Louis Philippe Montour in round 8 of the Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo series at VIR.
If yesterday was about experience triumphing over youthful endeavor, then today proved just the opposite in round 8 of the Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo series at VIRginia International Raceway.
Following an impressive first qualifying session and race in round 7, both Palmer, driving for Lamborghini Beverly Hills/GMG Racing and Montour, for Lamborghini Toronto/Mitchum Motorsports, followed the advice and knowledge passed on by their teams and the more experienced competitors in the field.
Al Carter, representing Lamborghini Palm Beach/Mitchum Motorsports blasted into first past Bell on the start grid as the green flag dropped. The race changed dramatically on lap 5, as newcomer, Peter Strasser for Lamborghini Washington/Wisko Race Engineering, hit the tire wall, at the notoriously tricky S section through turns 8 and 9 at VIR. As the Lamborghini Aventador safety car was called out for three laps and came in just as the mandatory pit window opened on the 20- minute mark.
With a number of the team strategies changing, it was the two young drivers, Montour and Palmer who emerged at the front of pack as the pit window closed. What ensued was incredible display of nose-to-tail racing. Separated by nothing more than 100th of a second, Palmer running in 2nd position was relentless in pressing and testing race leader, Montour. Behind the front-runners, the racing was just as hot. Yesterday’s winner, Justin Bell was forced to retire following damage to his front splitter, having traded paint the no.7 car, driven by Jeff Rodrigues, representing Lamborhgini Beverly Hills and GMG Racing.
And with just two laps remaining, the pressure from Palmer told as Montour ran wide on turn 3, allowing Palmer to sneak inside and move into the lead. Palmer did not look back and darted through to take his maiden victory, with Montour holding off Al Carpenter to take second and third respectively.
Andrew Palmer said, “I got some great advice from Justin Bell and a few of the more experienced guys after yesterday’s race. They told me I need to conserve the tires and really push in the last 15 minutes. The safety car really helped me do that and I was able to apply lots of pressure to Louis, and managed to take my chance as he ran wide 2 laps out. It’s been such a great weekend. The cars, the drivers, the teams, it’s been an incredible experience.”
Second place Louis Philippe Montour added, “The Mitchum pit crew were great. They talked me through the race and helped me maintain my tires. This is my first time driving the car and it was just unbelievable. I love the four-wheel-drive. It’s so responsive and great to race. Credit to Andrew, he took advantage of my mistake and deserves the win but I am still thrilled to get second!”
Yesterday’s winner, Justin Bell added, “These young guys have proven to be extremely quick learners. The moral of the story is don’t give too much advice to these kids! It was great to be here. Thrilled to get the win yesterday and just a great series to be a part of, especially at an important race here at VIR.”
Third place finisher Al Carter said, “That’s four podiums in four for me now, so we’re very happy with that. It’s been a great weekend. So much fun! Now to enjoy the great Lamborghini hospitality with a couple of cold ones!”
The youth proved they have what it takes to listen and learn from the experience. Yesterday we thought the future is for tomorrow but Palmer and Montour have very much proved the future is today.
With VIR wrapped up, Lamborghini moves onto Fontana in two weeks time for undoubtedly more thrilling race action.