ABOVE, left to right: Chris Ward, Senior Manager, Motorsport, Automobili Lamborghini America LLC; Josh Green; Scott Huffaker; Shane Seneviratne, Team Principal, US RaceTronics.
Despite some inclement weather which significantly cut short the intended on-track program, Team USA Scholarship drivers Josh Green and Scott Huffaker enjoyed a productive and educational experience yesterday at Buttonwillow Raceway Park. The two talented young Americans quickly came to grips with the US RaceTronics team’s 620hp, No. 24 Elephantea Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeo Evo, turning a string of competitive lap times around the 3.1-mile road course situated a half-hour or so from Bakersfield in California’s Central Valley.
“I was impressed,” said US RaceTronics team principal Shane Seneviratne. “I wasn’t quite sure what to expect but I knew these guys had a good background in open-wheel cars so they have had the proper training and obviously had good car control. They arrived very well prepared and asked all the right questions. I’m sorry they didn’t have more time in the car, due to the weather, but I was impressed with how quickly they got up to speed and came to grips with the car. Now I know why all these Team USA guys have achieved so much success in the racing world – Josh and Scott clearly have what it takes to make a great career for themselves.”
Heavy rain during the morning meant the car didn’t turn a wheel until a little after midday. Green, 17, from Mount Kisco, N.Y., was the first to venture out onto the track equipped with wet-weather tires. Thankfully, the track dried quickly as the rain clouds dissipated and the sun broke through, enabling Huffaker, 19, from Menlo Park, Calif., to switch onto slick tires for his first taste of the car.
After another run for both drivers, the team fitted a fresh set of slicks for Huffaker to begin a 15-minute qualifying simulation – just as would be the case during a regular race weekend for the IMSA Lamborghini Super Trofeo series. Unfortunately, however, the rain returned just as Green took over for his simulated qualifying run, curtailing activities for the day.
“It’s a shame the weather stopped us from running more but it was still a great day,” said Green, who finished second in this year’s FRP F1600 Championship Series — his first season of car racing. “It was my first time in a car with a roof and it was huge fun. Driving with driver aids like traction control and ABS added a whole new aspect to the experience; but the biggest thing is by far the weight of the car. Having only driven formula cars, it weighing nearly three times anything I’ve ever driven meant it took a very different driving style. All in all it was a super-fun experience to learn and push the Lamborghini Super Trofeo Evo, and I must say a huge thank you to the Team USA Scholarship, Lamborghini USA and US RaceTronics for making this opportunity possible.”
“Today was absolutely amazing,” added Huffaker, who competed in the IMSA Prototype Challenge series after several years of junior-formula car competition. “It was the first time I got to drive a car with traction control and ABS which was a great learning experience. What took me the most to get used to was how hard I could brake and the weight transfer of the car. I am super grateful for the opportunity and can’t thank US RaceTronics, Lamborghini and (Team USA Scholarship founder) Jeremy Shaw enough.”