Young Drivers Shine But Experience Wins Out In Thrilling VIR Opening Race

Justin Bell wins an incredible round of racing in the Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo Series

Virginia International Raceway, VA, Friday 4th October 2013. In another absorbing qualifying session and round 7 race of the inaugural Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo North America series at VIR today, experience triumphed over youthful endeavor.

The biggest surprise of the day came during qualification, as Super Trofeo new comer, Andrew Palmer for Lamborghini Beverly Hills and GMG racing posted the fastest time, taking pole with a time of 1.52.582. Astonishingly, at only 19 years of age and currently in his sophomore year studying Math and Economics, this was amateur Palmer’s first foray into road racing following an impressive karting career. Second on the grid was championship leader Kevin Conway for Lamborghini Carolinas and Change Racing. On the second row was former 24 Hour Le Mans, FIAGT2 world champion and host of The World’s Fastest Car Show, Justin Bell, in his first race of the series. Beside him as 4th quickest qualifier and also in debut race, was 18-year-old Louis Philippe Montour, driving for Lamborghini Toronto and Mitchum Motorsport.

Race #1 Round 7:
With 14 cars taking the grid on the testing VIR circuit, the high-speed, wheel-to-wheel action started as soon as the green flag dropped. Andrew Palmer managed to get off the line in front but it was Montour, who went aggressive early, passing Bell, Conway and Palmer to take the lead on lap 5. Unfortunately the young Canadian could not maintain the lead, spinning off and dropping back to 14th place, heading to the pits before continuing. Further

Palmer continued to lead Conway and Bell as the mandatory 45 second pit window approached. Conway, with all his experience, made a strategic decision to pit as the window opened on the 20 minute mark. As Conway took his compulsory break, Bell pushed on for one more lap before coming in. As Palmer entered the Pits on lap 12, Conway and Bell started an epic battle for the lead.

With less than 100th of a second separating the two, it was Bell who kept the pressure on Conway eventually using a back marker to good effect to pass down the back straight – a lead he would not relinquish. In the mean time, experienced racer, Al Carter for Lamborghini Palm Beach and Mitchum Racing had quietly got himself into third and in position to mount an attack on the lead. With Conway perhaps happy to take points and consolidate his position as series leader, Carter, using all his expertise to protect his tires, passed Conway on the last lap.

Further back the racing action was just as gripping, with a number of drivers jostling for position. Newcomers, Peter Strasser & Danyel Torres racing for Lamborghini Washington and Wisko Race Engineering battled it out with fellow debutant Joe Courtney racing for Lamborghini Manhattan and Musante Motorsport who finished a respectable 11th overall.

Race winner, Justin Bell said, “The standard of driving was of the highest quality. The guys at Change Racing prepared the car perfectly and Pirelli have done a great job, to create a good, predictable tire. I have to give huge congratulations to Lamborghini on the car and what they have achieved with this series. I am proud to have been part of this pivotal race with The World’s Fastest Car Show.”

Leading Amateur, Andrew Palmer added, “It’s incredible to be here racing this phenomenal Lamborghini and record the fastest lap. It’s such an honor to compete with drivers such as Kevin Conway and Justin Bell. Justin congratulated me, straight after the race and gave me some great advice on how to look after the tires for a little longer. I cannot wait to go again tomorrow.”

So today proved that there is no substitute for experience, but the future is for the young. And the future starts tomorrow as we head into round 8 of what is sure to be another thrilling race in the Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo series here at VIR.

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