NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana (May 24, 2022) – TPC Racing and its three-car IMSA Lamborghini Super Trofeo team secured a pair of podium finishes, a pole position and led several laps overall in a wet and wild Saturday race that was part of a successful weekend of competition at NOLA Motorsports Park.
The weekend’s pair of 50-minute sprints were rounds 3 and 4 of this year’s Super Trofeo championship. The results give TPC three podiums and a pair of poles for the season so far in addition to a mass of knowledge and data about the new Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo EVO2.
The double podium Saturday saw TPC and its drivers rack up a full list of first time achievements. It was the first time TPC earned a pair of Super Trofeo podium finishes in the same race, the first top-three finish for team driver Scott Schmidt, the first race for Schmidt in the LB Cup class and Schmidt’s first time racing solo in a Lamborghini Super Trofeo Huracán.
The top result, however, came from Am-class co-drivers Wesley Slimp and Tyler Hoffman who led the majority of Saturday’s race from the pole in the No. 9 HNTB Companies Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo EVO2. The duo was elevated to the Am class after winning the year’s opening race last month at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca in the LB Cup class.
NOLA marked the first full weekend of Am-class competition for Slimp and Hoffman in the Am class and they made the most of it. Hoffman led every lap of his stint in Saturday’s sprint from the pole while closing driver Slimp battled for the win until the end when he crossed the finish line in second place.
The fact that the No. 9 duo was able to contend at all was remarkable considering both drivers had to compete without windshield wipers in the wet and rainy conditions. Despite the wipers not working, both Hoffman and Slimp turned competitive lap times through the rain-soaked race.
While Hoffman was setting the early pace Saturday in Am, TPC Racing’s Pro-class driver Billy Johnson stepped up to lead his first overall Super Trofeo race laps in the rain in the No. 71 DSC Sport/Erin Levitas Foundation Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo EVO2.
Johnson was in the hunt for the win only to drop from contention when he was assessed a late drive-through penalty for an earlier pit infraction. Johnson rebounded to finish Saturday’s race and then closed out the weekend with a fifth-place result in Sunday’s weekend-ending sprint.
Meanwhile, Schmidt put in two of the best drives of his Super Trofeo career in the No. 38 DSC Sport/Erin Levitas Foundation Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo EVO2 in the pair of NOLA races.
While Johnson and Hoffman led respectively in Saturday’s soaker, Schmidt steadily ripped off laps in the wet and worked his way into a third-place podium position he would hold to the finish. He was on pace in the No. 38 again on Sunday, setting his fastest lap of the weekend while racing to a fourth-place LB Cup finish in dry conditions.
The IMSA Lamborghini Super Trofeo series next returns to action at Watkins Glen International in New York State, June 23 – 25, four Rounds 5 and 6 of the 2022 championship.
Harris Levitas, TPC Racing Director of Race Operations: “Saturday we had a mixed-weather race. It was all mixed conditions. We started in wet conditions and Billy jumped straight to the lead, opened up a four-second gap and just maintained the pace. Then the track really started to dry out. We pitted for four tires to send Billy back out on drys. We left the other two cars on wet tires for their position and their experience, and that suited them best. When Billy went out on drys he was back into P3. Unfortunately we had a pit stop penalty and had to serve that as a drive through and we couldn’t get that Pro podium that the team and Billy truly deserved. But we’re working hard. We’re really trying to figure out the chassis right now and we’ve got to thank Billy for his help and patience with us. I feel we’re getting really close. We’re in a good spot and we’re working really hard to get there. I really have to thank our TPC Racing team. The guys have worked five days, 17 hours a day in this heat and humidity, just working really hard to get all three cars to where they are now. Saturday went really well for Scott Schmidt in the No. 38 car. He did an awesome job getting a podium in his first race driving by himself, which is a huge thing for him. We’re really proud of him and all the effort he put into it. Wesley Slimp and Tyler Hoffman did a really great job finishing P2 in class Saturday. Unfortunately, Tyler got hit Sunday during his stint and had a spin that knocked him out of any chance to fight for a podium. But he had a great recovery and we’ll just keep plugging away.”
Scott Schmidt, Driver No. 38 DSC Sport/Erin Levitas Foundation Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo EVO2: “We ended up placing third in the rain in the first race, which makes the podium even more satisfying. I would absolutely recommend testing in the rain to anyone driving. Don’t fear the rain. It’s probably one of the best tools you’ll ever find out there. Through the weekend, I was able to run 50-minute stints for the first time, which is a game changer when it comes to this car. I am feeling more comfortable, allowing the car to move, it’s predictable and now it’s time to take it to the speeds that the car is capable of reaching. The highlight Sunday was being able to pass and move up into fourth position. I couldn’t get up to the third place car and was just not carrying enough speed into the turns on the high-speed turns. I am looking forward to Watkins Glen where we can focus on that specifically, and that is finding the limits of the car at high speed. I did run my fastest lap in Sunday’s race when the conditions were a little warmer. It was very satisfying. I’m really looking forward to Watkins Glen.”
Wesley Slimp, Driver No. 9 HNTB Companies Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo EVO2: “I’m really proud of how I drove, Saturday specifically. Those were the worst conditions I’ve probably seen in any race car, so putting 600 horsepower down to the pavement with rain tires on a drying track was tricky. We were hoping for more rain, that would have helped us out a little more, but we still maximized what we felt like we had in the car. By the time I was on the track, most of the moisture on the racing line was gone. Being behind another car, it wasn’t really spitting up too much water. My visibility was all right. The biggest thing during that stint was the rain tires just falling to pieces on the dry track. The rain setup was strong enough that with limited grip we were still able to wheel the car and it just felt great. Sunday was a little trickier, but once we really unlock these cars it should be a different story. This season is all about development for us, just elevating all together as a program. Each session I am out on the track I want to find something, and so far I’ve been doing that.”
Tyler Hoffman, Driver No. 9 HNTB Companies Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo EVO2: “It was an exciting weekend and a lot of fun. They say rain is the ultimate equalizer, and we were able to show our abilities and our skill level as we continue to develop and figure out this new car. We’re making the most of the promotion up to the Am class and to be able to snag a podium P2 and a pole position on our first full weekend in Am is a fantastic achievement. I’m looking forward to coming back at Watkins Glen. The rain lights were instrumental in keeping the car in one piece. With no windshield wipers, we were literally driving by braille. I couldn’t see really anything. These cars, with their aerodynamic grip and the diffuser in the wings, also applies to water on the track. So there was water everywhere. For some reason, the rain wasn’t beading and running off the windshield like we have seen before; it was just sitting on the windshield on a dirty, wet track. So the rain lights were very nice to have. Without them, it would have made the start a little bit more exciting than we would probably would have wanted.”
Billy Johnson, Driver No. 71 DSC Sport/Erin Levitas Foundation Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo EVO2: “This is really our second weekend with the car so it’s still very new and we’re just chipping away at it, just testing a whole bunch of stuff and trying to figure it out. It’s a unique car to set up, has unique characteristics, and we finally came across some positive things. Going into Saturday’s race it was looking well, but we got hit really hard in the right front in Turn 1, which damaged the car. Despite that, we were still able to pass the four cars in front of us and lead the race. Then we had some pit issues and ended up finishing seventh after having to do three pit stops. For Sunday’s race we got the car back together but we didn’t catch some issues that had damaged the car from the crash, so we were struggling with that. Now we will actually have time for once to take the car to the shop and go through it. It needs to be gone through. We caught some things that we couldn’t address this weekend so we’ll go through it and properly prepare for Watkins Glen. I’m looking forward to doing some testing at The Glen and having some more time in the car.”
About TPC Racing: TPC Racing is the Mid-Atlantic’s premier maintenance, service, tuning and modification center dedicated solely to Porsche sportscars. TPC Racing specializes in R&D and sales of high-performance modifications for Porsche sports cars and race cars, offering a wide range of vehicle upgrades. Best known for a line of forced induction solutions for the Porsche 911, Cayman and Boxster, a long-time focus on only one make, Porsche, has enabled TPC Racing to become experts in Porsche service, tuning, and racing. In 2000, TPC Racing began entering races under its own banner, scoring an SGS-class Championship in 2004 in the Grand-American Rolex Series and was a class winner in the 2006 Rolex 24 At Daytona, and captured the 2013 and 2016 IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA Gold Cup Championships. More information can be found at http://www.TPCRacing.com.