Indianapolis, Ind., September 18 – International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) returned to Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) for the first time in nine years for Round Five of the IMSA Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America series Sept. 15-17 in Indianapolis, Ind.
Wild Elephant Racing team owner/driver Ron Atapattu and co-driver Kevin Madsen were due to compete in both Lamborghini NA rounds in the No. 24 Lamborghini Broward Super Trofeo EVO2 at the historic 2.439-mile, 14-turn IMS road course. Unfortunately, during Saturday morning qualifying the engine failed and a lengthy new engine installation halted their ability to compete in Race #1.
The engine change forced the No. 24 Lamborghini Broward entry to start from the back of the field for Race #2. The team elected to have Atapattu, who was driving for the first time at IMS, be the starting driver from tenth position in the Am class and 36th overall. He quickly rose through the field with a yet untested new engine and by the caution flag displayed on Lap 7, Atapattu was P8 in class.
Pit stops were allowed once the race went green again and Atapattu brought the No. 24 Lamborghini Super Trofeo EVO2 into the pits on Lap 12 for the mandatory driver change pit stop. Madsen went to work quickly, continuing to climb through the large Lamborghini field at the historic Indianapolis circuit, where he had previously raced in 2021 during the 8 Hour race for the Intercontinental GT race in a McLaren GT3 race car.
His drive was impressive as he got as high as fifth position by race end on Lap 29. Unfortunately, while Madsen was alongside another car on Lap 24 contact occurred and he was deemed the primary cause of the incident since he was doing the passing, thus received a penalty.
In the end the No. 24 was scored as seventh in class and 23rd overall in the 50-minute race. The team left happy with the event and performance because the goal was a directive to go for a podium finish if possible. This was especially important after missing Race 1 this weekend and the previous two races at VIRginia International Raceway last month, which left the team unable to have a high season championship result.
Fans were treated to an up-close look at the No. 24 Lamborghini Broward-sponsored red, white, and blue, stars and stripes liveried Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeo EVO2 at Thursday evening’s IMSA Tirerack.com Battle On The Bricks Street Festival in downtown Indianapolis.
Atapattu and Madsen previously won the inaugural race of the season at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, Calif. in their debut 2023 race.
Ron Atapattu, Team Owner/Driver, No. 24 Lamborghini Broward Elephantea Super Trofeo EVO2:
“We had quite an eventful weekend at Indianapolis. This was a track I was glad to see on the calendar this year because I have never raced here and it’s such an iconic track. Everyone wants to ‘kiss the bricks’, which you get to do when you win here.
No one would have thought we would have an engine failure because these Lamborghinis, although powerful and complex, rarely have issues like that. The Ansa Motorsports team did a terrific job working until midnight to change the engine after we couldn’t compete in the first race.
Starting the No. 24 Lamborghini Broward car from the back of the field gave me free range to put the power down to move up. I was making good progress and then the yellow flag came out. After it went green it was time for pit stops so I turned the car over to Kevin. He did an impressive job moving the car up so fast as he didn’t have a very long drive time. It was too bad for the penalty because we were so close to being back on the podium again. In the end though we were happy with our performance in Race 2.”
Kevin Madsen, Driver, No. 24 Lamborghini Broward Elephantea Super Trofeo EVO2:
“What a weekend here at IMS. It was Ron’s first time and the goal the entire time for me was to get him to ‘kiss the bricks’ and get him on that podium. Unfortunately I thought that was out the window once we had the engine failure during that red flag lap during my qualifying session. Ron drove great the entire weekend, especially for his inaugural race here, where he continually improved, knocking off big chunks of time. But with the engine going and us missing Race 1, we knew it was going to take everything by the Ansa Motorsport team to get this new engine in and get us on track. And they delivered. They did an absolute great job to put the car together. Whatever needed to be done, they did it and got us back out for Race 2.
Ron went out and started from the very last position, 36th place overall, for Race 2 and charged up the field, making a number of passes before I got in. Unfortunately a yellow came out and was just a little too long. I was charging through the field hot and the team had me giving it my all as they knew I could catch the podium cars. I had hoped the LB Cup car ahead saw me outside of him at Turn 1 but unforunately he didn’t and we made contact in Turn 2 when he came back to the left. When I talked to him after the race he said he thought I would drop back and just go by on the straight. Unfortunately we didn’t have that sort of time but we both left on good terms knowing we could have both given a bit more space to avoid one another. That’s how it goes in racing sometimes.
I have to thank the team because we couldn’t have done it without the Ansa Motorsports team supported by Lamborghini Broward. Next we’re going to Vallelunga and let’s see what we can do.”
The next race for the series will be held in Vallelunga, Italy on November 16-17 when all three Lamborghini Super Trofeo series, North America, Europe and Asia, come together for the tenth edition of the Lamborghini Super Trofeo Grand Finals.
Warren Henry Auto Group’s Lamborghini Broward, located in Davie, Florida, serves as a sponsor and partner for the No. 24 Wild Elephant Racing team.
Supporting partners for the Wild Elephant Racing team include Lamborghini Broward, elephantea, ShipOCI, Star Warehouse, Hippogriff Racing Co., Racers Safety Source, and CXC Simulations.
About Warren Henry Auto Group
Established in 1976, Warren Henry Auto Group is one of the longest-standing, private, family-owned dealership groups in Florida. The company comprises of nearly 500 employees, 6 different retail locations, and 17 luxury and premium brands including Jaguar, Land Rover, INFINITI, Audi, Lamborghini, Bugatti, Hennessey, Koenigsegg, Toyota, Ford, Lincoln, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, RAM, Icon, and Vespa.
Grounded in its original core values and vision, the company prides itself on providing exceptional customer service, creating a superior work environment for its employees, and supporting local causes in the communities it serves. Warren Henry Auto Group has received numerous awards and accolades including being named Best Dealership to Work for by Automotive News, honored by J.D. Power for Dealer of Excellence, and recognized by the South Florida Business Journal Philanthropy List. The company’s headquarters is located at 2300 NE 151st Street in North Miami. For more information, call (305) 690-6006 or visit www.warrenhenryauto.com.
For more information, please go to: www.wildelephantracing.com.