Wednesday, Aug 17

Rapid Recovery for Conwright, No. 42 NTE/SSR Lamborghini

Tuesday, May 03 532
By Jeff OIson
IMSA Wire Service
 
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – If you looked closely at the truck that hauled NTE Sport/Star Spangled Racing’s Lamborghini to Sunday’s race, you noticed damage to a fender from a blowout that kept the team from making it to the previous race.
 
Those were the scars of perseverance.
 
Shortly before the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach on April 9, one of the truck’s front tires exploded while en route from its Dallas shop. The rig made it safely to the shoulder of the road, but extensive repairs couldn’t be made in time to get to Long Beach and race.
 
“I was at Long Beach,” Jaden Conwright joked, “but the car wasn’t.”
 
Move ahead three weeks. The team’s truck and its cargo make it to WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, as do Conwright and co-driver Marco Holzer. In spite of all the adversity and obstacles, they help a team turn a possible disaster into hope for the future.
 
“The results were good, and the car was a rocket ship,” Conwright said of Sunday's effort in the No. 42 NTE/SSR Lamborghini Huracán GT3. “The results definitely speak. We want more from it, but the car was fast. We were up front all day.”
 
A fueling issue cost the team precious seconds in the pits Sunday late in the Hyundai Monterey Sports Car Championship Presented by Motul, eventually dropping the No. 42 to a sixth-place finish in the GT Daytona (GTD) class. But the pace spoke of potential.
 
“We’ve had a lot of bad luck this year that had prohibited us from finishing a race,” team owner Paul Mata said, “so it was nice to be able to complete a race and run strong. We showed we have the speed, and we’re looking forward to more progress.”
 
The combination of Conwright, the 23-year-old recipient of the first IMSA Diverse Driver Development Scholarship, and Holzer, a 33-year-old veteran, also clicked. “He was on it all weekend,” Conwright said of Holzer.
 
“Pace-wise, we are there with the front cars,” said Holzer, driving the Huracán for the first time. “I’m overall really happy, and everyone did a great job. I hope to do more.” 
Conwright impressively qualified second in the competitive 14-car GTD field and ran consistently in the top four until handing over the car to Holzer with just over an hour remaining in the two-hour, 40-minute race. Still, the top-six finish was considered triumphant under the circumstances: NTE/SSR hadn’t tested the Huracán, Holzer hadn’t driven it before, and Conwright was competing in an IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship sprint race for the first time.
 
“It’s definitely a positive result,” Conwright said. “It shows that we’re in a great place and we have a lot to build on from here. We should hopefully be a force to be reckoned with in the future.” 
 
The future – at least the immediate part of it – is the Lexus Grand Prix at Mid-Ohio on May 15. With adversity behind it, NTE/SSR is focused on the positive.
 
“We’re learning as we go,” Conwright said. “It was definitely a positive all-around weekend. It’s a great place to continue building as the season continues.”
Adam Sinclair

Adam has been a race fan since the first time he went through the tunnel under the Daytona International Speedway more than 30 years ago. He has had the privilege of traveling to races all across the state of Florida (as well as one race in Ohio), watching nearly everything with a motor compete for fame and glory, as well as participating in various racing schools to get the feel of what racecar drivers go through every week.  

Adam spent several years covering motorsports for Examiner.com., where he had the opportunity to see the racing world from behind the scenes as well as the grandstands. He invites everyone to follow him on Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus, and looks forward to sharing his enthusiasm for all things racing with the readers of SpeedwayDigest.com.

Be sure to tune in for his sports talk program, Thursday Night Thunder, where he discusses the latest in motorsports news with drivers, crew members, and fans. The show takes place (almost) every Thursday at 8:00 pm EST on the Speedway Digest Radio Network. 

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