ELKHART LAKE, Wisconsin (August 11, 2023) – Tiger Tari’s Road America rounds of the Lamborghini Super Trofeo season mirrored his season to date, with incredible highs and steady improvement ripped away through bad luck and misfortune.
Tari and his Star Spangled Racing/NTE Sport team left the doubleheader weekend on August 4-6 with a sixth and a 10th place finish, but led a lap in the LB Cup class under the pit cycle and drove as high as third place on the track before his weekend ended early thanks to unfortunate contact.
The highlight of the weekend was when he found his No. 17 Star Spangled Racing with NTE Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeo EVO2 at the top of the LB Cup class in the midst of the mandatory pit stops. Though the top spot was short lived, Tari had driven to third and held the position after everyone’s stops had been completed.
Even that came with some drama, as Tari’s radio communication with the team was compromised in the race. Tari made the call to pit on his own after noticing the pit window open, and then left alone again after the stop. Light contact to the rear of his car in the middle of a corner caused a spin and the podium finish evaporated.
“Road America is such a fun track, but there is more elevation change than there looks on tv,” Tari said. “Not having a radio is a real disadvantage, especially on the starts and restarts. You can’t see the starter’s stand and the flag until you crest the hill, so I had to wait and judge it by the other cars around me. It probably cost me at least one position on every start or restart, and I had to push to get that back.”
Tari had again driven to fifth during Sunday’s race after starting eighth, avoiding other people’s incidents and marching up the sheets. That evaporated with 13 minutes remaining in the 50 minute race. Locked in a battle with a fellow LB Cup competitor heading into Canada Corner, Tari was hit hard in the rear by a Pro class contender.
The contact resulted in a drive through penalty for the Pro driver, but both cars were undrivable after the incident. Tari’s No. 17 suffered significant damage to the rear, and will need to be repaired to make the next round at Virginia International Raceway.
“The end of that race was terribly unfortunate,” Tari said. “I’ve been snake bit this year trying to finish races, but I’m really happy with my driving. I continue to get faster, and even though I expect more from myself I have to remember that I haven’t even been doing this for a full season.”
Indeed, Tari’s debut came one year ago at Road America after participating in SCCA and World Endurance League racing. He had never so much as sat in the car prior to his debut, and even then – because he shared the car with a co-driver, and also experienced some mechanical issues – had only about four full laps at Road America.
Because of that, each of the first half of the 2023 season saw Tari visiting new-to-him race tracks. At the tricky WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, Tari opened with a fourth-place finish and went even quicker in race two before a spin on old tires ended his race one lap down. Watkins Glen was very similar, getting quicker in race two before a flat tire ended his day early.
Beginning at the next race at VIR, Tari gets an opportunity to repeat a track – one that he earned a podium on a season ago.
“I’m looking forward to being able to settle in at VIR,” Tari said. “It’s been a very up and down year, but I finally get to eliminate the variables. I know the car pretty well by now, and I know the track. I can take what I learned last year and focus forward this week. It will be really fun.”
Tari exits Road America eighth in the LB Cup seaon-long championship, and part of the Lamborghini Palm Beach’s dominating effort in the dealership standings.
Tari’s Star Spangled Racing Lamborghini is carrying Lamborghini Palm Beach, PSA Systems, Clean Claims, Home Repair Network Limited and Terra Gaucha Brazilian Steakhouse on the car during the 2023 season.
The Lamborghini Super Trofeo season, including Tari’s No. 17 Star Spangled Racing Lamborghini Huracan, returns to action at VIR for a doubleheader August 25-27.