“Man that looks fast” is a phrase commonly heard when racing fans walk by a Lamborghini Super Trofeo Evo as it waits to head out on track.
The comically large carbon wing, shark fin aerodynamic stabilizer, and XXL Capristo exhaust tips hint towards the Evo’s ability on the racetrack, but even its Hotwheels looks can’t match up to just how neck-snappingly fast this Lamborghini is.
While Lamborghini likes to present the Super Trofeo Evo as a car for the discerning customer to cut their teeth in big time racing, the 620 horsepower, 2800 pound Evo that literally breathes fire is far from a gentleman driver’s car.
Most people with some high performance driving experience tend to look at any racing car and think “yeah I can drive that thing, easy.” That was exactly my thought before I arrived to the Super Trofeo World Finals in Jerez, Spain. Fresh off a win in the Radical Cup at Laguna Seca, I was ready to show these GT guys what a seasoned prototype racer could do.
My confidence wore down dramatically as the car revved and snapped, sitting on the pneumatic posts that hold the spinning wheels off the ground during warm-up.
I climbed into the low slung cockpit, ducking my head to avoid the heavily raked windshield and listened to the team’s engineer who offered some friendly advice for my first time out in a GT racecar at this historic racetrack. The most important of which, and the one that I should have listened to more carefully, was to keep the bright red traction control selector knob on the steering wheel on at least “Setting 4” until things got up to temperature.
Being the experienced racing driver that I assumed I was, I set the TC knob to “1” and burned rubber leaving the pitbox. The Evo feels like a track weapon even at 60 kph, bouncing off the pitspeed limiter like a JDM car backfiring on its two step launch control.
I click the pitspeed button off, and my helmet smacks against the back of my seat as the rear tires light up in second gear, and then third gear, and halfway through fourth. I have never felt acceleration like that in a purpose-built racecar. After lifting off and taking a breath, I click the TC knob back to “5” and hurtle towards Turn 1 at Jerez at nearly 150 miles per hour. I stomp on the brake pedal as hard as I can, and my radio cord stands straight out past my helmet.
The Evo’s braking and cornering performance are equally as impressive as its acceleration, but it doesn’t come easily.
Video of Patrick Liddy on a flying lap in the Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeo Evo at World Championships @ Circuito de Jerez in Spain. Hear and feel the purring V10 engine and screeching brakes!
Another video of Patrick Liddy driving the Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeo Evo in a qualifying lap at Barber Motorsports Park. They placed 2nd overall in the first race of the season in April 2019.
The Super Trofeo Evo has surprisingly little in common with the Huracan Evo, the road going car on which it’s based.
Lamborghini starts with the production V10 engine and adds a Capristo racing exhaust and beautifully sculpted carbon fiber roof snorkel for good measure. Öhlins racing shocks dampen all four corners, and the factory built racecar is buttoned up with full carbon body panels designed to increase downforce and cooling. The brains of the Huracan are then replaced by racing ABS and TC control systems and a very trick carbon fiber steering wheel. The finished product is nearly 500 pounds lighter than the road car with exponentially more downforce and ludicrous levels of lateral grip. These characteristics make the Evo an extremely demanding car to drive at the limit.
It is hyper sensitive to braking on corner entry: too early and the nose pops up before the apex, causing you to lose front grip from the weight transfer and push wide, too late means you’re standing on the ABS halfway through the corner with no chance of modulating your entry. The combination of big horsepower and low downforce means every high speed corner takes commitment, bravery, and at least one eye closed.
This thing is no joke to drive. In fact, most pro drivers I talk to argue that other racecars feel pedestrian after hanging on for dear life in the Super Trofeo Evo.
Once you get some seat time and understand how to deal with the few idiosyncrasies that this car has, it is an extremely rewarding driving experience. The head banging acceleration from the uncorked V10, nausea inducing lateral cornering forces, and spaceship-esque looks never get old.
The Super Trofeo Evo certainly lives up to its name of “The fastest one make series on earth”, and is most decidedly Lamborghini.
Patrick Liddy, a Pasadena native, began racing at a young age. Having always had an enormous passion for anything with an engine, Liddy began training in karts and was able to move from there into club racing with Spec Miatas and Lotus Cup cars. In no time, he graduated to racing lightweight prototypes with the top US club racers.
2018 was a breakout year for Liddy with his debut in Lamborghini Super Trofeo. Kicking off the season with a win at Mid Ohio and Road America, Liddy scored podium finishes in every race he competed in. He now represents Lamborghini in their prestigious Young Drivers Program racing in the Pro division of IMSA’s Super Trofeo Series.