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15-Year-Old Steven Aghakhani Impressive In Blancpain GT World Challenge America Season Opener

15-Year-Old Steven Aghakhani Impressive In Blancpain GT World Challenge America Season Opener

11.03.2019: - The teenager overcame several early race setbacks to march his US RaceTronics team to a top-five finish at COTA - Aghakhani will be joined in 2019 by partners SADA, Sheger

- The teenager overcame several early race setbacks to march his US RaceTronics team to a top-five finish at COTA


- Aghakhani will be joined in 2019 by partners SADA, Shegerian Law Firm, Magic Laundry Systems and Aghakhani and Luk LLP




Young driver Steven Aghakhani took a significant step forward in his racing career during the opening round of the Blancpain GT Americas World Challenge season at Circuit of the Americas, where the 15-year-old driver capped the weekend with a top-five finish in the Pro-Am class.



Following a sixth-place finish in Saturday’s season-opener, the action cranked up on Sunday for the second-round of the doubleheader. Some tough luck and a drive through penalty meant that Aghakhani took over the No. 6 US RaceTronics SADA Systems Mercedes-AMG GT3 from co-driver Richard Antinucci deep in the talented field on a lap 20 pit stop during the 40-lap, 90-minute race.



Aghakhani left the pits in 17th overall position, and two laps later had climbed to the ninth position. By lap 32, Aghakhani’s Mercedes-AMG was in eighth place, and the youngster was battling for a class podium position on the 20-turn, 3.427-mile world-class circuit.



Contact with a slower car with four laps to go slowed the pace of the Mercedes-AMG and ended the podium hopes but left the team with a strong top-five finish in class.



“It’s my first time driving the car, it felt amazing,” Aghakhani said of the weekend, before comparing it to the Lamborghini that he had previously raced. “It’s a huge step up compared to the Super Trofeo. It’s a different class of GT car. Switching over to the AMG GT3 was one of the biggest changes of my racing career so far. We’re loving the car. We’re finding out every detail about the car.”



Considering the new program, it was an important building block for Aghakhani’s racing career.
“Honestly, I feel really great because of the conditions that happened,” Aghakhani said.


“Starting 17th with the car and then coming back with eighth overall and fourth in class, I think that's extremely big and not something that you look down on. That's a positive note, and I think everyone including myself and the team can learn from this. We're just going to come back stronger and even better next race.”



In addition to the on-track success, the race weekend was important for partners SADA, Shegerian Law Firm, Magic Laundry Systems and Aghakhani and Luk LLP. As a Global Cloud Premier Partner and global leader in cloud computing and strategic IT solutions, SADA systems was able to use the Circuit of the Americas location to invite Google Cloud executives from Austin to experience the Blancpain GT Americas World Challenge paddock and meet and greet with Aghakhani and the team.



The weekend race was the first in the Mercedes-AMG GT3 following a 2018 debut and class win with the US RaceTronics team in the Intercontinental California 8 Hours last September. Aghakhani’s remaining 2019 plans will be finalized soon.

 


 
Reece White-also photo

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/15-year-steven-aghakhani-gt-world-america-opener---187652.html

11.03.2019 / MaP

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