Aghakhani and Eidson Co-Drive No. 26 SADA Systems/US RaceTronics Mercedes-AMG GT3 to Seventh-Place Finish

Aghakhani and Eidson Co-Drive No. 26 SADA Systems/US RaceTronics Mercedes-AMG GT3 to Seventh-Place Finish

27.09.2021: ...in Grand Prix of Long Beach Debut Aghakhani, Eidson and SADA/USRT Team Improve Four Positions for Seventh Place Finish in Long Beach and IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Series GT Daytona (GTD) Class Debuts


...in Grand Prix of Long Beach Debut


Aghakhani, Eidson and SADA/USRT Team Improve Four Positions for Seventh Place Finish in Long Beach and IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Series GT Daytona (GTD) Class Debuts

 


Steven Aghakhani, Jacob Eidson and the No. 26 SADA Systems/US RaceTronics Mercedes-AMG GT3 team checked off a number of firsts Saturday with a solid seventh-place finish in the debut race for both the drivers and team in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship's GT Daytona (GTD) class at the legendary Grand Prix of Long Beach.



In addition to their Long Beach and IMSA GTD debuts, the 100-minute race was the first for Aghakhani and Eidson co-driving a Mercedes-AMG GT3. The race was also the first on a street course for Los Angeles native Aghakhani, who at 18 was the youngest driver in the IMSA field for what was the Saturday highlight of the 46th running of the Grand Prix of Long Beach.



"It was an absolute honor just to be out there and have a chance to race with the bigger GTLM and Daytona Prototype international classes at Long Beach," Aghakhani said. "Having SADA Systems, Raymond James and all of our great sponsors and everyone with the US RaceTronics team supporting us was just amazing. Everyone on the team did a great job to get the setup on the car even though we had never been here before. We had to pass as many people as we could, did just that, and brought the car up to seventh from starting 11th."



Aghakhani started the race and immediately started passing cars despite a setback before the green flag even waved and a loss of car-to-pit radio communication with the USRT team.
 


"The race is what it is," Aghakhani said. "We can’t dwell on it too much, just learn from it all and improve. The start was very strung out, people all over the place, and a car behind me passed for position on the Seaside Way straight on the pace lap long before the green flag even waved! It's not really for me to comment, the start was what it was, no penalties were called, and then we lost all radio communication. We just had to figure it out, put our heads down and start clicking off laps."



Aghakhani maintained his focus and moved into the top 10 before pitting to hand off to Eidson just before the race's 40-minute mark. After the USRT team nailed their first ever Long Beach pit stop, Eidson returned to the race in ninth and zeroed in on picking up a few more positions.



"I feel great," Eidson said. "Our goal is always to win and get on the podium, but to come into a field that is so competitive and so stacked with 17 cars, and have it be our first time together in the Mercedes-AMG, the first time at this track, so many things a first for us, to finish in the top seven is awesome.




Our pace was really good too. I’ve got to hand it to the US RaceTronics team, they busted their butts and they really, really worked hard to make this car race ready. A lot of credit to them and a lot of credit to SADA Systems and my teammate Steven. He had a great start. Everybody did their part and that’s what we needed to get a solid result here. This has been a bucket list track and I’m super excited to have the chance to cross that off the list."
 


Aghakhani is determined to build on the Long Beach success and is the kind of driver who is never truly happy until he steps on to the victory lane podium.



"I guess you could say for the first time out, running the same times as the front runners who have been doing this for years now, is something to be proud of," Aghakhani said. "But, personally for me, I would have much preferred being on the podium at least. We’ve just got to look ahead. We have Italy coming up and we will start focusing on that right away."



In addition to the Long Beach debut, Aghakhani, Eidson and USRT have been winning competitors in this year's IMSA Lamborghini Super Trofeo Championship. With the North American portion of the 2021 Super Trofeo season complete, next up is the season-ending doubleheader, October 28 - 31, that will be held in Misano, Italy , just ahead of the season-ending World Finals at the same Italian circuit.



Aghakhani's racing programs run with the support of several key sponsor partners in 2021. SADA Systems, Inc. is a privately held global leader in providing business and technology consulting services that transform organizations through cloud-based solutions at www.sada.com The Global Wealth Solutions Group of Raymond James has far-reaching abilities to help clients. Their team has a global focus while maintaining an intimate focus on each client's world. Learn more at www.raymondjames.com. Magic Laundry Services (MLS) is one of the largest independently owned hospitality linens and dry-cleaning operations in the country, catering primarily to the hospitality industry. Learn more at www.magiclaundryservices.com.


TKX Associates specializes in consulting and staff augmentation at www.tkxassociates.com, Shegerian & Associates is a Los Angeles based firm at www.shegerianlaw.com. Insignia Mortgage focuses on providing flexible portfolio lending options for clients with non-traditional lending needs. Learn more at www.insigniamortgage.com. The Tax & Business Consulting Group is a Los Angeles-based public accounting firm at www.alllp.com. Equeduct provides capital funding solutions for small businesses at www.equeduct.com. O’Gara Coach is a luxury and high-performance auto dealer in Beverly Hills, Westlake Village and San Diego. Additional valued partners include Forgiato Wheels, Speed Society and the Pro Automotive Repair Center in Glendale, California.
 



SaalGood, MBUSA/Brian Cleary/@BCPix.com and Jamey Price/@jameypricephoto

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27.09.2021 / MaP

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