Dax Shepard Takes on New Lamborghini Blancpain Race Series
“Any time you’re afraid, well, that seems like a good esteem builder in my book,” said Dax Shepard, moments after stepping out of a V-10 powered, all wheel drive, 570-horsepower racing spec Lamborghini Gallardo LP 570-4 Super Trofeo Factory Spec race car on Sunday.
The recently wed Shepherd had just completed his first qualifying session for the Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo race at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana. “I’m not here to win today, ego-wise,” he said. “I did great at the last race, as long as you race within your means – and driving at 175 miles an hour isn’t crazy like flying a helicopter – I’m doing all right.”
Lamborghini, which until recently did not have much of a racing presence, has presented its Blancpain Super Trofeo race series as a part of a three-prong strategy to turn Lambo enthusiasts onto something a lot faster.
Prong one is the Lamborghini Esperienza, a one-day driving school focused on showing prospects Lamborghinis in an approachable, lifestyle-focused setting. At $850, it’s an accessible entry point into the brand.
Prong two is the Lamborghini Academy, a multi-day performance driving school on famous European racing circuits and special winter courses. The Academy usually takes place in Europe and Asia and starts at 3,500 Euro.
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For those who want a lot more speed, there is prong three, the Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo – a Lamborghini-only Pro-Am racing series that runs across Europe, Asia and new for 2013, across five tracks in North America.
The series in the U.S. is about as turnkey as you can get. All you need is a valid SCCA license – which your local Lamborghini dealer can help you attain -- and the gumption to race. Just plunk down the $35,000 fee for race weekend and arrive at the track where Lamborghini has a fully-track ready Gallardo LP 570-4 waiting for you for the whole race weekend. The turnkey fee provides the whole package, from the rental of a Gallardo, the Pirelli tires, driver racing suits and, as a bonus, you can invite some of your friends to watch you race with trackside hospitality. The race at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana was, like all of the other U.S.-race weekend, spread out over two days, Oct. 20-21. With 11 cars on the grid and 13 drivers total for the weekend, Lamborghini says its racing series provides 44 percent more driving time and 66 percent more race time per weekend than their nearest competitor, the Ferrari Challenge racing series.
If you want to go deeper, there is the team approach. For $292,000 for the car and a $50,000 yearly series fee plus incidentals, you get you’re very own race team for the five-race series.
“We added racing as part of a long-term business model.” said Michael Lock, COO of Lamborghini America. “The exotic car market has stabilized, 2013 is our best sales year since 2007, we’ve grown almost 30% this year in sales.”
“If you look at the shape of our cars, they look faster standing still than most cars do on the track,” said Stephan Winkelmann, Lamborghini’s CEO. “When Lamborghini was started 50 years ago, the goal was to build the fastest street legal super sports cars in the world. Our street cars look like race cars and we wanted to increase the engagement with our owners.”
And why not? For the price of a new watch, you can have your Lamborghini and race it too.