Armaan Ebrahim rounded-off his first season in Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia series by finishing second in the drivers’ standings, after the season finale at Sebring International Circuit last weekend.
Ebrahim and Sri Lankan teammate Dilantha Malagamuwa, had been plagued with mechanical troubles all season long, from tyre deflation to gearbox gremlins preventing the Indian from showing his true potential behind the wheels.
And Ebrahim’s fortunes failed to improve at the final round with his car arriving late at the track on Thursday. Nevertheless, he managed to slot his car in third position on the grid for the double header.
“Our car arrived only at 5 AM on Thursday. So, there was literally no time to do any work on the car," Ebrahim said depicting the extent of misfortunes.
"The three Free Practice sessions went off quite decently for us and we qualified third for both races."
Podium in race one, issues persists
Malagamuwa did duty in the No.24 Huracan LP 620-2 at the start of the first race, battling gearbox troubles before handing the car to Ebrahim.
Despite inconsistent gear shifts and occasional loss of gears, the Indian fought his way back to third, continuing the duo’s podium streak.
“In Race One, we went with a different strategy and sent out Dilantha first. Right from the start, we had a gearbox problem with inconsistent shifts and sometimes, loss of gears," he said.
"Soon as the pit window was open, we made our stop. I got in and made my way up to third. Our gears were getting worse as it even struggled to go up the box and not only down.
"The race finished behind safety car which came out with 10 minutes left,’’ he added.
Gritty drive in race two after pitlane start
With persistent problems with the transmission system, Ebrahim’s mechanics found it apt to change the gearbox in-between the two races. However, with the car arriving late from parc ferme, the procedure was heavily delayed.
Fortunately, rain hit the track moments before the start of the race two, giving mechanics just enough time to get his car ready for a pitlane start.
From the back of the pack, Ebrahim and Malagamuwa rose up the order, finishing just outside the podium in fourth place.
“Race Two was even more stressful. After the first race, by the time the car came into the garage from Parc Ferme, we had lost a bit of time," Ebrahim said.
"It was decided that the gearbox needed to be changed. At first, it looked like we will miss the race, but thanks to God literally, as it started raining when the rest of the field was on the grid.
“The rains forced a delay in the start and the whole field had to get back to the pits to change tyres.
"This brought us loads of time and we still only just made for a pitlane start. It meant we had to get through again and we did most of it to finish fourth,’’ the Indian concluded.
Ebrahim also took part in the World Finals at Sebring, finishing 10th in both races in a field comprising of participants from all Lamborghini Super Trofeo championships.
American Corey Lewis emerged on the top step of the podium at each occasion in the PRO-AM category.