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Super Trofeo Stories: Inside the Sparklefarts car

27 June 2024

If you have watched any Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America race over the past two seasons, there’s a very good chance you will have spotted the Flying Lizard Motorsports entry of Slade Stewart and Andy Lee.

The bright pink unicorn liveried Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo EVO2 is one of the most popular and striking cars on the grid, and for good reason.

But if it turns heads for its playful wrap, inflatable unicorn mascot and a happy-go-lucky engagement with its burgeoning fanbase at events, the on-track approach is highly professional.

A one-make series specialist, Stewart entered Lamborghini Super Trofeo in 2022, initially winning the Lamborghini Cup class, finishing runner-up in the World Finals before stepping up to the Pro-Am category the following year.

“I started racing about 10 years ago, I was actually a motorcycle racer doing club championships in southern California but that took a background role when I started having kids,” explains Stewart.

“And then, about four years ago, I decided to take the step up into car racing for a different brand and, because I didn’t have that much experience, Andy Lee became my driving coach. He had a lot of experience with the car, and I wanted someone to help me get up to speed as quickly and as efficiently as possible. 

“Shortly thereafter, I got introduced to Super Trofeo; Flying Lizard Motorsports was coming back to customer racing, and they were going to race with Lamborghini, and I got intrigued by it.

“And the next step was to into the Pro-Am class, and naturally the driver I wanted to partner with and to be the Pro was Andy Lee. We’ve had a long relationship, we work very, very well together, he’s very quick and a great teacher for me.”

The partnership began at the start of the 2023 season, and, despite some early season challenges, Stewart headed into the off-season with fresh motivation and an even more professional attitude.

“We didn’t finish the year where we would have ideally wanted to finish, but we took a lot of positives from it and spent a lot of time during the winter getting physically better, in the gym, working on our stamina,” says Stewart.

“We’re also back in the car with our new chief engineer who delivered a car with which we believe we can be competitive this year. So, we’re back and we were very encouraged with the start of the season in Sebring.

“I take my performance incredibly seriously. That’s not to say that I don’t have fun, no. I have a lot of fun, it’s a lot of hard work but it’s also really fun to race a Lamborghini too. “Andy is a great coach, and we have a plan every time we go out in the car, we execute that plan and if I fail to do that, then we come back and look at the data and find out what I did wrong. We communicate on a level that is very efficient and we also both happen to like each other which helps!”

Stewart feels at home with Lamborghini Super Trofeo and finds a happy balance between competitive fire and off-track fun. It’s why his “Sparklefarts” car has become such a staple of the North American championship. An easily recognisable livery that matches with on-track success has had an inevitable boom in popularity.
“The Sparklefarts livery stems from my team Momentum Racing in 2013/2014, and my decision from the very start was to let my kids design a wrap,” continues Stewart. 

“But then, every season, I’d have to let a new kid pick a wrap, I now have five children. But then my collection of racecars grew and when I entered Super Trofeo, with the EVO2 being the biggest car, I gave it to my eldest daughter to design the wrap. 

“And she said: ‘I really want to bring back the pink unicorn wrap’ which we had used before back in the day. And I was like: ‘are you sure’, because it was going to be seen on national TV and everything.”

Team-mate Andy Lee jumps in: “and she’s a pretty forceful individual and what she wants, she gets!”

“He spent two days with her at Disneyland, which was enough!” replies Stewart. “And that’s how we came to have the livery on the car. There was a lot of apprehension among the team to have this sparkly unicorn with the big mane, because if I had come out of the green flag and stuffed it in the wall, it wouldn’t have looked very good. 

“But fortunately, we have had a lot of success.”

Walk around the North America paddock and it’s almost impossible to miss the Flying Lizard Motorsport awning. Apart from the pink machine, there’s posters, flyers and an inflatable unicorn mascot to boot.

Predictably, it’s been a massive hit with fans.

“It works well with our fans as well,” says Stewart. “We draw significant numbers of people to our garage, and we do tours with our fanbase, so that’s the other side of the equation. Racing is really professional but it’s also about bringing in fans and engaging with them.”

The 2024 season began strongly for the Stewart/Lee partnership, with the latter setting the fastest time in qualifying for the second race of the weekend. A first win if the year in the second round at Laguna Seca was also just reward for the hard work Stewart and Lee have been putting in too.

It bodes well for the rest of the season, as Stewart and Lee attempt to fight for the title in an increasingly competitive Pro-Am class in North America. 

And one thing for sure is that Stewart, while still an amateur driver, is desperate to add another title to his CV and continue his successful stint with Lamborghini by season’s end.

“When I started racing Lamborghinis, not only did I fall in love with the car and the series, but I fell in love with the brand and the support you get from the brand,” he says. 

“From the top down, it’s fundamentally different to some of the other brands and that’s an important part of it because we are spending money to race, we want to know that we have a brand that is behind us, and Lamborghini continues to prove that it does.”

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