Underground Twin Turbo Lamborghini Dream Ride – Just Lucky

My Ride in an Lamborghini Superleggara

Ever been to SEMA? Then you’ve dreamed. When I stumbled upon this stunning orange Lamborghini in the Optima Batteries booth, was I dreaming to ride in it? Nah, probably not. There’d be no way… how could I make that happen? It’s more of a fantasy… not something that’d happen to me.

Well it did!

lamborghini superleggera, twin turbo lambo, underground racing, Lamborghini racing

So what did I see in the booth? Allow me to elaborate: This is a 2011 Lamborghini Gallardo. To be more specific, it’s the Superleggera version.  Superleggera refers to the special lightweight construction thanks to carbon fiber used all over the place. (you’ll see it in every picture… click to see any pic full size)

lamborghini superlegerra, twin turbo

Let me say a little more… this is no ordinary Lamborghini Superleggera (like they could ever be ordinary!) This one’s had the 5.2L V10 it normally runs (only 562 HP and 0-62mph in 3.4s… phffft!) replaced by a twin turbo setup by Underground Racing. When the driver tunes the ECU to the highest setting of, “Are you kidding me” this potent supercar rocks 1500 HP on 116 octane. Yes. Details from Underground Racing here.

All wheel drive, 1500 ponies means 230 mph at the 2012 Silver State Classic. WAY over 200 mph possible from a car I rode in for a couple hours. Could this get any cooler?

Artistic picture

So how’d this happen? Let me start out by saying why the Lamborghini was in the Optima booth. Ever heard of the Optima Ultimate Street Car Invitational?  Also known as the OUSCI, it’s a race that follows SEMA featuring cars showcased at SEMA.

Did that just sink in? Custom, mostly one-of-a-kind cars driven right from the SEMA show to the track.

As the brainchild of Cam Douglass, Optima’s director of product development and marketing, the OUSCI shows that SEMA cars (some of them at least) are show AND GO! Now in it’s 5th year, the OUSCI field is invitation only and features a mega-diverse set of fast cars. More on the race in another post…

Back to how this happened… One part of the Optima Invitational, the road rally, started at the end of SEMA. Some of the cars had a passenger seat available to media folks. That’s when I got lucky! My friend “Optima Jim” the too cool and too tall road rep and social media expert for Optima hooked me up. Good thing too… When Optima was handing out rides, I was nowhere to be found. Jim knew I was drooling over the Lamborghini and had already started a friendship with owner Mark Capener at the Silver State race. He saved the spot for me… Thank you buddy!

Once in the car, you couldn’t tear the smile off my face! Here’s what I saw:

lamborghini superleggera interiorlamborghini superleggera, lamborghini interior, underground racing, Lamborghini racing

lamborghini superleggera, twin turbo lambo,

Carbon, carbon every where! That’s the Superleggera talking. The roll cage and racing harnesses are from Underground Racing, and as you can see, the cage snakes through the A/C duct and “Still blow cold air” according to Mark.

I can’t lie… leaving SEMA in this Lamborghini… The sound! Twin turbos gently, then not-so-gently growling, it was poetry. Then, the stares!! With 50-weight running in nearly every SEMA attendees veins, everyone wanted to hear the Lamborghini running and see it move.

lamborghini superleggera, lamborghini owner

So who owns and drives a Superleggera twin turbo and isn’t afraid to run it at 230 mph on a public road? Meet Dr. Mark Capener. What a tremendously nice guy! I had no idea what to expect. I’d never met anyone with the means to own a supercar, let alone upgraded to this level. Luckily, Mark put me at ease right away explaining he’s a “snot picker” in his words. In fact, he’s an ear, nose and throat surgeon and a true, if ever there was one, speed seeker and car guy. Was he there to win? Nope, “Just having fun!”

I enjoyed every minute with the good doctor, even though this car obviously wasn’t built for gangly 6-foot-4 guys with over-sized camera bags!

lamborghini superleggera, Lamborghini racing

After a couple hot laps at the Las Vegas Speedway road course hosted by Exotics Racing (would have liked to drive one of their Ferraris!) we enjoyed a guided tour at the Shelby Museum, then were back on the road to Pahrump – the long way. The sound of the turbo’d beast on boost was tremendous. I have to say though, I didn’t get to feel the full power! When we arrived at the Nugget hotel in Pahrump, my dream ride was over, but Mark and his brother (Bob, right?) had plans to change all the fouled spark plugs to get ready for the Optima race. In the dark, outside, they finished after 2AM.

So how’d he do at the race?

lamborghini superleggera, twin turbo lambo, Lamborghini racing
lamborghini superleggera, underground racing, Lamborghini racing

Simply… not so well. But, I can promise you nobody had more fun! No real changes were made to the Lamborghini following the 230 mph blast and the Silver Springs track and the short challenge courses didn’t suit the tall geared setup at all. Nobody could hope to beat him on the longest straight, but in the SCCA-style twisties, he didn’t get to open’er up. The high powered and more nimble cars dominated there. (I smelled a few ringers on the track too…)

To Mark, Jim and Optima Batteries: Thank you for the ride of my life! As stunning as this car is to look at, it’s the sound I won’t forget… each turbo distinctly howling as we drove through the tunnel into Las Vegas Speedway. Magical coolness.


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