Andrew Palmer on the podium (photo courtesy of

Sophomore Andrew Palmer of Chicago surprised the racing world with an upstart win in the Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo World Finals last weekend, beating many established, professional racers. The Lamborghini racing series consists of races in Europe, Asia and North America, culminating with the World Title races at the Vallelunga Circuit in Rome, Italy.

The European and Asian series have been running since 2009, but 2013 was the first in North America for what Lamborghini calls the "world's fastest one-make series." Palmer made a name for himself in this circuit in just seven weeks of road racing. Formerly a competitive kart racer, he took pole position with the fastest time during qualifications at Virginia International Raceway in his debut motor-racing weekend, racing for Lamborghini Beverly Hills and GMG Racing, and was the lead amateur driver. 

At Vallelunga's two races in Rome, during wet rainy conditions, Palmer took second place in the first race and then won the second place, with both podium wins securing enough points to crown him as the first-ever World Champion. The races featured 23 drivers, the best from the three regional championships.

Palmer, who returned to campus for classes this morning, was quoted in a Lamborghini press release: "It's such a surreal feeling to be champion and the whole of this weekend has been amazing – I am not sure that the reality has really sunk in just yet! What happened today was the best possible outcome we could have hoped for, and I am thrilled with what we have achieved here together with GMG Racing. I hope it will be a springboard for more racing with Lamborghini in the U.S. and all over the world, but I must also remember that on Monday, I have to go back to school! That's going to be quite weird after this unbelievable finish to the season."