AUSTIN (KXAN) — Some of the fastest cars in the world rolled around Circuit of The Americas this week as Lamborghini Austin hosted a track day.
Although it was quite a sight to see, something even more special took place on the historic racetrack.
A military veteran who lives in Round Rock was given the opportunity to hop in one of the Lamborghinis for a lap around the track.
Dragos Carstea has been a racecar enthusiast his entire life.
“It was more like a dream,” he said. “Growing up I wanted to become a car designer.”
Born in Romania, Carstea moved to America at the age of 15, hardly knowing a single word of English. Upon his high school graduation, he immediately enrolled in the U.S. Marines. From there he served duty in both Japan and Afghanistan.
Now he’s living in Round Rock, trying to figure out what’s next.
“When you get out of the military, it’s a shock,” Carstea said. “Like oh, there’s nobody telling me what to do next. I got to figure this out myself.”
Growing up, he had dreams of becoming a racecar designer. Carstea drew all types of cars, including his favorite, Lamborghinis.
Invited to attend Lamborghini Austin’s track day at COTA, Carstea believed he was just there to take photos and get a glimpse of these cars up close.
After a few hours, he was told to grab a helmet and get geared up for a hot lap.
Carstea was then buckled into the passenger seat of a custom-wrapped Lamborghini race car, driven by Austin native Shehan Chandrasoma.
They went off to the races, reaching speeds of up to 180 miles per hour.
“Getting in the car, he had a huge smile on his face, taking videos of everything,” Chandrasoma said. “He was super happy as soon as we got out there, he loved it.”
Chandrasoma is only 19 years old and recently won the amateur Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America race.
“Giving a person an opportunity to get a ride in a racecar Lamborghini, not just any old Lamborghini, was definitely an opportunity of a lifetime,” he said.
For Carstea, a childhood dream finally became a reality.
“I’m trying not to cry, because I’m a Marine, but I’ve always dreamed of just driving in one,” he concluded.
Carstea is currently applying for colleges across the country where he can use his military GI Bill to pay for school and pursue his passion for automotive design.
The pilot episode is all about Austin and its many motorsport connections.
The show is being pitched to many major streaming services — Netflix, Amazon, Discovery, etc. — with filming in our area wrapping up around Christmas.