JDX Racing’s first visit to the Charm City at the Baltimore Sports Car Challenge, ends not so Charmingly.
Loveland, CO – JDX Racing took to the Streets of Baltimore this past weekend, in the 8th round of the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón, where team drivers Chris Cumming and Michael Valiante faced some early challenges, and often.
Following a streak of podium finishes in the last three rounds, the JDX team arrived in Baltimore with both full time drivers and a good amount of momentum. The team’s first visit to Charm City started off with two practice sessions on Friday, which allowed Chris and Michael time to familiarize themselves with a track neither have completed on. It quickly became apparent the Streets of Baltimore would represent a significant challenge for both car and drivers.
“We knew portions of the this race track were bumpy, but the main straightaway with the railroad crossing was something i have never experienced. In fact, the organizers very sensibly decided to add a chicane for the afternoon practice session in order to slow the cars over the tracks. These are the realities of racing on street circuits sometimes,” said Michael Valiante.
JDX Racing co-owner Harrison Brix – “This was our first trip to Baltimore. We ran our first practice session on Friday morning and realized we needed to go a little softer up front. Slight changes made between the two short practice sessions gave the boys a car they could drive with confidence. This street course was very tough on the car and the drivers, but we found a set up our drivers could work with”.
Michael qualified the car 3rd in the GTC Class. At the drop of the Green Flag the 32 car field headed into the first turn, and the car ran into trouble early. Traffic packed up in turn one and starting driver Chris Cumming was forced to bring the car to a complete stop to avoid contact. In doing so another GTC car made contact with the left front, bending the wheel rim and puncturing the tire as well. Chris limped the car around for approximately 3 laps until the pits opened. The #11 JDX Racing-Hertz car pitted under yellow, the team topped off fuel and changed all four tires before sending the car back out. Back under green flag conditions it was clear the car was running fine, with Chris setting competitive lap times and working his way back toward the front of the GTC field.
At the 30 minute mark of the race, the #55 BMW pushed Chris into the wall as he approached the chicane. The BMW driver was assessed a 60 second stop and go penalty, however the damage was already done for JDX. Taking on heavy right rear suspension damage the car was forced to pit for repairs, which once repairs were complete the #11 JDX Racing Porsche was down 15 laps. Chris continued driving to the 90 minute mark of the race, then pitted to get Michael in the car to finish.
“Some weekends just don’t go your way - unfortunately this was one of them. It’s disappointing because we felt Baltimore was going to be a good event for us. The JDX team did a grat job as usual. The only thing we can do now is focus on the next round at VIR in two weeks”, said driver Chris Cumming.
Source: JDX Racing