Intersport Racing Fast But Jinxed At Grand Prix of Mosport
Hoping to carry on their podium capturing momentum of Long Beach and Lime Rock, Intersport Racing had high-hopes heading into the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón Mobil 1 presents the Grand Prix of Mosport. It wasn't in the cards.
Canadian Kyle Marcelli had the right idea grabbing the LMPC pole in the No. 89 Merchant Services / Lafarge / DynaPep prototype. Kyle's 1:11.331 set a new qualifying lap record for Mosport and was .615 faster than the second fastest car of Gunnar Jeanette. Jon Field qualified the No. 37 Lenco Mobile LMPC car third with a 1:12.252.
But luck would not be on the team's side for Sunday's race. With Chapman Ducote (No. 89) and Ricardo Vera (No. 37) taking the first stint, both drivers did a fantastic job of keeping the cars on pace and, more importantly, in one piece. Traffic at Mosport was once again, in a word, rough. That roughness brought out the first caution ahead of the scheduled pit stops. Both cars pitted under the yellow.
Back under green, Kyle was busy setting the fastest race lap for LMPC. Unfortunately, his luck would run out on lap 48 as he was collected by a spinning Porsche GTC car. The contact damaged the rear suspension ending the day for Kyle and co-driver Chapman Ducote.
Jon Field pushed the No. 37 car to second place in LMPC and continued his charge all afternoon. With time running out, so was Jon's supply of fuel. In a situation without options the team went for the finish hoping to hang on for third. Adding insult to injury, the third place car caught a timely flag to run an additional lap relegating the stalled No. 37 to fourth.
"We gave it our best shot," said team manager, Brian Alder. "We had no choice in the fuel situation with Jon. We had to leave him out there and go for it. It just didn't go our way."
"We all felt pretty bad for Kyle and Chapman in the No. 89 car," Alder continued. "Kyle's a local favorite and he didn't disappoint all of the fans who showed up to support him and see him run. Both his qualifying session and driving in the race were nothing short of spectacular. He has a lot to be proud of. He'll be back in the hunt at Mid-Ohio."
Ricardo Vera also enjoyed a successful weekend. The young Puerto Rican debuted in LMPC sharing the No. 89 car with Jon Field and took second place in Sunday's Cooper Tire Prototype Lites race.
"Ricardo did a great job," said Alder. "We're really excited about his progress. He's fast and shows maturity out on the track. We see a great future for him racing here in the states and with Intersport. Both he and Kyle Marcelli have been fantastic examples showing how Intersport's ladder system can work for young and developing drivers."