Mosport: B-K Motorsports race report

B-K Motorsports Scores Solid Top-10 Finish in LMP2 at Mosport Bowmanville, Ont. -- Coming off its best finish of the season at Road America, B-K Motorsports was charged up for Sunday's Mobil 1 Grand Prix of Mosport, the eighth round of the ...

B-K Motorsports Scores Solid Top-10 Finish in LMP2 at Mosport

Bowmanville, Ont. -- Coming off its best finish of the season at Road America, B-K Motorsports was charged up for Sunday's Mobil 1 Grand Prix of Mosport, the eighth round of the American Le Mans Series. Drivers Ben Devlin and Gerardo Bonilla continued to showcase the reliability of the Lola B07/46 Mazda, recording another top-10 finish in the highly competitive LMP2 category.

Bonilla started the Mazda MZR-R-powered prototype from the 13th position overall after Devlin's qualifying lap on Saturday. The reigning IMSA Lites Champion drove a solid 55-minute stint before handing over to Devlin while under a full-course caution. After getting four fresh Dunlop tires and a full tank of fuel, Devlin steered the No. 8 BP Lola Mazda back on track, moving up to 11th overall with ease.

However, Devlin was forced to make an early pit stop in the second hour. With an hour and 10 minutes remaining at that point, the team tried to stretch the fuel to the end. They instead played it on the safe side and came in for a splash-and-go with seven minutes left on the clock. Devlin returned to the fray and took the checkered flag, finishing ninth in the LMP2 category.

"Our main goal was to finish the race after a challenging weekend, and that's what we did," Devlin said. "We learned a lot from today. We managed to run different maps and fuel settings, so when we do get to the point of contending for podiums, we'll have the right strategy. The Mazda MZR-R engine has gotten stronger in the race and the Dunlop tires held up as well. The car was working well, we just needed that little more track time to find that little extra bit."

The team battled through minor gremlins during the weekend, leaving Devlin and Bonilla with little track time in practice and qualifying. But the BP Lola had a near flawless run in the two-hour and 45-minute race, showing that hard work does indeed pay off.

"The car was very good during my stint," Bonilla said. We were able to run a steady pace, but we'll defiantly be able to improve on that. We did the best with what we had and what we could do. The things that set us back earlier in the week hurt us a little in the race. The pace wasn't like what we had at Mid-Ohio or Road America, so we have some work to do before Detroit next week. We'll make sure that we're reliable for the whole weekend, and if we are, we should be very competitive."

"It was a challenging weekend for everybody, but like always the team hung in there," said John Doonan, Manager, Motorsports Team Development for Mazda North America. "It was a pretty crazy race with fuel strategy for everybody. We had to take just a quick splash there at the end, but we'll be ready for Detroit and then after that, it will be time to bring out the new car. We'll go from there."

Next weekend's race at Detroit's Belle Isle street circuit will mark the end of an era for its current car, the Lola B07/46 Mazda. Starting at the Petit Le Mans powered by the Totally New Mazda6 at Road Atlanta, the team will debut its brand-new Lola B08/86 Mazda Coupe. But before tackling the 1,000-mile endurance race in October, Devlin, Bonilla and the entire squad are aiming to end on a high note with its faithful open-top prototype in the Motor City.

There isn't much time to rest. The next round of the American Le Mans Series is the Detroit Sports Car Challenge presented by Bosch.

-credit: B-K Motorsports

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Series ALMS
Drivers Gerardo Bonilla