TRV Team Runs as High as Fifth Before Electrical Problems Develop BRASLETON, Ga., April 18 - The TRV Motorsport team of Jeret Schroeder and Tom Volk were as high as fifth at one point in the American Le Mans Series race at Road ...
TRV Team Runs as High as Fifth Before Electrical Problems Develop
BRASLETON, Ga., April 18 - The TRV Motorsport team of Jeret Schroeder and Tom Volk were as high as fifth at one point in the American Le Mans Series race at Road Atlanta Sunday afternoon, and with 15 minutes to go in the 2-hour, 45-minute enduro the Toledo, Ohio-based team was a solid eighth overall. Unfortunately the Supreme Exhaust System Products/Purity Farms Chevy Riley & Scott No. 95 developed an electrical problem at that point, fell off the pace and had to make several unscheduled pitstops. The team ended up 24th overall and 14th in the top class (Prototype) in the race, which was called the Grand Prix at Road Atlanta presented by Lease Plan.
Post-race inspection of the car by the team diagnosed the problem as broken wiring in the firing trigger of the distributor. Its engine builder said such a failure is a one-in-a-million failure of a $50 part.
Still, team owner and co-driver Tom Volk of Blissfield, Mich., was philosophical. "We've had better finishes, but in the big scheme of things we were more competitive here than we've ever been," he said. "We ran in the top-10 all day, and we were on the lead lap for a long time. The people we were running with all had diffusers and most had done some testing and we hadn't, so I thought we were doing great. And at least we know now what caused the electrical problem.
"Jeret drove fantastic; he had us up to fifth there once," he continued. "Our race strategy was excellent. Jeret drove first and he did most of the race and moved us up in the standings. My job was to hold us there. We were doing great until the electrical problems developed."
Schroeder was pleased with how the car handled and ran on race day. "We made subtle changes between qualifying and the race and we had a great race car today," Schroeder said. "It's too bad the results won't show how well we actually ran here."
Indeed, Schroeder's fastest lap during the race was a 1:17.603 for an average speed of 117.83 mph, which was faster than his qualifying lap of 1:17.882 (117.40 mph).
Volk is recuperating from major shoulder surgery just 10 weeks ago, and he still is not 100 percent. To save his shoulder Schroeder ran the practice sessions, qualified the car and ran the first hour and 45 minutes of the race, and Volk stepped in for the last hour.
"My shoulder hurts, but I survived it," Volk said.
Schroeder qualified 15th and steadily worked his way up through the field. With a half-hour down he was already up to 12th, and at that point the Vineland, N.J.-based driver pitted for fuel.
Everyone wearing a "TRV Motorsport" cap in the crowd of 30,000 was really feeling proud by the one-hour mark when Schroeder broke into the top five on lap 37. He pitted again for fuel on lap 44 which dropped the team back to 11th, but other people had to pit too and by lap 54 Schroeder was eighth, just one lap down.
Three laps later he had a scare when the oil pressure warning light blinked on, but after consulting with team manager Mike Madden he soldiered on. By lap 70, with about one hour to go, he was sixth overall.
The driver change finally occurred on lap 75, which was the only time the team changed tires. The pit stop dropped them down three laps to the leader but they were still eighth. The seventh-place car (the Ferrari of Jim Matthews and Tommy Kendall) was two laps down and ninth place (the Ferrari of Bill Dollahite and Mike Davis) was three laps down at that point.
Volk did a great job to maintain eighth, but on lap 105 he had to pit for fuel. The electrical problem reared its head at that point and he steadily slipped backwards through the standings but he was running at the checkered.
The race was won by Eric van de Poele and Domenico Schiattarella in a Riley & Scott with a Judd engine.
TRV Motorsport's next race is scheduled for June 6 at its home track, the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Prior to that Schroeder will attempt to qualify for the world's largest single-day sporting event and the pinnacle of motorsports, the Indianapolis 500, in May in the Purity Farms G-Force Infiniti fielded by Cobb Racing.