Utah: Kumho race report

Father/son rivalry fuels Field's finish in Utah B-K Motorsports steals show at the start RANCHO CUCAMNOGA, CA,...Father and son Jon and Clint Field teamed with Intersport Racing teammate Richard Berry to take ...

               Father/son rivalry fuels Field's finish in Utah

B-K Motorsports steals show at the start

RANCHO CUCAMNOGA, CA,...Father and son Jon and Clint Field teamed with Intersport Racing teammate Richard Berry to take third place in LMP1 Saturday evening at the American Le Mans Series Utah Grand Prix at Miller Motorsports Park. It was Intersport's fifth consecutive podium finish.

Berry started the race for the team, which lined up second on the grid in LMP1. Berry dropped back after an off-course excursion on the first corner, but quickly worked his way back up through the field. "I missed my braking zone on the first corner," said Berry. "I just went in a little too deep. But then I got into a good rhythm and started moving up through the field."

Berry handed off to Jon Field, who continued moving up in traffic and eventually settled into third place in LMP1 before handing the car over to son Clint. After several laps in the car, team manager Brian Alder informed Clint over the radio that his dad still had the team's fastest lap of the race.

That was all the motivation Clint needed to pick up the pace. He did several laps within a few thousands of a second of his dad, but even following a pit stop for fuel and a fresh set of Kumhos, he couldn't best his dad's time.

"He got two shots at my best lap with two sets of fresh Kumhos," said Jon as Clint lapped the track. "That's not fair for the old guy, is it? I had the fast lap every session this weekend. But watch the little guy go. He'll try to get it. We have a good rivalry going on."

After the race, Clint was pleased with the team's finish, even though he didn't beat his dad's best lap. "It's fun. We have a little bet going on every race to see who's fastest. I had to try and get it, but I got held up in traffic a couple of times and it ruined my lap."

The team was also happy with the performance of a new Kumho tire, which they tested for the first time at Mid-Ohio on May 3. "I was really happy with how the new tires performed," said Clint. "The stability throughout the whole stint was really a lot better than the previous generation tire. We're happy with that and hopefully we can build on that and get a little more competitive. I felt more competitive than we've ever been, which is a good sign."

In LMP2, the B-K Motorsports Mazda retired two-thirds of the way into the race with turbo problems, but not after putting on a good show at the start of the race.

Driver Ben Devlin qualified 8th in class and 9th overall, right behind the Audi of Emanuele Pirro. When the green flag flew, Pirro drove up the right side of the track to the front of the pack, and Devlin followed right behind him. The B-K Mazda emerged from the first corner third in class, where it remained for several laps while Devlin fended off a chain of LMP2 cars and another LMP1 Audi.

Devlin handed the car over to co-driver Jamie Bach about 40 laps into the race, but a turbo problem forced the team's retirement on lap 44.

After the race, Devlin was pleased with the team's progress-in spite of the DNF. "We had an awesome start and we just tried to hold them off as much as we could. We knew we were going to be strong at the beginning. The guys up front sort of got off the power and we took advantage of that and got a good run on them."

Devlin said that the initial laps of the race reminded him of Laguna Seca last year, where he held off the Penske Porsches for several laps in the van der Steur Radical. "It was only a couple of cars then, but this time every time I looked there was like six cars breathing down on me," said Devlin. "I thought, 'Are they ever going to give me a break?' They didn't! I knew it was going to be hard, but it was good. I enjoyed it."

NOTES: While Devlin was talking with a Kumho crewmember after the race, Dyson Porsche driver Butch Leitzinger approached Devlin and said, "I just wanted to come over and say great job at the start." "I tried to keep out of the way," replied Devlin. "You were perfect," said Leitzinger..Kumho's teams have several tests planned before the next race at Lime Rock on July 7. B-K Motorsports will test at Putnam Park at the end of May; Intersport will test at Road America on June 11 and 12; and both teams will be joined by van der Steur Racing at Mid-Ohio on June 27. "We'll have some new tires at a couple of these tests," said Kumho motorsports manager Rudy Consolacion. "We made good progress with a new version of our LMP1 tire at Salt Lake, and these tests will give us an opportunity to make some more gains. We've got a wider front tire to try on our LMP2 cars, as well as some new compounds. With three teams running on our tires, we should get some good feedback that will enable us to progress even more quickly."

-credit: kumho

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About this article
Series ALMS
Drivers Butch Leitzinger , Ben Devlin , Jon Field , Clint Field , Richard Berry , Emanuele Pirro , Brian Alder