Birmingham: Synergy Racing race report

Synergy Racing Takes Second in Porsche 250, Maintains Points Lead Van Wijk, Murry Pick Up SunTrust Improve Your Position Award BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (July 31, 2005) -- Synergy Racing scored its third podium finish of the season and maintained its...

Synergy Racing Takes Second in Porsche 250, Maintains Points Lead Van Wijk, Murry Pick Up SunTrust Improve Your Position Award

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (July 31, 2005) -- Synergy Racing scored its third podium finish of the season and maintained its Rolex Sports Car Series GT points lead with a second-place finish in the Porsche 250 presented by Bradley Arant at Barber Motorsports Park on Sunday.

David Murry (Atlanta, Ga.) started the No. 80 Porsche GT3 Cup sixth on the GT grid and was running as high as third in class before handing the controls over to Craig Stanton (Long Beach, Calif.). Stanton was able to claim the lead on lap 45 during a full course caution, a position he held on to for 38 laps despite threats from other competitors and a period of rain showers.

But with only two laps remaining in the race, the threat from Joey Hand in the No. 16 BMW M3 became too much, and the BMW was able to slip past Synergy Racing No. 80 Porsche to claim the GT lead. Stanton was unable to reclaim the lead before the time limit expired on the race and took the checkered just eight tenths of a second behind the BMW, giving the team its second second-place finish of the season and eighth top-six finish in as many races this season.

Synergy Racing maintains its team and driver points lead in the GT class, with Stanton holding an 18-point advantage in the driver standings with 228 points. Murry remains second in the GT driver points, but is now tied with Hand with 210 points in the unofficial point standings following the race.

Van Wijk, Murry Pick Up SunTrust Improve Your Position Award Mae Van Wijk (Houston, Texas) and David Murry (Atlanta, Ga.) received the SunTrust Improve Your Position Award for their 13th-place finish in the GT class with the Synergy Racing No. 81 Porsche sponsored by autobysite.com and pipeservicestt.com.

Van Wijk, the youngest female driver in the series, started the Porsche 26th on the GT grid. During the race, the autobysite.com/pipeservicestt.com car picked up 13 positions, more than any other GT entry, earning Van Wijk and Murry their first SunTrust Improve Your Position Award of the season.

Last season, Van Wijk won the award twice, including at last year's Porsche 250.

Broken Half Shaft Ends Rx.com Daytona Prototype's Podium Run Brothers Burt and Brian Frisselle (Aventura, Fla.) finished 16th in the Daytona Prototype class after the Rx.com No. 8 BMW Doran JE4 suffered a broken half shaft late in the race. Brian, who took his third-straight top 10 in qualifying, started the Rx.com car and stayed in the thick of the battle, making some impressive passes as he fought his way into the top five before turning the car over to his older brother.

"The car was fast--that was a great stint, because I really could stay with anyone on the track, and we were fast enough to be passing some big names, so I was pretty pleased," Brian said. "I didn't have any problem with the heat, so we knew that we could be strong at the end."

Burt took the controls of the Daytona Prototype in 14th and moved himself into the top three in less than 20 laps. He brought the car back into the pits with less than 45 minutes remaining to hand the controls back over to his younger brother for the final stint. As Brian worked his way up the order, the car lost drive due to the half shaft breaking, eliminating the duo's shot at their first podium finish of the season.

"It's a shame we keep having these problems late in the race," Burt said. "Its just some bad luck we need to get around, I guess. The good thing is that we've had some really fast cars, and some good competitive races, so we know we are on the right path as far as how we are working with the team and car."

Quick Porsche 997 Comes to Crashing End in Grand-Am Cup Race Brent Martini (Laguna Beach, Calif.) qualified Synergy Racing's No. 81 Porsche 997 third for the Grand-Am Cup 200-mile race at Barber Motorsports Park, the team's best starting position in the series this season.

"There are so many cars that try to get a good qualifying lap. We decided to wait before we went out onto the track, and I was able to get two really clean laps. I was seven tenths faster than I had been all weekend," said Martini of his 1:38.029 qualifying lap.

Martini maintained his position as a frontrunner during his opening stint of the race before handing the reins of the Porsche 997 over to Kelly Collins (Newport Beach, Calif.) to finish the race. But, on lap 49 of the 72-lap race, Gunnar Jeanette in the No. 55 Mustang punted Collins off the track, causing severe damage to Porsche.

"We had a top-five or -six car, which is where we were running. We had a great race strategy, and Kelly was ready to go to the end," said Martini. "Grand American needs to start looking for other ways to discourage running into people. It's really putting people at risk. Kelly hit the wall at 100 mph. They handed out a lot of penalties during the race, but penalizing someone a minute or so during the race just doesn't seem like enough."

-sr-

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers David Murry , Joey Hand , Craig Stanton , Brent Martini , Mae Van Wijk , Brian Frisselle