Daytona II: Jeff Segal race report

Segal Takes Fuel-Frugal 4th At Daytona Return to Daytona nets top-five at World Center of Racing (Daytona Beach, FL) 9 July 2009--Jeff Segal made the most of his speed, and of his fuel, to bring the No 69 FXDD Mazda RX-8 home in 4th for ...

Segal Takes Fuel-Frugal 4th At Daytona
Return to Daytona nets top-five at World Center of Racing

(Daytona Beach, FL) 9 July 2009--Jeff Segal made the most of his speed, and of his fuel, to bring the No 69 FXDD Mazda RX-8 home in 4th for SpeedSource Engineering on Saturday night in the Brumos Porsche 250 at Daytona International Speedway with co-driver Emil Assentato. The Brumos event marked round seven of the 2009 championship, which will close out in Segal's adopted hometown of Miami at Homestead-Miami Speedway in October.

Assentato opened the 70-lap sprint event from behind the wheel, posting a strong run in the top-five before turning the controls over to Segal, who moved up to race in to podium position as the Porsche brigade led the pack. But before the 2007 KONI Champ could make his debut podium appearance at the track that saw him cruelly flipped by a Daytona Prototype out of a podium result in 2008, he knew that he had to play the fuel game to make sure he made it to the finish.

"Initially, I could catch Sylvain in P2 and hold off Andy (Lally), but there wasn't anything I could do if I wanted to make it to the end of the race, so I just had to wave him by," said Segal. "Emil drove a great opening stint and I was hoping we'd be able to take third and be up on the podium with the (team car driven by Nick Ham and Sylvain Tremblay) No. 70 Mazda, but maybe next time at Barber."

That conservation was played perfectly by Segal and his Speedsource engineers, as he got a momentary sputter on the last corner of the last lap.

In 2008, Jeff Segal scored race wins on some of the most prominent tracks in the country, breaking through in Rolex Sports Car Series GT Class competition with big victories in the Sahlen's 6 Hours of the Glen and at Lime Rock Park. And with continuity of team and driver line up in 2009, Segal was looking forward to building on those success to mount a championship campaign.

But a pair of disappointing results (18th, 16th) at VIR and New Jersey Motorsports Park after Segal opened up with a top ten in the Rolex 24 have kept him from breaking into the top five in points. But since taking 5th at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in May, Segal and Assentato have combined for four straight top-six finishes.

"There really isn't much we can do with the Porsches right now with the speed that they have, but that is out of my hands and really all we can do is try to get the most possible out of our cars every weekend," said Segal. "We should be pretty good at Barber, and the car has also always been quick at the Glen so hopefully we can keep this momentum going. Emil did an awesome job again this weekend, and really has been strong this year. We just need a little bit of luck to get up on the podium!"

The solid finish at Daytona has Segal hoping that the duo can keep this run of strong finishes going and post a strong close to the year. While Segal is striving to be higher in the championship tally, the 2007 KONI Challenge Champion knows the importance of consistently finishing well. Next up for Segal is the Porsche 250 presented by Legacy Credit Union at Barber Motorsports Park July 17-19.

-credit: www.jeffreysegal.com

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Emil Assentato , Sylvain Tremblay , Jeff Segal , Nick Ham
Teams SpeedSource