Tenth-Place Finish In Montreal Ends Frustrating Two-Race Stretch for Jeff Segal and the No. 69 FXDD/SpeedSource Mazda RX-8 GT Team

#69 SpeedSource Mazda RX-8: Emil Assentato, Jeff Segal
#69 SpeedSource Mazda RX-8: Emil Assentato, Jeff Segal

Photo by: Eric Gilbert

MONTREAL, Quebec, Canada (August 20, 2011) – The team’s second 10th-place finish in a week ended a frustrating stretch of two races in two countries in seven days for reigning GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series GT champion Jeff Segal and the No. 69 FXDD/SpeedSource Mazda RX-8 GT team Saturday in the Montreal 200 at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

Although Segal, co-champion teammate Emil Assentato and the No. 69 team were competitive and frequently in contention during both the Montreal 200, and last weekend’s Canadian Tire 200, a good result in either race just never materialized

“We had been struggling since we unloaded the car in Montreal,” Segal said. “We had a car that was very loose, very difficult to drive. We made a bunch of changes and from that point on, looseness wasn’t the problem, but understeer was. We made a lot of changes before qualifying, got it better, made more changes before the race, pushed it in the right direction, but we were still off.”

The No. 69 Mazda never had what it took to challenge beyond 10th place Saturday.

“It was very difficult to drive the car in the race,” Segal said. “Lots and lots of understeer, and that’s really bad for lap time. There is not much you can do with it. We tried, we were fairly competitive considering, but Emil and I both struggled in our stints.”

Segal has won at least one GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series GT race a year since 2008 and has one more shot in 2011 to keep the streak going at next month’s season-ending EMCO Gears Classic at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

“Mid-Ohio, I think, is going to be an OK track for us, but it is going to be tough,” Segal said. “The championship is really tight, we are not a part of it, but nobody is giving an inch right now. I think it is definitely going to be difficult for us to leave this season with a win, but we are not done trying. We will give it everything we have there.”