CyberSpeed Racing Finishes 15th at Homestead, Its First Grand American Rolex Series Race HOMESTEAD, Fla., March 25 - The competition was fierce, but the new kids on the block did great. There were more cars in the Daytona Prototype class...
CyberSpeed Racing Finishes 15th at Homestead, Its First Grand American Rolex Series Race
HOMESTEAD, Fla., March 25 - The competition was fierce, but the new kids on the block did great.
There were more cars in the Daytona Prototype class alone in Saturday night's Rolex Series race at Homestead-Miami Speedway than were entered in Saturday's USAC Silver Crown race or Sunday's Indy Racing League Indy Pro or IndyCar races here. Despite the fact that CyberSpeed Racing's car was one of 28 Daytona Prototypes in a very competitive 47-car field and it was the team's first Rolex Series race ever, the group from Maiden, N.C. finished a very respectable 15th in the 107-lap, two-hour-and-45-minute race after qualifying 24th.
Both of its drivers, Skip Cummins of Houston and Tony Ave of Mooresville, N.C., were delighted with the showing by their car, Riley DP chassis No. 20 which is powered by a CRD-prepped Pontiac engine. The beautiful yellow and blue car also features a 'hot rod' paint job by ESBG Design, Miami Beach, Fla.
Cummins started the race and brought the car up from 24th to 21st before he pitted under a full-course caution on lap 39 for fuel, fresh Hoosiers and for Ave to take over. Other cars pitted at the same time and when the green waved again, Ave was in 18th.
"Our car is good," Cummins said immediately after climbing out. "I passed some cars and I did a 1:17.2 on my last lap, which is my personal best here. This is my first real Rolex Series race too, and I'm happy with how my stint went.
"The tires and I were on the same path there at the end though," he added with a smile. "We were both getting tired."
The entry lost a lap around that point that it was never able to make up, but it ran most of the rest of the race between 14th and 18th positions. There were six yellows for 29 laps, so staying out of trouble was difficult.
An electrical gremlin was the team's only real issue. "We were up to 14th and the car's handling was good, but then a little low-speed misfire developed in the engine at one point," Ave explained afterwards. "At top speed it was good; really the engine ran like a champ, but we had an electrical issue and once under a caution the engine just quit running.
"I pushed all the switches I could push and I even took the steering wheel on and off, because that's electrical too," Ave explained. "I'm not sure which switches solved it, but the engine started running again and we were able to go to the end."
Driving around the 2.3-mile road course without a steering wheel, even if it was under yellow, wasn't the only exciting moment in Ave's race.
When Cummins pointed out a black tire mark on the left side of the car, Ave said that he had a close encounter at one point with the Howard-Boss No. 4 and was lucky to get away with just a tire mark.
"For a brand-new team in our first race, we're all very pleased," Ave added with a big smile.
"We made two pit stops, both under yellow, for tires and fuel, and the crew did a great job," he added.
"To finish 15th in our first race is a great accomplishment," Cummins concluded.
The race, which was won by the polesitter, the Alex Job Racing/Emory Motorsports No. 23, was televised on SPEED Saturday night.
The CyberSpeed team doesn't plan on entering the next Rolex Series race, which will be held on the streets of Long Beach, Calif., April 8, but instead will focus on the upcoming race at Virginia International Raceway in Alton, Va., on April 23.
CyberSpeed Racing's Web site is under development at cyberspeedracing.us. Other sources for information on the event are grandamerican.com and restartcommunications.com.