Homestead: SAMAX Motorsport race report

SAMAX Motorsport did not enjoy hometrack advantage during the Rolex Sports Car Series race at Homestead Miami Speedway on Saturday evening. Although the team expected some caution periods, the race did not follow a predictable pattern, leaving ...

SAMAX Motorsport did not enjoy hometrack advantage during the Rolex Sports Car Series race at Homestead Miami Speedway on Saturday evening. Although the team expected some caution periods, the race did not follow a predictable pattern, leaving strategiests scrambling. The first 45 minutes of green-flag racing were followed by turmoil, with 66 minutes of the final two hours run under caution.

Rob Bell started the No. 17 SAMAX Porsche 911 GT3 Cup third on the GT grid, and moved to second on the first turn. Although he missed gaining a lap on the first caution because of the car's position relative to the safety car, a smart pit call kept the car on the class lead lap. John Dalziel took over and returned to the track ninth. He moved up two positions before a late-race stop for fuel and driver change dropped the car back to finish eighth.

The SAMAX/Doncaster Racing crew fought handling issues with the No. 71 Porsche all weekend. Greg Wilkins started the race eighth in class and moved up to sixth before a spin sent him back to pit lane. Dave Lacey took over and stayed in the top 10 throughout his stint. The pair finished ninth.

Rob Bell (No. 17 Porsche): "We qualified P3, so that was a good place to start. I had it in my head before the race that I was definitely going to get to second on the first corner, and I did that. I was about a millimeter off the guy in front on pole, so there was no chance the second man was going to get in. I did about 40 laps before the first yellow, just clean and pulling away. I also did five or six laps at the end. It felt pretty good and I overtook a lot of cars. Overall, I'm disappointed, though, because we should have been on the podium."

John Dalziel (No. 17 Porsche): "It was an exciting race, lots of action. I really enjoyed racing under the lights here; it's a good track. It got a bit dicey out there, a little bit rough in places. Unfortunately, some of the rough moments put me on the grass, after coming together with some prototypes. But we live to fight another day. I want to thank Peter Baron and SAMAX for giving me the chance to race with them."

Dave Lacey (No. 71 Porsche): "It's disappointing. I just don't think we had the pace all weekend. We were chasing the setup. We had a reasonable car, but everybody was just a little bit quicker than us. We were a second off the pace and we just couldn't make it back. Top-10 is okay, I guess, but we'd like to be top-five or on the podium."

Greg Wilkins (No. 71 Porsche): "It was a difficult race. We knew we were going to have some trouble with the car from practice and that proved to be the case. Once the tires started to go off, the car got very loose. We made a couple of mistakes that put us down, so we were really fighting a rearguard action the entire way. It was a tough weekend."

-samaxmotorsport.com

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Peter Baron , Rob Bell , Dave Lacey , Greg Wilkins , John Dalziel