Synergy Racing Progresses at Laguna Seca MONTEREY, Calif. (April 29, 2005) -- Synergy Racing participated in the opening day of practice of the U.S. Sports Car Invitational at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca on Friday. The team saw substantial...
Synergy Racing Progresses at Laguna Seca
MONTEREY, Calif. (April 29, 2005) -- Synergy Racing participated in the opening day of practice of the U.S. Sports Car Invitational at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca on Friday. The team saw substantial progress from their cars and drivers during the two Rolex Series practice sessions and Grand-Am Cup session.
GT Entries Working on 'Mid-Range' Racing
Synergy Racing's pair of GT entries spent much of the day working on 'mid-range' racing. "We spent most of the day running on really old tires," explained No. 80 Porsche driver Craig Stanton (Long Beach, Calif.). "Our lap times really don't reflect all that we have, because we wanted to focus on getting the most out of the car after our tires have started to go during the race."
The No. 80 Porsche, which Stanton shares with David Murry (Atlanta, Ga.), saw some progress during the day, picking up more than a second a lap during the second practice session to end the day with a best lap time of 1:36.238 at 83.717 mph.
The No. 81 Porsche, sponsored by autobysite.com and pipeservicestt.com, turned its best lap in the opening session with Murry putting together a 1:36.634 lap at 83.374 mph. He turned the Porsche over to his co-driver Mae Van Wijk (Houston, Texas) for the bulk of the second session to allow the 22-year-old to gain some valuable track time in preparation for her first-ever race at Laguna Seca.
Van Wijk Excited for First Laguna Seca Race
Mae Van Wijk looks forward to competing in her first-ever race at historic Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca this weekend. Van Wijk, the youngest female driver in the Rolex Series, traveled to the racetrack earlier in the month to take part in a Skip Barber Racing School and begin learning the circuit.
"I loved this track after driving it for the first time during the Skip Barber School," Van Wijk said. "But it was really cool to see the huge difference between the Barber Dodge and Porsche when I took it out today. Our Porsche has so much more power, it was like a totally different creature out there."
Van Wijk traveled to Laguna Seca directly from Synergy Racing headquarters at Virginia International Raceway, where she and co-driver David Murry did some in-depth work on car control in preparation for the weekend.
"Things went fantastic with David. He is a dream to work with and a fantastic teacher," remarked Van Wijk. "He really helped me with getting acclimated to the Porsche. Just those two days was a huge help. I was already trying out some of the things we worked on today, like sliding the backend."
Amazing the Difference 100 Pounds Makes Synergy Racing's GT drivers were pleased with Rolex Series officials decision to decrease the weight of the Porsche GT3 Cup by 100 pounds beginning with this weekend's Road & Track 250.
"You can tell the difference," noted Stanton. "You think 100 pounds doesn't seem like much, but over the course of 250 miles you can pick a half a lap or so, which will help us run up there with the BMWs."
Rx.com Drivers Know Traffic is Key This Weekend
It took only one practice session for Rx.com driver Burt and Brian Frisselle (Aventura, Fla.) to realize traffic will be a key factor in this weekend's Road & Track 250. The pair was able to shave nearly a second off their time in the Rx.com No. 8 BMW Doran during the second practice session on Friday, turning a 1:27.120 lap averaging 92.479 mph, the 13th fastest of the session.
"I think we are ok, even though we aren't as far up the order as we'd like to see ourselves," said Burt. "Today's practice was a bit of a lottery as far as getting a good time--it all came down to getting lucky with traffic. Even on the fastest lap that I did, I still had to pass four or five cars during that one lap. So, I don't think we have really seen what the car can do."
"We still have some work to do with the car, but the Synergy guys always do a great job, so tomorrow should be better for us," added Brian. "We need to get the car so that it can still be quick on older tires, because this track is pretty abrasive and you lose a lot of grip quickly."
"I think traffic is going to play a huge role in what happens in the race," continued Burt. "Based on what happened today, it looks as though taking car of your tires, and keeping the car out of trouble with all the traffic are going to be even more important than just your pace over one lap. It's great to be back on a natural terrain road course, but I sure wish there were more places to pass some of the GTs."
Synergy Quick in Grand-Am Cup Practice In addition to its three entries in Sunday's Rolex Series Road & Track 250, Synergy Racing will also field the No. 81 Porsche 997 of Brent Martini (Laguna Beach, Calif.) and Kelly Collins (Newport Beach, Calif.) in Saturday's Grand-Am Cup 200. During the single Grand-Am Cup session on Friday, the No. 81 Porsche turned the 12th quickest time with a 1:41.242 lap at 79.580 mph.