Lime Rock: SAMAX Motorsport preview

SAMAX Motorsport will spend the U.S. Memorial Day holiday on track, competing in the May 29 Rolex Sports Car Series race at Lime Rock Park in Lakeville, Conn. Mark Greenberg of Boston will join Ryan Hunter-Reay of Boca Raton, Fla., in the No. 17...

SAMAX Motorsport will spend the U.S. Memorial Day holiday on track, competing in the May 29 Rolex Sports Car Series race at Lime Rock Park in Lakeville, Conn. Mark Greenberg of Boston will join Ryan Hunter-Reay of Boca Raton, Fla., in the No. 17 SAMAX Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car. Father and son Greg and Mark Wilkins of Toronto will drive the No. 71 SAMAX/ Doncaster Racing Porsche.

family setup

The Wilkins have driven together in the Rolex 24 At Daytona, but Monday's race will be their first without other co-drivers. Mark Wilkins is gearing up to race in the Daytona Prototype class starting in late June, but he quickly accepted the opportunity to race a GT car with his father. Neither has raced on the 1.54-mile Lime Rock road course, so their first task will be to find the right car setup for the two-hour 45-minute race.

"It's exciting to run with just my dad. I'm confident we can do fairly well," Mark Wilkins said. "The track is not overly complex, so between the two of us we should be able to figure out the track and the car. He's a little bit more conservative; I'm more aggressive. For Daytona, we've always gone with a fairly conservative setup that's easy to drive for the long race. We're definitely going to want to set it up more aggressively for the sprint race."

second home

Ryan Hunter-Reay mastered the Lime Rock track early in his career. He earned the first Skip Barber Karting Scholarship in 1988, won the first Skip Barber Formula Dodge National Championship in 1999, won the 1999 Skip Barber Formula Dodge Eastern Race Series championship and won his first Barber Dodge Pro Series race -- all at Lime Rock Park.

"I've grown up being a Skip Barber driver; I've had a lot of good memories [at Lime Rock]. It was my home-away-from-home track," he said. "I got all my most memorable wins coming up through the ranks there. It suits my style, it's fun. It takes a certain rhythm -- I love the uphill and downhill and everything about it."

Despite his past success, Hunter-Reay isn't taking anything for granted. Although he has notched two podium finishes with SAMAX, he knows the competition will be tough.

"I'm very aware of the speed the [Pontiac] GTOs have, and the Tafel Porsches. One of the BMW drivers, Bill Auberlen, has a lot of experience and has been very successful at Lime Rock, as well, so it won't be easy," he noted. "It will certainly be tough to stay at the front end, but we'll give it all we have."

-samax

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Bill Auberlen , Ryan Hunter-Reay , Skip Barber , Mark Greenberg , Mark Wilkins