Tuttle Team Racing / SAMAX Motorsport Scores Its First Top Ten Finish LEXINGTON, OHIO, AUGUST 27, 2005 - In just its fourth Daytona Prototype race in the competitive Rolex Sports Car Series, Tuttle Team Racing / SAMAX Motorsport scored its...
Tuttle Team Racing / SAMAX Motorsport Scores Its First Top Ten Finish
LEXINGTON, OHIO, AUGUST 27, 2005 - In just its fourth Daytona Prototype race in the competitive Rolex Sports Car Series, Tuttle Team Racing / SAMAX Motorsport scored its first top ten finish this weekend in the Emco Gears Classic at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. The result could have been far better, but for a late race caution period.
Driving the distinctive orange #7 Pontiac Riley, Jonathan Cochet made an impressive run through the field during the second half of the race and was poised to capitalize on a fuel strategy that could have seen several of the top ten cars dive into the pits for a late race splash of fuel. But with just fifteen minutes left in the race, the yellow flag waived giving the fuel-starved field the extra mileage it needed to complete the distance. Even with the caution, two cars ahead of Cochet pitted to take on fuel thereby ensuring the team's ninth place finish.
Brian Tuttle, after qualifying a disappointing twentieth on the grid due to a shortened qualifying session, started the race and managed to steer clear of early trouble that took out other competitors. He turned the car over to Cochet in fifteenth place during a lengthy mid-race caution period. Toward the end of the twenty-five minute caution, the team wisely called Cochet back into the pits to top off the fuel level, ensuring the car could go the remaining distance without another stop.
Once the green flag waived, Cochet began his tear through the field. But it wasn't an easy job - or comfortable. "My cooling suit quit with about forty-five minutes left and it was extremely hot in the car, "said Cochet. "The car was pretty good, but for some reason we seemed to be down on power this weekend. Even going down the back straightaway next to some of the other Pontiacs, I was falling back. I had to take some risky moves under braking to get by a lot of people." Despite the challenges and discomfort, Cochet's best race lap was faster than that of the winning Pontiac Crawford of Butch Leitzinger and Elliot Forbes-Robinson.
Tuttle Team Racing / SAMAX Motorsport will take a short hiatus from the next Rolex Sports Car Series event at Phoenix, but will return to competition again at The Crown Royal 250 at the Glen on September 23 - 24 at Watkins Glen, NY.