Millville: Pat Barrett race report

Pat Barrett Has Satisfying Showing at Grand-Am's New Jersey Motorsports Park Debut Los Osos, Ca -- September 2, 2008 - Patrick Barrett and PR1 Motorsports led the first laps of their short tenure in the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented...

Pat Barrett Has Satisfying Showing at Grand-Am's New Jersey Motorsports Park Debut

Los Osos, Ca -- September 2, 2008 - Patrick Barrett and PR1 Motorsports led the first laps of their short tenure in the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No.16 last weekend at New Jersey Motorsports Park in Millville, N.J.

They also had their best qualifying result as Barrett celebrated his 19th birthday with a great qualifying session on Saturday. He placed the #32 PR1 Motorsports Miracle Sealants/Kolliner-Long Gallery/Konica Minolta Pontiac GXP.R in the fourth starting spot on the grid for Sunday's race. This followed a stellar second fastest GT time in the Saturday morning thirty minute combined practice session.

"As happy as I am with qualifying fourth, I am a little unsatisfied knowing I could have gone just a little faster. I know a lot of drivers say that, but my reason is that early on in the session, when the tires were at their best, I kept running into traffic and wasn't able to get the space I needed. Overall though, this is a fantastic result for the whole PR1 crew, and an awesome birthday present too!," said Barrett

The event was Barrett's third Grand-Am weekend, his second qualifying session and effectively his second race considering the car retired early at Mid Ohio before he got his turn at the wheel.

25 GT cars took the green flag for the start of the 2 ¾ hour Supercar Life 250, Grand-Am's inaugural endurance race on the 2.25 mile,12 turn Thunderbolt road course. Barrett moved up to the third spot after he deftly avoided a stationary Cheever Racing Pontiac Coyote which spun out of the field of 17 faster Daytona Prototypes and ended up in the middle of Turn 1.

Two laps later Barrett inherited the GT lead as the two cars in front elected to take early pit stops under caution. Barrett maintained the lead for the next sixteen laps before making his first pit stop during the second yellow flag period to take on fuel and new left side tires. The PR1 crew sent him back out in second place immediately behind the Connolly Pontiac that had elected not to pit with most of the rest of the GT field.

Barrett held station in second for thirty more laps as he tried to conserve fuel and tires in hopes that he would reclaim the point when the leader pitted. He eventually fell to third as his deteriorating right side tires slowed the car through the left hand turns, and he pitted under a full course caution at the 90 minute mark just after falling to fifth to avoid a spinning Porsche in Turn 9.

Barrett handed the car over to co-driver Mike Forest who took the checked flag in 7th place after a grueling incident filled stint that saw some very close racing and quite uncomfortable cockpit temperatures. Forest's cool suit experienced a connection failure which made things challenging for Mike in the Pontiac's 135 degree interior.

"I was pretty excited when I found myself in the lead early on. It was a great feeling, especially when I was in first place with three other Pontiac GXP.Rs behind me," commented Barrett. "I felt in control, but at the same time excited, like I was when I led my first kart race. It's a little disappointing finishing 7th, considering our qualifying efforts, but we're a team who is still learning everything there is to endurance sports car racing. This weekend proves that we can run up front and challenge for wins, so I'm really looking forward to the season finale in Salt Lake City in three weeks."

The team was assessed a ten second penalty for a safety apparel violation during a pit stop and was scored in eleventh in the final results, a place which certainly does not reflect the great performances from Barrett, Forest and the crew.

Barrett will be back in the car for the season finale in the SunRichGourmet.com 1000 at Miller Motorsports Park in Toole, Utah, south of Salt Lake City on September 18-20.

"I want to thank my personal sponsors Kolliner-Long Gallery based in Cambria, California and Alpinestars for their tremendous support. Without them, I wouldn't be where I am today doing what I love."

-credit: PatrickBarrettRacing.com

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Patrick Barrett , Mike Forest