For Andrew Carbonell and Rhett O’Doski, the race will be an opportunity to continue their rise in the championship chase.
INDIANAPOLIS, In.—Freedom Autosport returns to GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge competition on Friday, when round seven kicks off at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Both of the team’s Mazda MX-5s will once again represent the MARSOC Foundation.
Still, Carbonell says that the championship is not on their minds heading into Indy. “I’m taking each race one at a time and not worrying about the points. At every race, we just want a good result. That’s what wins a championship: having a good race every weekend, not making any mistakes, and being there at the end.”
O’Doski and Carbonell have an interesting challenge, though. Although GRAND-AM debuted at Indy last year, the No. 26 Mazda did not. A mechanical problem following the first practice forced the car to retire from the race.
“This race will be a real challenge for us,” says O’Doski. “Most of our competitors have raced at Indy already. That makes us more motivated, and especially eager to get on the podium.”
One advantage that they will have is that their Freedom Autosport teammates Derek Whitis and Tom Long did race at Indianapolis in 2012, finishing 13th. The co-drivers faced a setback at Watkins Glen in June, when the No. 25 Mazda MX-5 crashed early in the race.
“The Freedom Autosport crew has been working nonstop to get our Mazda in top form again,” says Whitis. “We had a great test last week, and we’re optimistic that we can improve on our previous finish at Indy.”
“Last year’s race at Indy included rain and a red flag, so I don’t think we’ve had a chance to show just how competitive we are there,” says Long. “Indy’s long straight has proven to be a challenge for us, but the MX-5 will excel in the infield.”
The race gets underway on Friday, July 26, at 2:00 p.m. ET.