PORSCHE COMES UP SHORT AT HOME RACE AT BARBER MOTORSPORTS PARK (Ormond Beach, FL, USA - July 25, 2008) A trio of Ford Mustangs swept the Koni Challenge podium following Saturday's race at Barber Motorsports Park, as the 5th round of the...
PORSCHE COMES UP SHORT AT HOME RACE AT BARBER MOTORSPORTS PARK
(Ormond Beach, FL, USA - July 25, 2008) A trio of Ford Mustangs swept the Koni Challenge podium following Saturday's race at Barber Motorsports Park, as the 5th round of the series marked the official half way point for the 2008 season. An onslaught of Ford Mustangs and BMW M3s proved unbeatable thought, as only one Porsche finished inside the top 10, in 9th place. While Barber Motorsports Park is considered the home track for Porsche Cars North America and while it is the location of their Porsche Driving Experience school, it was not the site of their most recent win in Grand-Am Koni Challenge Series or Rolex Sports Car Series racing.
For the folks at BGB Motorsports, it was a disappointing race that followed a strong qualifying effort by Jon Miller in the #83 PerformanceDrink/Weeden Consultants Porsche 997. Having qualified 5th on the time sheets during Friday's 15 minute qualifying session, only .5 seconds off the fastest time, a post impound shuffle promoted the BGB Porsche up to the 4th spot on the grid for Saturday's race. Typical of Koni Challenge action, some hard racing shuffled things up during the opening laps of the race but Miller settled into a 7th place position and began to move forward. Unfortunately the moving forward was short lived, as Miller had to hang to a car with rising engine temperatures and failed power steering that were caused by rising temperatures in the engine bay that were the result of the failure of a brand new exhaust system. Jon Miller had more to add:
"These are the hard ones to digest. The team replaced the exhaust with a brand new one after the last race and this one failed, causing everything back there to overheat. It was apparently too much for the plastic idler pulley. It lost the belt on lap 5 and I had nothing. By the end of the race the hot exhaust melted pretty much everything back there. It's hard to digest when you do the right thing by putting a new part on, and this happens. We were already many laps down but I did almost a full stint after the team got it repaired and the handling never went away. The car was really really good. This just contributed to my frustrations because I think we had a top 3 car here."
The BGB crew flushed the radiator system and returned the car to battle in an attempt to gather as many points as possible after 40 minutes of non-stop repair. Both Miller and his codriver Craig Stanton did their best to improve their existing 30th place spot, but the two would have to settle for 25th place honors. Miller's indication of the car's performance, even in its dazed state was reiterated by Stanton's performance on track. Driving around the 2.4 mile road course with the rear bumper melting off, an intermittent fuel stumble and a gaping hole in the exhaust, Craig Stanton continued to run times within half a second of the leaders in an attempt to gain ground and gather points. With this result, the team slips back to 5th place in the championship unfortunately, with Porsche slipping to 3rd in the manufacturer's race. With the season half over, BGB has already had their bad luck and they're looking for nothing but top finishes for the remainder of the year. With a run for the 2nd half of this season as strong as last year's, and with some additional, the team is hopeful they still might have a chance.
- credit: bgbm