Fenton Honda Team Drivers Finish 5, 7 at Daytona Race Season-Opener The Bill Fenton Motorsports team of two Honda Civic Si-based race cars today opened the 2009 Grand-Am Koni Sports Car Challenge series with fifth and seventh place finishes in...
Fenton Honda Team Drivers Finish 5, 7 at Daytona Race Season-Opener
The Bill Fenton Motorsports team of two Honda Civic Si-based race cars today opened the 2009 Grand-Am Koni Sports Car Challenge series with fifth and seventh place finishes in the 32-car Street Tuner class at Daytona International Speedway.
"I believe we could have finished higher, but the field was frozen behind the safety car for the last three laps of the race because of somebody's accident," said Fenton.
Displaying the consistency and speed which, for years, has kept them in the running for Grand-Am Koni Challenge championships, the team's #27 Honda finished fifth, driven by Dave Thilenius of Howell, Mich., and newcomer Bret Spaude of Bushnell, Fla. Spaude was mired 4.5 seconds behind the race winner.
Team veteran Bob Beede, Greenwich, Conn., was seventh in the #29 Honda. He was paired with another first-timer with Fenton's team, Rich Cullen, Marshfield, Mass.
The three-hour race on Daytona's 3.56-mile combination high-speed oval and infield road course was televised by Speed TV for airing at a later date.
"Dave and Bret are going to make a great pairing this year," Fenton noted. "Both bring a lot of technical skills to the team. Bret and Rich, for this being their first race with us, and doing it at a fast track like Daytona, did superb jobs."
Thilenius led the race in his class for laps 38-39, and 41-44.
Fenton also noted that nine different American, European and Japanese car manufacturers competed in the Street Tuner class at Daytona.
"We saw today's race won by the Chevrolet Cobalt team which won the championship last year, with a Subaru second and a Honda third," he said. None of these teams were racing cars they were unfamiliar with. That gives me an idea how the season is going to shape up, and now we know what our targets are.
"We've beat them before with steady performance from reliable cars, and we can do it again."