SCC: Daytona: GSM Racing race report

GSM Racing completes Fresh From Florida 200 at Daytona Daytona, FL (1/28/08) - The GSM/Bildon GTI shows strong pace at Daytona setting the 2nd fastest time of all VWs in the event. Close, competitive racing marked the first event on the 2008...

GSM Racing completes Fresh From Florida 200 at Daytona

Daytona, FL (1/28/08) - The GSM/Bildon GTI shows strong pace at Daytona setting the 2nd fastest time of all VWs in the event.

Close, competitive racing marked the first event on the 2008 calendar for the GSM Motorsports VW GTI sponsored by Bildon Motorsport. The Fresh from Florida 200 at Daytona International Speedway was the first event for the team since it's big setback last year which saw the #113 GTI destroyed in at Lime Rock Park.

However this was a new year, and with it, new drivers and renewed expectations. The team arrived well prepared after its successful testing in the weeks prior. The initial practice sessions were uneventful as the team drivers Evan Darling and Mary Katharine settled into a groove working on race setup and practicing driver changes.

When the green flag flew on Friday's race, the GTI made its move with a strong push early on moving up as many as 5 positions. Throughout the first hour the GSM GTI held its own and continued to move forward in a very large and competitive field. Avoiding a few crashes that took out a number of competitors was part of the strategy that the team was following, "stay out of trouble and it will come to you".

But this is racing and trouble can find you even when you are trying you hardest to hide from it. By the mid-way point it became evident that the car was down on power. Crew Chief and Team Owner Jon Lewis said "We were fighting what we thought was a computer program or diverter valve failure when we decided to do our driver change just over the mid way point of the race." Once Mary Katharine took control and settled in the real problem showed itself during a routine pit stop in the form of a telltale wisp of smoke. As it turned out the number one cylinder was on its way out, most likely the result of a broken piston ring. The team soldiered on until just before the 10 min mark before they radioed to driver Mary Katharine to pull off the track to save the motor from further damage.

So with the knowledge that the car, when healthy, had been turning laps as fast as those in the top 10, the team put the GSM Motorsports GTI 'sponsored by Bildon Motorsport' back in the trailer and headed home knowing that it’s a car capable of running up front.

"We are looking forward to Lime Rock, the next event. We want to finish what we started last year, said Lewis.

-credit: gsm

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Mary Katharine , Evan Darling