SpeedSource Race Engineering Lands Two Top-Ten Finishes in Grand-Am Cup Season Opener Eighty-eight cars lined the grid at Daytona International Speedway for the Grand-Am Cup season opener. SpeedSource Race Engineering cars took four of the ...
SpeedSource Race Engineering Lands Two Top-Ten Finishes in Grand-Am Cup Season Opener
Eighty-eight cars lined the grid at Daytona International Speedway for the Grand-Am Cup season opener. SpeedSource Race Engineering cars took four of the eighty-eight spots on their way to defend their Street Tuner (ST) class Triple Crown Championship. The Friday afternoon race was held during the 24 Hours of Daytona weekend, opening the 2006 season for the Grand American Road Racing Series. SpeedSource and Mazda reconfirmed their ability to provide excellent race cars and surmounted difficulties often faced on the Daytona track.
Scott Schlesinger and Ken Dobson pushed their way to a sixth place finish in the SpeedSource #68 car. The co-drivers proved again that they are a strong force within the SpeedSource team. Schlesinger and Dobson ended the 2005 season with their first podium as co-drivers and this sixth place finish at Daytona is an excellent start. The co-drivers are gaining momentum early this season in hopes of bringing Mazda another Manufacturers Championship in 2006.
Also landing a top-ten finish for SpeedSource Race Engineering were drivers Sylvain Tremblay and David Haskell. Tremblay and Haskell finished the race with a seventh place finish and continue their hunt for a second consecutive Triple Crown Championship. Crew chief of the #70 car, Matt Martin, does not feel this seventh place finish will slow up their quest for another ST title.
"We did what we had to do to finish the race and earn points. Now we have to start thinking about VIR. We have already shown you can win a championship without winning the first race," Martin stated.
In 2005, the SpeedSource No. 70 car took fourth place at the Daytona season opener and went on to win five races through the season. This year the #70 Mazda drivers remain the same but exciting changes have been made to the car. The #70 ST class car is a 2006 Mazda RX-8 named the EVO II by the SpeedSource engineers. More horsepower has been added to the car which will continue to help the team with their quest for another championship season.
The SpeedSource ST Mazdas have yet to land a Grand-Am Cup ST class podium at the Daytona track. However, the team uses this 200 mile race and the Daytona track as a foundation for the rest of the season. The ability to gain knowledge and maintain the cars during this race is instrumental for the nine remaining races this season. Matt Martin continued to share his theory of this past weekend and for the next Grand-Am Cup race the team will face at Virginia International Raceway.
"I know from history that Daytona is not the best track for our cars. You have to go into the weekend with the same mentality as every weekend, be smart and aware of everything going on around you. If you live by that, you will have a good car to go to the next race with," added Martin.
With an eleventh place finish, Rob and Ray Huffmaster completed the Daytona race in the SpeedSource #65 Huffmaster Racing Mazda. Both drivers come to the team from Rochester Hills, Michigan with the hopes of an excellent season. Marty Kintzi, crew chief of the #65 car, believes that a good season is just where the Huffmasters are headed.
"Ray and Rob Huffmaster, the father and son combo, had an overall good weekend. They both enjoyed the car very much and we had made some set up changes after test days. Working with Ray and Rob is always a pleasure, they are great drivers with a ton of potential. We look forward to working with them for the rest of the season," stated Kintzi.
Joining the SpeedSource team once again were Marcelo Abello and Jose Armengol. The co-drivers took fourteenth place in their SpeedSource #66 car. The duo opened the season with support from International Jet Traders, Gulfstream Brazil, D & S Insurance Consultants, Mondial Forwarding, as well as their #66 crew chief, Jason Bivens.
"Despite getting hit by another car, they handled the car well, and earned valuable points for the championship, Marcello's and Jose's feedback was excellent all weekend and these guys will fight for podiums this year" Bivens stated.