Spirit of Daytona's First 2006 Grand-Am Cup Experience Less than halfway into the first Grand-Am Cup race of the 2006 season, both the No.9 Microflex/Daytona Mitsubishi sponsored GTO and No.10 Rockland Standard Gear/ Microflex...
Spirit of Daytona's First 2006 Grand-Am Cup Experience
Less than halfway into the first Grand-Am Cup race of the 2006 season, both the No.9 Microflex/Daytona Mitsubishi sponsored GTO and No.10 Rockland Standard Gear/ Microflex sponsored GTO had to pull into the garages. Both cars started off on a shaky start while the track was held under a 14-lap caution. When the track turned green the bad luck struck. The No. 10 GTO's front suspension went haywire and the No. 9 GTO experienced transmission problems.
Mike Weinberg drove the first stint for the No. 10 GTO, "The track was so busy. I would compare it to robbing a bank during rush hour in Manhattan. There was no room to move especially on the chicane," said Weinberg. Weinberg and co-driver Bryan Collyer ran into issues earlier during the practice sessions with braking. "We were still figuring out the perfect brake setup. Development is painful and time consuming," said Weinberg referring to the new No. 10 GTO, "but Rome wasn't built in a day." During the race Weinberg reported that he was hit against the wall's banking. The GTO suffered front suspension and body damage. The No. 10 GTO was not able to return to the track. Due to the damage, No.10 co-driver, Bryan Collyer was unable to pilot the GTO around the track during the race. Collyer wanted to gain more seat time before his stint in the Rolex 24 Hours on Saturday. He will be competing in the GT class with Michael Baughman Racing in the No. 46 Corvette.
Craig Conway, qualifying driver for the No. 9 Microflex/Mitsubishi Daytona sponsored GTO drove the first stint for the No. 9 GTO while the track was under a 14-lap caution. " I have not seen so many cars on the track since the early 90's, with so many cars in the way you really need to be on your toes at all times." Conway had been looking forward to his first race of 2006 " Practice sessions and qualifying laps are just the events I have to go through until I get a chance to race. It's like baking a cake, you need to make it before you get to enjoy it," said Conway. Due to the car's mechanical mishap Conway was unable to take the GTO back to the track. Co- driver, Doug Goad turned one lap in the No. 9 GTO after its mishap. "This is just the new car blues," said Goad, "the car felt good but it's just having teething problems."
With the next Grand-Am Cup race over three month away, Spirit of Daytona Racing will have ample time to prepare the GTOs for competition.