SCC: Laguna Seca: Team Cobalt preview

Team Cobalt Heads West atop Grand-Am Cup Series Points Standings Curran, Holtom in the Lead for Driver's Championship MONTEREY, Calif., May 1, 2006 -- With a win on April 22 at VIRginia International Raceway, the Chevrolet Cobalt SS ...

Team Cobalt Heads West atop Grand-Am Cup Series Points Standings
Curran, Holtom in the Lead for Driver's Championship

MONTEREY, Calif., May 1, 2006 -- With a win on April 22 at VIRginia International Raceway, the Chevrolet Cobalt SS Supercharged heads into Saturday's 200-mile Grand-Am Cup Series race at Laguna Seca Raceway atop the Manufacturer's point standings, and looking to put even more distance between itself and the rest of the formidable competition.

Gerogian Bay Motorsports drivers Eric Curran and Jamie Holtom vaulted themselves and Chevy to the top of the standings with a Street Tuner class win at VIR, a race which saw all five Cobalt SS Supercharged entries finish in the top nine positions.

"It's still very early, but being atop the leader board ahead of established cars from BMW and Acura is important considering our long term goal of winning the Manufacturer's Championship this season," said GM Performance Division's Ken Wasmer, whose engineering team provides technical support for all Cobalt entrants. "And having Eric and Jamie in the lead for the Driver's Championship by 13 points is icing on the cake."

A strong finish by all four Cobalt entries racing on May 6 at the legendary 2.238-mile Laguna Seca circuit would help put some space between Chevy and the other manufacturers, but when the race begins at 2:45 p.m. PST, Team Cobalt's drivers will have to walk the fine line between being aggressive and taking chances.

"With more than 75 cars in two classes on the track for this Saturday's race, our drivers have to be selective about where they make their moves or risk giving up the leads we've built so far this season," added Wasmer.

Cars from four different manufacturers -- Chevrolet Cobalt, Mazda RX-8, BMW 330i and Honda Accord -- have won the last four races spanning the 2005 and 2006 seasons, as the Street Tuner class becomes one of the most competitive showcases for manufacturers of performance-oriented small cars.

Cobalt entries for Saturday's race have a decided California flavor. Jamie Holtom's father, Jim, shares his #00 Georgian Bay Motorsports Cobalt with Daniel Colembie, a native of Belgium who now lives in Malibu.

Tom Lepper, of Benecia, who owns the two-car Team Cobalt California effort, has V. J. Mirzayan of Fresno and Jack Mardikian of Santa Ana in his #98 car. John Trefethen of Sonoma shares Lepper's #48 Cobalt. They finished fourth and ninth, respectively at VIR.

"I've been racing at Laguna Seca since 1982," said Lepper, who put his Cobalts through a rigorous development session there in February. "I know quick laps there are accomplished by bravery just as much as they are by skill; but after that test, I could see parts of the track where the Cobalt engine's supercharger will give us a definite advantage."

"All our teams have been developing the suspensions on their Cobalts," Wasmer added. "Their work with shock valving has made a car with terrific handling capabilities even better. We saw the proof on the stopwatches in practice at VIR."

-gm racing-

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Eric Curran , Daniel Colembie , Jack Mardikian