SCC: Lime Rock: Freedom Autosport preview

Freedom Autosport Honors Memory of USMC Lance Corporal Josh Davis LAKEVILLE, Conn.--"Freedom Autosport has dedicated this season to USMC Lance Corporal Josh Davis, son of Dave and Patti Davis of Perry, Iowa; an American hero who made the...

Freedom Autosport Honors Memory of USMC Lance Corporal Josh Davis

LAKEVILLE, Conn.--"Freedom Autosport has dedicated this season to USMC Lance Corporal Josh Davis, son of Dave and Patti Davis of Perry, Iowa; an American hero who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom only three weeks ago on March 7 while serving in Afghanistan. To Dave and Patti, and his brother and sisters Joe, Ashley, and Brandie, we send our prayers and our promise that Josh will always be remembered."

With those words from team owner Derek Whitis, Freedom Autosport prepares for the racing action at Lime Rock Park this weekend along with their friends at Flatout Motorsports. Whitis and Tom Long will continue to chase the manufacturers championship in the GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge Series.

A crash during the previous round at Virginia International Raceway left Whitis and Long's No. 25 Freedom Autosport Mazda MX-5 in bad shape, but after furious preparations during the last month, they are ready to go for Lime Rock. Meanwhile, Freedom Autosport has teamed up with Flatout Motorsports, who will campaign one of Freedom's MAZDASPEED3s.

This collaboration is far from the first between Freedom Autosport and Flatout Motorsports. Nick Leverone's Bellingham, Massachusetts shop has a long history of success in Spec Miata competition, and in 2009 they raced with support from Freedom Autosport in GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge.

"Tom (Long) and I ran together in 2006 in the Street Tuner class, so I built a good relationship with him and his father. It's been a good experience working with Freedom Autosport," says Leverone, who has set several track records at his home track of Lime Rock.

Leverone will be able to show off his knowledge of the 1.53-mile track this weekend: he and Craig McHaffie will be co-driving the Freedom Autosport-prepared No. 28 Flatout Motorsports MAZDASPEED3. The up-and-coming McHaffie is making his GRAND-AM debut after an outstanding run in Spec Miata.

Also joining the Freedom Autosport lineup at Lime Rock are Charlie Putman and Charles Espenlaub. They usually co-drive in the Grand Sport class, and are taking advantage of the split-class races this weekend. Putman and Espenlaub will drive the No. 27 Freedom Autosport MAZDASPEED3.

"We tested the MAZDASPEED3 a couple weeks ago and I was really pleased with the way the car handled," says Putman. "Charles and I have a lot of front-wheel drive experience, and the MAZDASPEED3 is probably the best-handling front-wheel drive car I've driven."

After a disappointing end to their race at Virginia International Raceway, Andrew Carbonell and Rhett O'Doski will be looking for a strong finish to get back in the championship hunt.

"We're aiming for top-five results for the rest of the season. We've got to stay consistent and make no mistakes," O'Doski says. "Our cars are good at Lime Rock with the tight turns. The key at Lime Rock, where the lap times are so low, will be to stay clean and remain on the lead lap."

-source: freedon autosport

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Charles Espenlaub , Tom Long , Nick Leverone , Andrew Carbonell , Rhett O'Doski , Derek Whitis , Craig McHaffie
Teams Freedom Autosport