SCC: Mid-Ohio: Freedom Autosport preview

Freedom Autosport Honors David Wayne LaConte at Mid-Ohio LEXINGTON, Ohio--When the Freedom Autosport Mazda MX-5s take to the track at Mid-Ohio next weekend, they will be doing more than racing. The Street Tuner team will also be honoring the...

Freedom Autosport Honors David Wayne LaConte at Mid-Ohio

LEXINGTON, Ohio--When the Freedom Autosport Mazda MX-5s take to the track at Mid-Ohio next weekend, they will be doing more than racing. The Street Tuner team will also be honoring the memory of David Wayne LaConte, who was killed in Afghanistan last year.

"David Wayne LaConte was a retired Navy Seal who made the ultimate sacrifice in November of this past year," says Freedom Autosport co-owner Rhett O'Doski. "He was a true hero who gave his life while serving our country in Afghanistan. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, daughter, and son."

Round seven of the GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge Series at Mid-Ohio comes just two weeks after the race at Watkins Glen International. Derek Whitis and Tom Long finished seventh there in the No. 25 Freedom Autosport Mazda MX-5.

The Watkins Glen round marked Craig McHaffie's debut in GRAND-AM competition. He and his father Hugh McHaffie teamed up in the No. 28 Flatout Motorsports MAZDASPEED3 prepared by Freedom Autosport, finishing 20th. The MAZDASPEED3 continues to gain speed and the car ran in the top ten before a second fuel stop.

Now, Freedom Autosport heads to Mid-Ohio, where they tested just two weeks ago. During the test, the team worked on perfecting the setup of the Mazda MX-5s and the drivers got re-acquainted with the technical 2.258-mile track.

"Mid-Ohio is a classic handling track. We've always proven to be strong there," says Long. "I love racing at Mid-Ohio and think the MX-5s will really shine there."

Whitis echoes that sentiment, noting, "The Mazda MX-5 loves the corners and elevation changes at Mid-Ohio."

Andrew Carbonell, who co-drives the No. 26 Freedom Autosport Mazda MX-5 with Rhett O'Doski, is especially fond of Mid-Ohio. "Last year, Mid-Ohio was really a turning point in the season," says Carbonell, who finished fifth there in 2009 along with O'Doski. "I came from the back, won the Hard Charger Award, and went on to podium in the next few races." After a crankshaft pulley issue kept Carbonell and O'Doski from racing at Watkins Glen, they are hoping that Mid-Ohio proves to be a turning point once again.

Freedom Autosport returns to Mid-Ohio for the 2.5-hour GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge race on Sunday, June 19 at 1:15 p.m. The race will be televised on SPEED, airing at 1:00 p.m. ET on Saturday, June 26.

-source: freedom autosport

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