SCC: Mosport: Finlay Motorsports preview

The Finlay Motorsports Duo Of Michael McDowell and Rob Finlay Has Been Among The Fastest Grand Am Cup Teams In 2005, And Are Looking To Break A 3-Race Run of Bad Luck At The Mosport 200 The Finlay Motorsports team started off the 2005 Grand Am...

The Finlay Motorsports Duo Of Michael McDowell and Rob Finlay Has Been Among The Fastest Grand Am Cup Teams In 2005, And Are Looking To Break A 3-Race Run of Bad Luck At The Mosport 200

The Finlay Motorsports team started off the 2005 Grand Am Cup season with a podium and a top-5, followed by three races in which an excellent effort was interrupted by bad luck.

Co-driver Michael McDowell, the 2004 Star Formula Mazda champion, won the Mazda race at Mosport last year, the third of eight victories in a row.

The Finlay Motorsports team also fields a car in the Rolex Series Daytona Prototype class, and has scored two 4th-place finishes in a row with co-drivers McDowell and Champ Car veteran Memo Gidley.

The Finlay Motorsports team started off the 2005 Grand Am Cup season with a pair of stunningly competitive performances in their all-new #60 Air Force Reserve / Make A Wish / Commercial Defeasance BMW M3 -- a podium at the Rolex 24 at Dayton and a 4th in Santo Domingo... followed by three races in a row in which random bad luck ruled the day:

1) 29th to 5th at California Speedway, then a car ahead runs wide over a course marker cone that flips up in the air and slams through the radiator. 2) An upside-down -- literally -- end to the team's Laguna Seca race when a backmarker punts the car into the tire barrier. 3) 22nd to 5th at Watkins Glen before a broadside from a Porsche requires a visit to the pits for major repairs and a series of full-course yellow flags end the race in a single-file parade.

Small wonder the Finlay Motorsports driving duo of Michael McDowell and Rob Finlay are hoping to break the streak and avoid any Further interruptions of the team's otherwise excellent performances when they take to the track for this weekend's Mosport 200.

"Every team goes through streaks of bad or good luck during a season, and hopefully we're getting ours out of the way early," says Finlay. "Every weekend the team gives us a car capable of winning, and then something completely outside our control happens. It's a character-building experience to say the least, but this is a talented group of people who know how to get an effort back on track and we'll be back to challenging for victories sooner rather than later."

McDowell, the 2004 Star Mazda Pro Series champion, has already had a taste of the podium at Mosport -- the top step, in fact -- when he won the Pro Mazda race there in 2004. It was his third consecutive victory in the ultra-competitive Mazda series... one of nine first-place finishes he recorded on during his dominant run for the title.

"Mosport is a great track, and it's always a thrill to race in front of the knowledgeable, enthusiastic fans they have in Canada," says McDowell. "I had a really good run here last year, and my knowledge of the track will definitely be an asset to our effort here this weekend. One of the truths about racing is that things can turn completely around every time the green flag waves, and that's what the entire team is focused on."

After a day of testing on Mosport's 2.459-mile, 10-turn road course on Thursday, June 16, the official weekend activities get underway on Friday, June 17. Two 15-minute qualifying session will be held in the afternoon. Saturday's race day schedule calls for the Grand-Am Cup machines to get a final, 15-minute practice session from 8:40 to 8:55 a.m., followed by the Mosport 200, which takes the green flag at 3:30 p.m. ET. The scheduled distance is 200 miles (82 laps), but the race is subject to a two and-a-half hour time limit.

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Memo Gidley , Michael McDowell , Rob Finlay