Canney and Plumb Score Mosport Podium Speed and strategy homework pays dividends North of the Border Bowmanville, Ontario (15 June, 2008)--Sharing the No. 60 Sunset Hills Vineyard Ford Mustang FR500C, Mike Canney and Hugh Plumb combined to score...
Canney and Plumb Score Mosport Podium
Speed and strategy homework pays dividends North of the Border
Bowmanville, Ontario (15 June, 2008)--Sharing the No. 60 Sunset Hills Vineyard Ford Mustang FR500C, Mike Canney and Hugh Plumb combined to score second place in the Grand-Am KONI Challenge race at Mosport International Raceway this weekend as part of the traditional Fathers Day Doubleheader race event. The race result moved the duo up to third together in the KONI Challenge Driver Championship standings and marked the first KONI Challenge podium appearance of the season for the two after three rounds of competition.
Despite it being his first KONI race at Mosport, Canney steadily improved on his qualifying position, moving up to twelfth early in the 2.5-hour event after starting from seventeenth on the grid.
"Mosport is an exciting track, and it requires a lot of commitment from the driver to get a fast lap time," said Canney. "The penalty for getting it wrong and going off this track is pretty harsh, so I just worked on building my speed all weekend long and was really happy with how the race opened up. My crew chief Quinn (Conda) put together a great setup on the car, which made racing at Mosport a fantastic experience. "Mosport is one of my favorite tracks now!"
Canney, Plumb, and Conda spent a good deal of time before the race working out as many possible race developments as they could conceive, looking to be prepared no matter how the event unfolded. And with rain a threat through the entire race weekend, the pre-race preparations looked to make the most of all possible situations.
"We wanted to be as fast as we could be if the race went full dry, but we also didn't want to be completely committed to a dry set up just in case the rain did come once the race started," said Canney, who went faster with every session through the weekend. "So we kept that in mind with our set-up, and even though the race was ultimately not really affected by the weather, I was still happy with the compromises we made on the set up, and our pit strategy was a big part of our move forward. Hugh did a great job getting the car into the lead, and it was a thrill to be up on the podium."
The event defied pre-race predictions by opening up with nearly an hour of green-flag running, but a series of late-race yellows saw Plumb's lead erased and ultimately allowing a pass from Mustang racer, local hero and race winner Maxwell.
"It was great to get back up front and run in the lead like we did at Daytona," said Plumb. "The car was really good, but I just didn't have anything for Maxwell on that second restart. So we just tucked in, played it smart and broke away from the field to the finish. Mike did a great job for his driving stint, and getting on the podium is great for our momentum. This was a whole team effort this weekend with Rehagen Racing and hopefully we can keep that going at Watkins Glen."
The GS Class of Grand-Am's KONI Challenge will race again at Watkins Glen as part of the IndyCar Series Fourth of July event weekend.