Burrows and Hopwood Bring Kia Another Top Ten Finish TOOELE, UT (11 September 2010)-- Adam Burrows and Trevor Hopwood brought Kia another race finish, and a top ten result to boot as the former champions combined for a run to tenth place in the...
Burrows and Hopwood Bring Kia Another Top Ten Finish
TOOELE, UT (11 September 2010)-- Adam Burrows and Trevor Hopwood brought Kia another race finish, and a top ten result to boot as the former champions combined for a run to tenth place in the season-ending GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge event at Miller Motorsports Park after making a huge rebound from a disproportionate pit penalty during the season-ending race.
The duo, who had shaken the disappointment off from narrowly missing the podium in the previous round, started the race from the ninth row after a balky shifter didn't allow Burrows to unlock all the speed in the No. 12 Infinity Audio/Mbis/HD Radio/Rocky Tools Kia Forte Koup in the morning qualifying session.
The 2.5-hour race got off to a promising start as Burrows made forward progress early in the running. Burrows kept his head down and kept working ahead, although he balky shifting issue re-emerged and kept his focus once again on finishing the event.
A second yellow flag on lap 32 set the stage for what would be a pivotal moment in the race. When Burrows pitted for fuel, tires, and a driver change to turn the machine over to Hopwood, another team in the pit box alongside Kinetics, had left a set of tires in the Kinetic pit box. This forced Hopwood to make light contact with the tire as he exited the pit lane.
"There wasn't really anything I could do and I was really surprised about the penalty," said Hopwood before he prepared to head home for the Patriots season-opener.
Rather than addressing the issue of the other team leaving their tires in such proximity to the Kinetic pit box, GRAND-AM offcials, with a history of strict enforcement of flexible rules interpretation, dropped a sixty second stop and go penalty on the car for the infraction. This forced Hopwood to return to the pit box during the green flag conditions, losing time as the Koup anxiously bounced off the hard limiter for the 45 MPH pit speed limit on the longest pit lane in North America. Oh, and also serve a 60 second penalty in the pit box.
Even though a setback like this should have ruined the race outing, Hopwood kept his cool and went back out and attacked as hard as he could mindful of both the need to keep the impeccable record of race finishes the duo had established for Kia as well as looking to close the year out with a strong result.
While a tenth place finish was not what had been hoped for, it still marked an excellent fight back as the sister car also was in the top ten with a run to 8th.
"I still don't understand the thinking about the penalty, but I just had to get it out of my mind and work forward," said Hopwood. "We were obviously hoping for more, but to have the season that we did, finishing every race and improving every weekend, it's good to at least come out of here with a top ten. Thanks to Kinetic and Kia, and also to Lee and Joey for their incredible, tireless work all year long."
"We knew at Daytona that starting in such a competitive environment like GRAND-AM with a car that had never been raced anywhere before would be an uphill challenge, and it's just amazing what Kinetic has done with this Koup so far this year," said Burrows. "Working with Christian (Rushforth, engineer) has been great. Having Lee and Joey be our guys, I can not say how much we appreciate the incredibly hard work that they have done all season long. And best wishes to Lee with the upcoming new addition to his family."