SpeedSource Battles the Rain at The Grand Prix of Miami
This weekend marked the 3rd race of the 2012 GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Cars Series: The Grand Prix of Miami. The race was hosted in SpeedSource’s backyard track, Homestead-Miami Speedway. Florida welcomed teams with sunshine as the crews unloaded on Wednesday but it also welcomed fans with rain by week’s end.
The SpeedSource team was no stranger to Florida thunderstorms. After practicing in rain off and on, the team strategically prepared the #70 Castrol Edge Modspace Mazda RX-8 for the rain that Homestead was expecting. On Saturday, qualifying was canceled due to inches of rain gathering on the track. GRAND-AM announced that teams would then start the race by point standings. This meant that SpeedSource would start on the front row in 2nd.
Sunday’s weather was no surprise to the team as well. With non-stop rain, the race started under a full course caution. With Sylvain Tremblay leading the car in the front of the GT pack, SpeedSource maintained a lead as many cautions arose. The race became increasingly difficult as the race progressed and the rain accumulated. All teams had to weather the treacherous conditions as visibility was virtually non-existent due to the heavy spray of mist. After leading in GT, the #70 Castrol Edge Modspace Mazda RX-8 elected to pit under caution for fresh rain tires and a splash of fuel. This would allow the team to reach the scheduled race end with the newest tires and a full tank of Sunoco race fuel. However, this in-turn cycled the car back to the rear of the pack.
The Grand Prix of Miami was without a doubt a race against Mother Nature. The race was red flagged with an hour left and GRAND-AM ended the race early at 3:00PM due to rain. This was unexpected and prevented the team from regaining position. The #70 Castrol Edge Modspace Mazda RX-8 ended the race 12th in GT standings. With 2 weeks till the Global Barter 250 at New Jersey, the team is quickly planning on rebounding and reclaiming their stance as a podium team.