Memorial Day Classic at Lime Rock Park Race Report
The Memorial Day Classic at Lime Rock Park in Connecticut played host to Round 5 of the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series. The single-day event meant that teams had practice, qualifying and the race all rolled into a few short hours.
The SpeedSource crew rolled into the historic track as guests to a morning thunderstorm. Rain hampered much of the morning practice session, leaving little time to tune the cars. Always prepared, the SpeedSource crew unloaded two great racecars that needed little adjustments to ready themselves for qualifying. Sylvain Tremblay qualified the #70 Castrol Edge Mazda RX-8 5th, once again securing the best qualifying mark for the Japanese brand. Teammate Emil Assentato rounded out the top 10 in the #69 FXDD Mazda RX-8.
The green flag waved for the 23-car field less than two hours after qualifying. A spinning Daytona Prototype after Turn 1 caused the GT field to stack up at the start of the race. Heavy contact to the #69 FXDD Mazda RX-8 sent Assentato off-track into the grass. The crew would fight hard to regain track position on the 1.5-mile course. The duo of Assentato and co-driver Jeff Segal would eventually finish in 10th place.
Early on, the #70 Castrol Edge Mazda RX-8 showed great pace as Tremblay was able to keep the matte-black racecar at the front of the GT pack. An early yellow allowed team strategist David Haskell to bring the car in for fuel early on without losing valuable track position. Continued running under green conditions would mean that the #70 Mazda RX-8 would cycle to near the front of the GT class when other cars had to pit. Unfortunately that time never came for the team as a ruptured oil line would force the car into an unscheduled pit stop. The crew worked hard to repair the issue and was able to get co-driver Jonathan Bomarito his time in the car to obtain driver points and earn a 12th place finish.
The tough weekend leaves the SpeedSource cars in 7th and 8th in the GT points standings, with the 2010 GT Class champions leading the duo. The team faces a very short turn-around before Saturday’s 6-Hours of the Glen at Watkins Glen International Raceway. Look for SpeedSource to rebound in the second extended endurance race of the Rolex Sports Car schedule.
-source: speedsource racing