Utah: AIM Autosport race report

AIM Autosport Utah 250 race report No. 61 Ford Riley records a solid run to fifth place and moves up in points. Tooele, Utah (2009.09.19) In a race that featured some tight battles, three cautions that bunched up the field and some bumping and...

AIM Autosport Utah 250 race report
No. 61 Ford Riley records a solid run to fifth place and moves up in points.

Tooele, Utah (2009.09.19) In a race that featured some tight battles, three cautions that bunched up the field and some bumping and banging, Mark Wilkins and Burt Frisselle put in a very solid drive in the Utah 250 and brought the AIM Autosport No. 61 Ford Riley to a solid, fifth-place finish. With that result AIM Autosport is now alone in sixth place in the championship and just three points back of fifth overall.

Cautions played a significant role in the race with respect to track position and fuel mileage. Mark would hand over the car to Burt from the second position. Burt had to deal with some GT traffic but was still on pace when the first caution brought the entire prototype field into the pits. A fantastic stop by the crew put the No 61 Ford Riley back on track in fourth place. Burt then went side by side with the 01 car in a battle for third and despite going wide in the turn and sustaining some damage, he held position and took up the chase. However, he had fallen back a bit and was now under attack but held his ground.

Burt was passed and fell to fifth just before the second last caution period. This and the subsequent three-lap caution during the final twenty laps of the race menat everyone was on a fuel strategy to race to the end. Burt had some fantastic restarts keeping pace with the No. 12 car - but not enough to make the position. There was some hope that the heated battle for second place might yield another position or two but Burt maintained a strong pace to the end and a sold result.

"We owe this to everyone on the crew" commented Burt after the race. "The pit stops went great and that kept us in the hunt and the car just worked well even after we had contact with other cars. This race was a lot of fun and it was fantastic to be able to put pressure on teams running at the front."

"I have to agree with Burt on the work the crew did" said Wilkins. "Ian (Willis) and Jim (Malicki) threw a new setup at the crew this morning and they got it done in time fort practice and we could just tweak it from there." He continued, "the pit stop was awesome which gave us track position and Burt just drove a solid race to the end."

The AIM Autosport crew will head home to get the No. 61 Ford Riley ready for the final race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in just three weeks. Another solid effort there could see the team repeat their fifth place series championship result.

-credit: aim

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Burt Frisselle , Mark Wilkins