Forest and Barrett wheel their Pontiac GXP.R to their best result yet September 20, 2008 (Tooele, Utah) -- Teammates Patrick Barrett and Mike Forest closed the book on their first season in the Rolex Sports Car Series' GT class in fine fashion...
Forest and Barrett wheel their Pontiac GXP.R to their best result yet
September 20, 2008 (Tooele, Utah) -- Teammates Patrick Barrett and Mike Forest closed the book on their first season in the Rolex Sports Car Series' GT class in fine fashion with a run to fourth place at the SunRichGourmet.com 1000 at Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, Utah.
In a race which featured multiple cautions as well as an extended rain shower, Barrett and Forest kept their PR1 Motorsports Pontiac GXP.R on the pavement and out of trouble while competitors all around them spun or fell off the track in the treacherous conditions.
The day was not without difficulty for the pair. At the first driver exchange, done under yellow at 36 minutes to pacify the Grand-Am 45-minute rule, Forest took over from Barrett but found he had a door that refused to latch. Unable to slam the door shut while circulating under yellow, Forest had to return to pit lane to have his PR1 Motorsports crew securely close the door -- dropping Forest to last in the running order. He was, however, able to make significant progress through the field before handing off to Barrett, who also advanced several more positions before the next driver exchange.
Five laps into Forest's second stint, Miller Motorsports Park experienced a massive deluge that ultimately caused twelve cars to go off the track. Forest and the PR1 Motorsports team bravely decided to stay on track with their slick tires, betting that the rainstorm would pass through quickly. It did, and having not lost any more time in the pits, Forest was able to make more ground on the other GT competitors. The decision was also made to double-stint Forest to get to the fuel window that would allow one final stop before the end of the race. He put in a two hours and forty five minutes at the wheel of the GXP.R, handing it over to Barrett in seventh place after running as high as second for some 12 laps.
Barrett then brought the car home in fine fashion, advancing up to fourth and nearly grabbing third on the final lap when one of the leading Porsches nearly ran out of fuel. Knocking on the podium, the PR1 Motorsports team was thrilled with the weekend's result.
"That was the one we felt we were chasing for the last couple of races," said Forest afterwards. "It's great to see a result come after all of the hard work everyone has put in. We were in the hunt during the race and just missed out on a podium. All in all it's a good ending to the season."
"Our strategists, John Hayes and Andy Garvey, called a perfect race. The conditions during the rain were unbelievable -- it was crazy, with cars slipping and sliding everywhere on the track. I pretty much had to tip-toed around at 15mph to keep from flying off the track, which wasn't easy. But it worked out, and Patrick did a great job bringing the car home."