Utah: SpeedSource race report

SpeedSource Rolex GT No. 70 Season Ends in Lap 1 Crash in Utah Salt Lake City, Utah - If there's a reason for everything, the catastrophic demise of the No. 70 Mazdaspeed GT RX-8 has yet to be explained. The good news is that driver...

SpeedSource Rolex GT No. 70 Season Ends in Lap 1 Crash in Utah

Salt Lake City, Utah - If there's a reason for everything, the catastrophic demise of the No. 70 Mazdaspeed GT RX-8 has yet to be explained. The good news is that driver Nick Ham walked away from the hit that launched the Mazda into a rollover on the first lap of the Sunchaser 1000 at Miller Motorsports Park. And the two other SpeedSource-built Mazda GT RX-8s in the field finished the race in the top ten. But behind the accomplishments lingers the memory of cutting up the 3-time race winning car and loading it onto the trailer on carpet dollies. Perhaps the search for explanation is best left behind on the track.

"It was certainly a blow to the team, but the most important thing is Nick's OK," said team owner Sylvain Tremblay. "The little Mazda did its ultimate job which is to protect the driver. When things like this happen you can't dwell on them. I've received lots of e-mails from supportive fans, and Mazdaspeed and Mazda have also supported us 100%. We'll build a new Mazdaspeed No. 70 and be ready for next year."

Commenting on the weekend, team Technical Director David Haskell said, "We felt really confident about this race. Nick put the car on the outside pole, and we really wanted to win this race for Mazda. Instead we had the dubious distinction of the making the #1 spot on Speed Report's Top 5 Significant Things About the Weekend in Motorsports. It's not the same podium we were aiming for, but the No. 69 and No. 40 ran a great race and boosted us up."

The No. 69 FXDD of Emil Assentato ran a flawless race to finish fourth, with Assentato putting in a double stint to keep the car in the hunt for a podium. Assentato qualified the car in 4th spot, and Jeff Segal anchored the driving duties. Assentato also garnered Grand-Am's Bob Akin award, honoring the accomplishments of competitors who are not full-time professional racers. With eight top-ten finishes, including a podium finish in Mexico, Assentato's results amply demonstrated the skill and determination this award represents. SpeedSource offers its congratulations to Emil on this honor.

Making its Rolex debut and first true race-test, the newest SpeedSource-built GT RX-8 wears the Hypersport colors. The team recently took delivery of its new No. 40, and team manager Micheal Gue expressed his appreciation for the quality build and flawless rollout of the car. The Hypersport RX-8 qualified in 8th position and came home in 10th spot in the hands of Joe Foster, Patrick Dempsey, and Charles Espenlaub.

SpeedSource heads into a busy off-season. Building a new No. 70 GT RX-8 is a top priority, and the shop is also finishing additional GT chassis to be announced for 2008. SpeedSource is currently taking additional orders for 2008 deliveries.

Tremblay, Haskell and other team members will also travel to Mazda's corporate headquarters in Irvine, California to take part in the annual SevenStock event, the largest gathering of rotary enthusiasts and privately owned rotary Mazdas in the world.

-credit: ss

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Emil Assentato , David Haskell , Sylvain Tremblay , Charles Espenlaub , Jeff Segal , Nick Ham , Joe Foster , Patrick Dempsey
Teams SpeedSource