AIM Autosport enjoyed a top-five charge during the first part of the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series race at Virginia International Raceway on Sunday, but had to settle for 13th after a fuel glitch interfered with the team's speed...
AIM Autosport enjoyed a top-five charge during the first part of the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series race at Virginia International Raceway on Sunday, but had to settle for 13th after a fuel glitch interfered with the team's speed strategy.
Mark Wilkins of Toronto drove first, starting the No. 61 Exchange Traded Gold Lexus-powered Riley Mk XI sixth on the 20-car grid. He pitted for fuel during a caution period 11 minutes into the two-hour 30-minute race, then stayed in the top five through his stint. Forced to stop again for fuel earlier than expected, he pitted under green-flag conditions at 1h7 and handed off to Brian Frisselle of Lynchburg, Va., missing a subsequent caution period that allowed the rest of the field to stop for fuel and stay ahead. Frisselle returned to the track 16th and worked back up to 10th before his final fuel stop at 1h28. He got back on track 13th, but lost four positions serving a green-flag drive-through penalty for a pitspeed violation. He regained the positions to finish 13th.
The drivers had familiar support on the team radio, as their fathers Greg Wilkins and Brad Frisselle ably handled spotter duty during the race.
Brian Frisselle "Our strategy didn't work out as well as we'd hoped. We had some fueling problems and I just never got in sync with the car -- the car was quite a bit different than what I'd driven in practice. I'm disappointed with my performance, but we'll come back next time stronger than ever."
Mark Wilkins "I was pretty happy with my drive. I really liked the car -- the handling was good. [Late in the stint] the car was really loose [understeering], so it was a matter of keeping the rear tires under me, being as consistent as possible and keeping the times up. You've really got to stay focused on what's in front of you and not let what's behind you bother you. I let it get to me a bit, but when I started to focus forward again, we started to pull away."