VIR: Synergy Racing race report

SYNERGY RACING ENDURES TOUGH WEEKEND AT THE HOME TRACK ALTON, Virginia, 24 April - Virginia International Raceway is the home track for Synergy Racing, but it seems lady luck didn't get the message. With a strong driver line up, support from J.

SYNERGY RACING ENDURES TOUGH WEEKEND AT THE HOME TRACK

ALTON, Virginia, 24 April - Virginia International Raceway is the home track for Synergy Racing, but it seems lady luck didn't get the message. With a strong driver line up, support from J. Sargent Reynolds Community College on board, and a healthy home team fan base on hand, the team had several reasons to look forward to the race.

Showing that he is fast on and off the track, David Murry's co-driver Patrick Huisman was among the first to get out of flight-locked Europe after the volcanic ash closed the airspace for five days. Practice went well, and the team was realistic about a top-10 finish.

But then as the green flag flew on qualifying, things started to go upside down. The effort to score a strong spot on the grid was ruined when the team was erroneously supplied with the wrong tires, hampering the effort and forcing them to start from the back.

Once the race was underway, with David Murry taking on the first stint of driving duties, he pitted right away to top up on fuel and satisfy the mandatory pit stop requirement within the first 45 minutes out of the way as the team looked for a strategic advantage to overcome the grid position. The strategy was to run as long a stint as possible and make up ground later in the race while the rest of the field had to make their obligatory stop.

Things were looking up. Murry started to make soon gaining ground after his stop, taking large chunks of time back on every lap as he put his local knowledge to good use. Eventually, at the 40 minute mark of the race, the strategy paid off and Murry was running as high as 6th before handing the reins over to Huisman.

"The car is balanced beautifully and it was a good call to pit early. We were able to make up some track position and then a big leap up the order when everyone else pitted. Unfortunately, I kept getting some alarms and when I tried to recycle, nothing would happen. Eventually, I learned we have a small water leak. Then just before I pitted, I grabbed the wrong gear and spun. I've been driving these Porsche 911s for a long time and it's the first time I've ever done that," Murry shrugged as stepped from the car after 34 laps behind the wheel.

Patrick Huisman took over the driving duties and returned to action 18th in class, but immediately returned to take the car behind the wall. The water leak had worsened, forcing the Synergy Racing crew to effect repairs.

Although the exact cause of the leak was unknown, the speculation was a chunk of rubber debris hit the right front radiator near the water bleed line, opening a half inch hole. Approximately 45 minutes later, the damage was remedied. Huisman returned to the fray, finding himself 18th in class 23 laps down on the class leader with 45 minutes remaining in the race.

Once back out Huisman circulated nobly, but the hole was too deep to climb out of. In the end, the No. 81 Synergy Racing Porsche finished 18th in class, 22 laps down and 30th overall, 26 laps down.

"It was a tough weekend. It went wrong in qualifying due to circumstances beyond our control and it got worse in the race as well, also not totally within our control. Sometimes things go pear-shaped and they just don't come back," said team principal Cole Scrogham. "I have to say though hats off to the crew and drivers who hung tough and never gave up."

While the results were less than had been hoped for, the weekend was far from a total loss, however. With over 20 guests from J Sargent Reynolds Community College on hand to enjoy the weekend, two of the lucky guests actually participated in the pitstop, working the deadman switch on the fuel re-filler and handling the tire change from the behind the wall position.

The team will return to the headquarters on the VIR grounds, and prepare for the next opportunity to perform out on track.

-source: synergy racing

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers David Murry , Patrick Huisman , Cole Scrogham