With only four races left in the championship going into rounds 13 and 14 at the Mid-Ohio sportscar course, Jason Bowles knew he was going to need some good finishes to keep him at the front of the Rookie of the Year battle, and also hold onto ...
With only four races left in the championship going into rounds 13 and 14 at the Mid-Ohio sportscar course, Jason Bowles knew he was going to need some good finishes to keep him at the front of the Rookie of the Year battle, and also hold onto third in the overall points championship. Although this is not one of Jason's favorite tracks he was confident they could improve on their previous results.
At the completion of Thursdays test sessions, Jason was pleased with the progress they had made thoughout the day. Although the time sheets did not show any quick times out of Jason he knew he had a little left in the car and most of Thursday they concentrated on making the car perform well on a long run, after missing the set up in the first race at Sonoma, and he did not want that to happen again. With two more practice sessions on Friday Jason spent a little more time working on his overall speed and by the end of the day he was fifth on the timesheet. "The car was pretty good today. We still have a few things that we need to work on but overall I think we are going to be in pretty good shape."
Saturday morning's qualifying session was the first time on the track for the day,and Jason knew he was going to have to get up to speed quickly and put in a good lap. At the end of the 30min. session he was able to only put in a lap good enough for the sixth position. "I was hoping to be a little better off than sixth but I am just going to have to work hard in the race and try to move forward.'
At the start of race one Jason did not get the start he was looking for and got boxed in by two other cars. The move pushed him back to the seventh position. By lap two Jason was able to move up into sixth and was catching the fifth place car of championship front runner Bobby Wilson. Just past the halfway point one of the front runners went off and Jason was able to move into fifth, while still pressuring Wilson's rear wing. Laps were winding down and Jason had not been able to get by. He tried rolling just a little more speed on the exit of the final turn, to get a better run coming on the straight but Jason was not able to keep the car on the track and lost a place moving him back to sixth where he would finish the race. It was a calculated gamble that just did not pan out.
Jason started race two from the fifth position and was determined to improve on Saturday's performance. At the start of the race Jason was able to move into the fourth position. Although Jason was never able to challenge the leaders he was able to move into third when the second place car made a mistake going into the keyhole and got stuck in the gravel trap. Although the car was not quite good enough Jason was able to come out with another podium finish and retain his Rookie of the Year points lead.
"My finishes this weekend were not quite what I wanted. Saturday I just made an un-characteristic mistake and it cost me one if not two positions and Sunday I just did not have the car to move up any farther. I want to thank the guys at JDC for doing a great job and my sponsors City-Wide electronics, Service Software Systems and Sparco."