A Long Day At The Beach Long Beach, FL (April 20, 2009) - After sitting out the season opening race at Sebring last month due to mechanical issues, Randy and his ...
A Long Day At The Beach
Long Beach, FL (April 20, 2009) - After sitting out the season opening race at Sebring last month due to mechanical issues, Randy and his #1 K-PAX/3R Racing Volvo S60 team came to the Long Beach street circuit hungry for a good finish. Early Sunday morning at the 8:00 AM qualifying session, Randy proved he was back by qualifying his Volvo on the pole with a lap of 1:25.258 (83.098 mph)! This time gave Volvo its first SPEED World Challenge GT pole. However, after a post-qualifying coin flip that didn't go Randy's way, the top five inverted, giving Mike Davis the first position. This new rule is meant to bring more drama and excitement to the World Challenge races. Randy will be credited on paper with his 25th-career pole position and will receive the 15 championship points that come with the pole position. Teammate Andy Pilgrim qualified and started third, proving the Volvo team was there to win.
The race started under the late day California sun with air temperatures around 96 degrees. Randy got a good start but was not able to get to the front. He began to have problems shifting but was able to keep the car in eighth for most of the race, giving the #1 K-PAX/3R Racing Volvo S60 a strong finish. Andy Pilgrim made a mad dash at the end to finish sixth and earned the Debaufre Fastest Lap of the Race Award, a 1:26.744.
"We got a finish! I got a pole! This race is a major step forward for our team. Our all-wheel drive Volvo traction is a real advantage on the tight street course. Also during qualifying, our turbo engines responded well to the cool morning. It was a great combination. I had problems with shifting all week. My team got it fixed enough so we could finish the race. It is a fixable problem with a little adjustment and we will have it sorted out by the next race. This car is new and really hadn't run until this week. This is part of the development process, but overall the car was terrific. Andy's car was overheating in traffic but with the extreme conditions of a street course and high temperatures, that was not unusual. He was very happy with his car."
"I would like to thank the K-PAX/3R Racing team for the long hours they have invested in our Volvos, especially over the past three months. Our guys have barely seen their families. The Volvos are handling and running well for new cars and our qualifying positions proved that. If I hadn't lost the coin toss, it might have been a different race. They are trying to make it more interesting and exciting for the fans but it does disrupt the purity of the racing. The person who earns the prestigious pole should keep the right to start there. Unfortunately I called heads. That's racing. Overall, it was a tremendous step forward. I would also like to thank my personal sponsors Team Janica Racing, WeatherTech, Prairie Hills Motorsport Club, ChaseCam, and saferacer.com for their continued support."
The SPEED World Challenge ACS Grand Prix of Long Beach Presented by Lala Motorsports race will be broadcast Friday, May 22 at 2 p.m. (EST) on SPEED. The opening race from Sebring will air Monday, May 11 at Noon on SPEED. Unlike years past, the races will not be broadcast in their entirety. "Each World Challenge GT and Touring Car race will be combined for one action-packed hour-long show. Each broadcast will combine the best race battles with up-close team features, all with the colorful commentary of long-time series announcer Tom Hnatiw." (www.world-challenge.com/news). It should be interesting. Randy's next SPEED World Challenge GT and Grand-Am KONI Challenge races will both be May 2 at New Jersey Motorsports Park.
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