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Sebring: Ian Baas race report

Noblesville, Ind.'s Baas Has Mechanical Difficulties In Friday's SPEED World Challenge Touring Car Season Opener at Sebring SEBRING, Fla., March 16 - Ian Baas vaulted from 17th to 13th by the end of lap one in Friday's SPEED World Challenge ...

Noblesville, Ind.'s Baas Has Mechanical Difficulties In Friday's SPEED World Challenge Touring Car Season Opener at Sebring

SEBRING, Fla., March 16 - Ian Baas vaulted from 17th to 13th by the end of lap one in Friday's SPEED World Challenge Touring Car season opener at Sebring International Raceway, much to the delight of everyone cheering for the rising star from Noblesville, Ind.

Unfortunately Baas got no further up the scoreboard, as he had to retire from the race with four of 18 laps complete due to mechanical difficulties.

Baas started 17th in the 25-car field for his first SPEED Touring Car event ever. Driving the red STaSIS Motorsport Audi A4 No. 18 with support from Audi Performance Racing and Clear Capital, he got right to work at the drop of the green.

Charlie Putman's Tindol Motorsports Mazda and Jason Martinelli's Techmark BMW made contact but continued on that initial lap, allowing Baas to get by both of them. He also passed Brandon Davis's Acura and Michael Galati's Mazda to complete lap one in 13th position.

The Dodge SRT-4 of Stan Wilson was just ahead and Davis was right behind him in one of the RealTime Acuras at the start of lap two. Davis and Galati both got around Baas on that lap to push him to 15th, as the trouble was already developing. He had to drop out a couple of laps later, and his official finishing position was 24th.

Two Mazda 6s driven by Jeff Altenburg and Randy Pobst finished first and second, followed by Pierre Kleinubing in another of the RealTime Acuras. One of Baas' teammates, Chip Herr, finished fourth. The other one, Dino Crescentini, finished ninth despite some contact.

There wasn't a scratch on Baas' Audi A4 after Friday's race, part of the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring program. It will be broadcast on SPEED on Sunday, March 25 at 1:30 p.m. Eastern time. The next Touring Car race is May 17-19 at Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, Utah.

Baas will drive in a Rolex Series race at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Fla., next Saturday. He will be in the At Speed Motorsports No. 28 Porsche 997 sponsored by Celette and Ian Global Shipping. His co-driver will be Bob Miller of Sykesville, Md. That race will be broadcast on SPEED live beginning at 3 p.m. Eastern time next Saturday, March 24.

-credit: ianbaasracing.com

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Series PWC
Drivers Randy Pobst , Pierre Kleinubing , Michael Galati , Jeff Altenburg , Stan Wilson , Chip Herr , Ian Baas , Jason Martinelli , Dino Crescentini , Brandon Davis , Charlie Putman