Tindol Mazda6s make last minute run at Round One of World Challenge Touring Car Galati finishes 7th while Herr is a DNF from the 4th spot at Sebring Sebring Florida (March 21st 2009): When SCCA Pro Racing's SPEED World Challenge Touring Car...
Tindol Mazda6s make last minute run at Round One of World Challenge
Galati finishes 7th while Herr is a DNF from the 4th spot at Sebring
Sebring Florida (March 21st 2009): When SCCA Pro Racing's SPEED World Challenge Touring Car Championships wound down the 2008 season Chip Herr and Michael Galati looked near invincible in their MazdaSpeed/Ohlin Shocks Tindol Mazda6s. Galati stormed to a convincing win in Round 9 at Mosport while Herr led Galati in a Tindol Mazda 1-2 finish in the season finale at Road Atlanta.
That momentum seemed to hit the brick wall of a slumping economy as SPEED Touring Car seemed destined to carry on without the green and white Tindol Mazdas in 2009. Fortunately, Tindol Motorsports worked out a last minute deal with Mazda and the Florida Bureau of Tourism allowing Chris Tindol the opportunity to assemble Chip Herr and Michael Galati and his crew for at least one more shot at the tough World Challenge Touring Car competition at Sebring.
Chip Herr, of Lititz PA., qualified 6th and after Round One of SPEED Touring Car took the traditional standing start Chip immediately blasted his Sun Drop Soda/MazdaSpeed/Ohlins/Tindol Mazda6 up to 5th and began closing on the leaders. All of this on only 7 laps of setup and practice.
Driving the same Tindol Motorsports Mazda6 he drove to a convincing win in the 2008 finale at Road Atlanta Herr was in 4th position when his motor expired ending his race on lap 5 with the lead pack just in front of him.
"We made some changes after qualifying with the guys from Ohlin's setting up the shocks perfectly and my Tindol MazdaSpeed Mazda6 was on rails," said Chip Herr. "I was passing one car after another and got by Saini when he bobbled just a little bit and was reeling in the leaders. I think I was gaining on the leaders by 2 or 3 tenths a lap but coming out of turn 16 the motor let go and that was it. The tuning looked good on the computer so something probably just let go.
"We showed up late but we were battling for a podium spot so we demonstrated what this Tindol team can do even starting the weekend late. We were carrying the banner for Mazda and looking to win another race at Sebring so hopefully we can put something together and be able to come back for more races this season. I think we proved that we can run with anyone here in SPEED World Challenge Touring Car."
Michael Galati, of Olmstead Ohio, started the #97 MazdaSpeed/Tindol Mazda6 started 10th and moved up to a 7th place finish after spending the 2nd half of the race fending off a strong challenge from Andrew Aquilante in a Subaru WRX.
"It wasn't bad," said Michael Galati. "We only had 7 laps on the car going in and it was a different car that I usually drive. We missed the setup just a bit which made it tough, but considering the competition level in World Challenge Touring Car the Tindol guys did a great job getting my car as good as it was considering we had such a late start on the weekend."
"I got to the end of the straight and hit some dirt and almost went off the track, so now I have this guy Aquilante right on my tail behind me and I had to put my head down and make sure that he didn't get by me," said Galati of his late race battle with Aquilante. "We had a heck of a battle. It was four-wheel drive against two-wheel drive, turbo against no turbo but it was good racing."
"Chip was definitely coming on, but that is the way this racing game goes," said Chris Tindol. "The crew worked extra hard this weekend and the great people from Ohlin's helped us out a lot. Thanks to Mazda and special thanks to The Florida Bureau of Tourism because they put this deal together to get us here.
"We ran last year's equipment and we didn't have time to put fresh motors in the cars so unfortunately that hurt us but we sure made an impact on the race. I wish we could have stuck around longer because it probably would have been a bigger impact for sure. We only had about 15 total laps to learn the new formula but we got a lot of data from the race so we are even better now that when we first got here. Hopefully we can find the sponsorship we need to extend this program and put that knowledge to good use."
"I really want to thank MAZDA, Tindol Motorsport, SAFERACER.COM, Sunbelt, Sun Drop sodas and the Tindol crew that made this past week at Sebring a possibility and for a great effort with so little time to prepare," concluded Chip Herr!