Birmingham: Beyer Racing race report

BEYER RACING 12th AND 13th AFTER A DIFFICULT RACE AT BARBER MOTORSPORTS PARK Birmingham, Alabama - July 19th, 2009 - It was a busy day for the Beyer Racing team at the Porsche 250 presented by Legacy Credit Union in which both the team's ...


Birmingham, Alabama - July 19th, 2009 - It was a busy day for the Beyer Racing team at the Porsche 250 presented by Legacy Credit Union in which both the team's #5 and #13 Daytona Prototypes showed a strong pace and the opportunity for a top finish but were hampered by various setbacks throughout the 2 hour 45 minute race.

Ricky Taylor had a good start in the #13 Lennox Chevrolet Riley and went from his 13th starting position on the grid to ninth place in only two laps. Things were finally looking up after a difficult weekend in which Taylor and teammate Mike Forest struggled to find grip with their Riley chassis. The problems started on lap eight however when Taylor received a stop-and-go penalty for passing before the start-finish line on a restart, which put the #13 car back to the 18th overall position and one lap down to the leaders. Taylor fought back to 12th only to discover that a flat spot on his left front was worsening every lap and slowing him down considerably, he pitted for a new tire on lap 41 and once again lost valuable ground. Forest jumped into the car on lap 90 and had to focus on quickly learning the handling characteristics of his Daytona Prototype because the Beyer team had made major changes to the setup of the car since the Canadian drove it for the last time in Saturday morning practice. Forest quickly adapted and turned his fastest laps of the weekend as he drove the car to the checkered flag finishing in the 12th position.

Jordan Taylor showed impressive speed all weekend in only the second time that he and teammate Jared Beyer ran their new Crawford chassis. After running among the top ten during most of the weekend sessions, Taylor started the #5 Lennox Chevrolet Crawford from the 12th position. He had to pit on lap five during a caution so the Beyer crew could check his front left suspension which he felt had a problem. No problems were found and he came out in the 22nd overall position but quickly recovered to 11th. Taylor was flying through the field but lost valuable time when he got held up by #59 JC France who was considerably slower but aggressively trying to keep the 18 year old behind him. On lap 19 Taylor gained the position and went on to drive a strong race in which he kept gaining positions and running among the top six, he handed the car to teammate Jared Beyer on lap 89 while running eight. Beyer came out on track in the middle of a GT battle and had to carefully weave through the slower traffic which was more focused on their own race than the faster DP cars. With only two laps to go the New Braunfels, Texas native got smashed on the right side by the #76 Krohn car causing bodywork damage and a flat tire. All of the day's hard work was lost as Beyer had to slowly nurse his injured car around the Barber Motorsports Park track for the last two laps of the event watching a number of cars drive by and eventually finishing in the 13th position.

Ricky Taylor #13 Lennox Chevrolet Riley

"This was a big learning weekend, we really struggled throughout all of practice and qualifying but our engineer Dominic Cape made a lot of changes and gave us a really good car that we could race with. We ran very strong at times and just a few mistakes on my part was all that separated us from having a very solid result. Now we take everything we learned here, make sure we fix the problems and go back to Watkins Glen where we had a good run and a productive test a few months ago."

Mike Forest #13 Lennox Chevrolet Riley

"We made big improvements this weekend, we started off pretty far of the mark and found our way through qualifying and the race so we have to be pretty happy with that. At the same time the race didn't go as planned so we'll have to learn our lessons from this one and move on.

I jumped in the car during the race with a brand new setup so I wasn't quite sure what to expect. Thankfully it was a lot better car and I had gotten a bit of a report from Ricky as he was driving during his stint, he had said that the car was feeling much better so I was able to attack it right away and feel comfortable with it. But at the same time our race was pretty much sealed by the time I got in the car so it was just a chance for me to feel out the car, get a bit of practice and turn some laps."

Jordan Taylor #5 Lennox Chevrolet Crawford

"Today was probably my best race to date in Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series competition. I had a really long stint, almost two hours and ten minutes. We had the car up to third for some time and then ran in sixth for a while. The car was very nice to drive, very consistent. All the guys on the team did a great job with the car as well as all the stops. As the race went on we saw that our strategy wouldn't keep us in the top five. After my second stop I was in ninth, but a lap down, and that was basically the end of the race. Overall I'm very happy because we showed that we can run closer to the front, it's disappointing that we couldn't finish up there but we are getting better every weekend and we'll have more chances."

Jared Beyer #5 Lennox Chevrolet Crawford

"The Beyer Racing team had a very successful weekend. Although the results weren't as good as we would've liked, we learned a lot and will be much more prepared for next year. The team did a great job preparing our cars, it was just the small mistakes during the race that put us down a couple of positions.

Getting in the car with 45 minutes to go in the race is hard because it's all in your hands how you bring the car to the checkered flag. When I came out of the pits I was behind a bunch of GT cars and that held me up as I got blocked for a couple of laps. With only two laps to go I got ran into pretty hard by the Krohn car and that punctured the right rear tire causing us to go down three more positions and end up 13th. So although the day didn't end up as we would've liked we learned a lot and are ready go come back next year for a very competitive race."

The next event will be the Crown Royal 200, Friday, Aug. 7 at Watkins Glen International, when the Grand-Am Rolex Series races in conjunction with the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series.

-credit: br

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers JC France , Jordan Taylor , Jared Beyer , Ricky Taylor , Mike Forest