Compass360 Racing test at Kansas anything but scary

C GRAND-AM TEST AT KANSAS SPEEDWAY ANYTHING BUT SCARY C360R's first visit to trick track features a great venue and amazing fan turn-out

Grand-Am's first official test at the Kansas Motor Speedway resulted in a pleasant surprise for multi-time champions Compass360 Racing (C360R). Held the weekend before Hallowe'en, the event presented a collection of unknowns for the teams that attended.

Winners Jayson Clunie and Pierre Kleinubing
Winners Jayson Clunie and Pierre Kleinubing

Photo by: Art Fleischmann

"We weren't sure what to expect of the track," noted Technical Director Ray Lee. "The asphalt was green in the first few sessions, for sure, but the track rubbered in quickly and we got a lot of useful data from the test."

The facility itself received high marks from the entire team, who were also impressed with the number of fans that showed up despite the chilly conditions. "It was amazing how many people were in the garages, looking at the cars and talking to the drivers," remarked Team Principal Karl Thomson. "The track, garages and the whole area around it are really first-class."

The team ran two cars and five drivers for the event. Ray Mason, returning for his third year with the team in 2013, impressed with his quick pace out of the box and steady improvement in each session. Jayson Clunie, who drove an i-Moto Mazda this season, enjoyed his time in a C360R Honda Civic Si, commenting on the differences between the platforms; "The Honda is so easy to drive. It's really comfortable and it responds to steering inputs so wonderfully. It may not have the straight-line speed of the Mazda but it really feels easy to drive fast."

The team also brought a few new faces out for the test, including Eric Foss (who's driven Rolex GT Porsches and World Challenge Mustangs in recent years), Jeff Westphal (an open-wheel and drifting star who impressed in 2012 with Insight Racing), and "Speedy" Dan Clarke (known for his time in Champ Car and for recently winning the Cayman ITC Championship).

"Being the only two Street Tuner cars at the test, it was fun to see our guys try to best each other each and every lap," laughed Thomson. "If you look at the results it was pretty much a different guy on top each and every session."

"We're confident our new 2012 Honda Civic Si is the car to beat next year," continued Thomson. "Now, it's about putting together the right driver line-ups that can get the job done. Ray and I liked what we saw from the drivers at the Kansas test, and we'll be actively signing our drivers over the next few weeks."

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