Frisselles lead again, but suffer from contact at Fontana Fontana, CA(3 April 05)--Burt and Brian Frisselle led their second consecutive Rolex Sports Car race during the Ferrari Maserati 400k at California Speedway on Sunday, but had their...
Frisselles lead again, but suffer from contact at Fontana
Fontana, CA(3 April 05)--Burt and Brian Frisselle led their second consecutive Rolex Sports Car race during the Ferrari Maserati 400k at California Speedway on Sunday, but had their strong run thwarted by contact from another car midway through the race, sending the RX.Com BMW-Powered Doran off-track and forcing a lengthy pit stop for repairs.
Burt Frisselle, who scored a Rolex career-best sixth on the grid, took the green flag and kept the car in the lead pack in the early laps before making a brilliant move on lap ten to duck into the pits for a quick refuel during the race's first full course caution. Frisselle rejoined the pack in ninth position, and fought his way up to fifth in the order in just nine laps.
A second caution period saw the lead pack cars pit for fuel, giving Frisselle the lead on lap 22. On the restart, Frisselle worked quickly to build his lead as the rest of the field gave chase.
"I didn't really time my restart as well as I could of, and it was another BMW right behind me, so he put the pressure on but I was able to build up a gap over him pretty quickly," said Burt.
Frisselles' hard work was wasted as he lost his advantage when another caution came out eight laps later for debris on the track. Frisselle used what he had learned during the first restart, and got a better jump on the field when the racing resumed four laps later to once again put some distance between himself and the field.
The yellow flew once again on lap 36, and by this time, the Hoosiers on the car had lost most of their grip, but Burt once again held off all comers on the restart on lap 38. The field was breathing down his neck, though, as a bevy of cars worked to take advantage of Burt's used-up tires, and he finally had to cede the lead on lap 39, making enough room for the leader but tucking immediately behind to take advantage of the draft.
The fierce fighting had taken its toll on the tires by this point, and if that wasn't bad enough, Burt was hit on the side of the car in the high-speed oval banking section of the track, causing him to loose momentum heading into the infield, where another car crashed into him mid-corner, knocking the car off-track and causing significant damage to the car.
"It was good to be out front again in the RX.com car, but it's pretty frustrating to be knocked out of the race when we had such a fast car," said Burt. "The Synergy guys are getting everything they can out of our package, and we just keep gelling as a team, so hopefully we can be leading a race at the end this season rather than just during the middle!"
The Synergy Racing squad repaired the car as Brian strapped in and rejoined the field, but by this point, the team was several laps down after the delay in getting the damaged car back to the pits. Despite the setback, Brian made quick work to move the car back up the order, but ran out of laps to score points for the race.
"It was a pretty tough car to drive," said Brian. "The guys fixed the toe link, but the steering arm was still damaged, so the car was a handful under braking, and I couldn't really turn right that well. But I managed to get the hang of it and finish the race. It's a shame the way it ended for us having Burt get knocked out, but it was good to have the car run up front and for me I got to know this track pretty well for next time we race here, so we'll focus on the good parts of the weekend and get ready for Laguna."
For Burt, the final result was disappointing, but he shared his brother's enthusiasm for the speed of the car, and is really looking forward to the next round at Laguna.
"I can't wait to get to Laguna," said Burt. "I consider it my home track, and I know that the Doran responds really well to the natural road courses so I think our package, which was very fast here at Fontana, will be even better there. I think that for working with the team just a few races, we have really continued to improve and Brian has been doing a great job getting up to speed, so we will just keep working at it and looking for better results as the season goes on."
The RX.Com car will be back in action on the weekend of April 29-May1 at Mazda Raceway at Laguna Seca for round four of the Rolex Sports Car Series.