Laguna Seca: Synergy Racing race report

Synergy Racing Takes Points Lead with Fourth at Laguna Seca MONTEREY, Calif. (May 1, 2005) -- Synergy Racing took fourth place in the Rolex Sports Car Series GT class in the Road & Track 250 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, propelling driver Craig...

Synergy Racing Takes Points Lead with Fourth at Laguna Seca

MONTEREY, Calif. (May 1, 2005) -- Synergy Racing took fourth place in the Rolex Sports Car Series GT class in the Road & Track 250 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, propelling driver Craig Stanton (Long Beach, Calif.) into the class points lead.

Stanton shares the No. 80 Porsche GT3 Cup with David Murry (Atlanta, Ga.), who started the car seventh on the GT grid. While Murry had the No. 80 Porsche running has high as fifth at the start of the race, an aggressive move by the leading Daytona Prototype slightly clipped the right front tire of the car causing a flat.

"(Oswaldo) Negri cut in on me early and caused us to get a flat on the right front," explained Murry. "He actually pulled the valve stem off the tire."

The unscheduled pit stop under green dropped the No. 80 Porsche back to 23rd in the GT class, but Murry quickly began to weave his way through the field and was running in ninth when he handed the car over to Stanton during a caution.

Stanton continued the Porsche's push to the front working this way through the dense traffic. "This was just like a Saturday night (Nextel) Cup race at Bristol," joked Stanton, who claimed third at one point during the race but eventually finishing fourth despite a late charge by Randy Pobst in the No. 36 Porsche. While Pobst took the checkered under the double yellows in front of Stanton, race officials confirmed he passed the No. 80 Porsche under caution and Stanton was rightfully awarded the fourth-place finish.

"Things are progressing with Synergy really well," Stanton remarked. "We had great pit stops and strategy today. The car had good power and handling."

Unofficial point standings give Stanton an eight-point lead over Andy Lally and Marc Bunting, who had shared the lead coming into this weekend's event.

Van Wijk's Confidence Continues

Mae Van Wijk (Houston, Texas) continues to improve as a driver and today she picked up five places from her starting position of 22nd to finish 17th in the GT class with co-driver David Murry during the Road & Track 250.

"Things went alright today. I think this is one of the better races I've run," said Van Wijk, the youngest female driver in the Rolex Series. "The car control David and I worked on at VIR earlier in the week was a huge help."

For the first time, Van Wijk drove two stints in the No. 81 Porsche GT3 Cup sponsored by and The 22 year old piloted the Porsche for just under 1.5 hours at the start of the race and then slid back behind the wheel to take the checkered.

"The traffic was ok with a handful of the Prototypes, but there were a whole bunch that would stick their nose in when you couldn't do anything," told Van Wijk of her first-ever race at Laguna Seca. "You can't just disappear or stop suddenly for them without spinning out. Some were really sloppy out there today."

Van Wijk's co-driver Murry agreed. "It was very aggressive on the Prototype and GT ends," he said. "When you have really good guys out there like (Scott) Pruett, it was wonderful. Sometimes you couldn't trust what others were doing, though. But that's going to happen when it gets so competitive."

Rough Road for Daytona Prototype drivers Burt and Brian Frisselle (Aventura, Fla.) entered today's race with high hopes. Both brothers had experienced prior victories at Laguna Seca, and rookie Brian put together an impressive qualifying run to start seventh on the grid. But a spin on the eighth lap of the race put an end to those podium dreams for this race.

Brian spun the No. 8 BMW Doran JE 4 under braking and took a hard hit from Wayne Taylor in the SunTrust Racing entry when he failed to avoid the spinning car. Brian limped the machine around to the pits despite substantial suspension damage, and the Synergy crew quickly went to work on repairing the damage.

Burt returned the Daytona Prototype to the track 10 laps later with a substantial deficit to the field. However, the elder Frisselle continued to run for what points he could still earn until late in the race when Patrick Long in the No. 26 Porsche clipped the car coming onto the front straight causing even more suspension damage and retiring the Daytona Prototype.

"Brain did a great job for in qualifying and put the car seventh," Burt said. "We knew this race was going to come down to traffic, and obviously it bit him there. We saw he was in kind of a mess, and he just got the car turned around. It's a bummer. has done a phenomenal job for us this year. We just can't get that result yet."

Next Up: Le Circuit Mont-Tremblant

Synergy Racing will return to action in a few weeks north of the border in Quebec at Le Circuit Mont-Tremblant. The 6 Hours du Circuit Mont-Tremblant is May 19-21.


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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Wayne Taylor , David Murry , Randy Pobst , Patrick Long , Craig Stanton , Marc Bunting , Mae Van Wijk , Brian Frisselle