Lime Rock: Riley Technologies race report

Lakeville, Conn. (2 June 2010)-- Riley Technologies (a division of SEA STAR GROUP, INC. Stock Symbol SGQZ) had another strong race weekend this Memorial Day as GRAND-AM returned to Lime Rock Park. The event, which featured the Continental Tire ...

Lakeville, Conn. (2 June 2010)-- Riley Technologies (a division of SEA STAR GROUP, INC. Stock Symbol SGQZ) had another strong race weekend this Memorial Day as GRAND-AM returned to Lime Rock Park. The event, which featured the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge race on Saturday ahead of the debut running for the Daytona Prototypes along with the Rolex GT machines on Monday, was set under ideal conditions with a healthy crowd on hand.

Fans on those green hillsides witnessed a fantastic GT class shoot-out, which saw the Riley Technologies-based Mazda RX-8 built by SpeedSource Engineering once again set the pace as the car to have, with the machines taking a dramatic 1-2-3-4 finish.

Driving the MazdaSpeed Motorsports Development No. 68 that was only completed days before the race weekend started, Adam Christodoulo and John Edwards gave the car an ideal debut outing as the two youngsters emerged as race winners for SpeedSource Engineering.

"I think the last 10 minutes of the race were the longest 10 minutes of my life," said Edwards. "I had pressure from behind, so I was just trying to stay ahead and not making any mistakes. This was our very first test day - I think that's all you need to say about SpeedSource and Mazda."

Leh Keen and James Gue scored second place in the Dempsey Racing RX-8 ahead of championship points leaders Emil Assentato and Jeff Segal.

The Turner Motorsport BMW-powered M6, which utilizes a Riley Technologies chassis, also showed flashes of speed at Lime Rock Park, but the team had to settle for an eighth place finish after falling a lap down early in the race.

The Daytona Prototype class race was no less exciting, as the championship-leading squad of Ganassi Racing's Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas were knocked out early in the race. A strong late-race rally saw Ryan Dalziel move to just seven points back in the drivers championship standings after he and co-driver Mike Forest combined for a run to second place at the finish in a BMW-powered Riley, with the Michael Shank Racing Ford-powered Riley taking third.

Riley Technologies is targeting a seventh consecutive GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series Manufacturer Championship, and the intense one-day schedule at Lime Rock Park was another demonstration of the Riley Tech on-site preparation and support that helps teams be competitive no matter what the conditions bring.

A crash in qualifying (just after 12:00 PM) forced the AIM Autosport squad, which finished second in the most recent round of Rolex competition, to make extensive front-end repairs ahead of the 2:00 PM green flag. With support and spares from Riley Tech and a very focused crew, the car was ready to go in time for the race as the car rallied to take fifth at the finish.

"The guys did an awesome job getting us back in this thing," said Frisselle. "I really put the entire crew to the test today and they delivered in a big way. Now it was up to me to get the car to the front and reward them for all that effort."

Riley now holds a 172-143 edge in the Daytona Prototype championship standings, with seven rounds of racing remaining.

The Continental Tire race weekend opened with optimism, as the Stevenson Motorsports No. 6 Riley Technologies Chevrolet Camaro took a season-best fourth on the grid in qualifying with Matt Bell behind the wheel.

Unfortunately, that early pace kept Bell and co-driver Jeff Bucknum from making a return to the podium after early contact sent Bell into the pits for a deflated tire, ending his chances at another strong result. The sister No. 9 Sunoco Fuels Riley Technologies Chevrolet Camaro of Al Carter and Hugh Plumb scored a top ten with a run to seventh, just ahead of the Mitchum Motorsports No. 62 entry of Joey Atterbury and Dion von Moltke.

"It was great to see how well-received the Rolex Series race was by the fans here at Lime Rock Park and even though having a one-day event puts a different kind of pressure on the teams and drivers, I think the format was very good for the fans," said Riley Technologies VP Bill Riley. "This track was ideally suited for the RX-8 and it as an impressive showing from Adam and John today. I think the Glen could be another very good day for the Mazda teams."

The GRAND-AM paddock will have the shortest turn-around time of the season, as both the Continental Tire and Rolex Sports Car series will be back in action starting on Friday for practice and qualifying ahead of Saturday's Sahlen's Six Hours of the Glen.

-source: rt

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Ryan Dalziel , Scott Pruett , Emil Assentato , James Gue , Jeff Bucknum , Hugh Plumb , Jeff Segal , Lehman Keen , Michael Shank , John Edwards , Matthew Bell , Mike Forest , Joey Atterbury , Adam Chris
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing , Turner Motorsport , SpeedSource , Michael Shank Racing