Watkins Glen proved to be very cliche for the Matt Connolly Motorsports team, in racing you experience the highest of highs and the lowest of lows, and the statement proved true over the weekend. Italian Diego Alessi was nominated to qualify the...
Watkins Glen proved to be very cliche for the Matt Connolly Motorsports team, in racing you experience the highest of highs and the lowest of lows, and the statement proved true over the weekend. Italian Diego Alessi was nominated to qualify the #21 entry, and did so in excellent fashion by continuing the teams' season-long streak of Top-10 qualifiers. This is the second time Diego has qualified, and both times he put the MCM GTO-R in the Top-5 to start.
Alessi was out of the box like the bullet train the team has come to expect, and before long was running in P2 going into the first caution flag laps. Restarting from the lead, Diego quickly put a large gap between he and the 2nd place GT car, but it was short lived as another yellow bunched up the field, and with the 45-minute rule in place for the 6 hour endurance event, the team decided to bring him in for the mandatory stop and fuel the car. Alessi stayed in the car, but now in 21st GT position. Within a few laps he would hunt down his competition and was overtaking the 13th place car when contact was made with a Pontiac GXP-R going into the bus stop causing significant damage to the front of the MCM GTO-R. Tom Long was next in the car, and a valiant effort was ended with contact into the wall with two hours remaining in the event to give the MCM team its worst finishing position since round one of the series with a 20th class position.
Going into Mid Ohio, the MCM team is looking towards earlier success in its lineup by bringing back youngster Ryan Phinny to co-drive with Diego Alessi. The California-born driver had to miss the Watkins Glen round to attend his high school graduation, and he is itching to get back behind the wheel of the car that he and Alessi had two top-10 finishes in as many races including a 4th place finish in Laguna.
No one is happier with Ryan's presence than his co-driver, "I am so happy to be rejoined by Ryan! I'm certain together we can have a competitive effort and fine result, and my hope is that we will remain teammates for the entire rest of the season." stated Alessi. Of turning his first laps at the famed Mid Ohio Sports Car Course Diego goes on to mention "I never been to Mid-Ohio before, but I am very confident about our potential performance there; despite the 100 pound weight handicap, the car is still well balanced and, even if the Mazda now extremely fast, we (drivers and every single crew member) are ready to fight for front positions."
The Matt Connolly Motorsports is proud to welcome back Baja Cantina Restaurants as sponsor for the Mid Ohio round of the series, and is looking to build on earlier success to put its drivers, team, and sponsors on the top step of the podium before the 2008 Rolex Grand Am season concludes.