Mexico City: Tuttle Team/SAMAX race report

The SAMAX Motorsport GT cars enjoyed a classic chase during the Rolex Sports Car Series race at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City. Driving together for the first time, Rob Bell and Martin Jensen took the No. 17 SAMAX Porsche 911 GT3...

The SAMAX Motorsport GT cars enjoyed a classic chase during the Rolex Sports Car Series race at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City. Driving together for the first time, Rob Bell and Martin Jensen took the No. 17 SAMAX Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car from eighth to sixth in class, edging their teammates Dave Lacey and Greg Wilkins, who started ninth and finished seventh in the No. 71 SAMAX/Doncaster Racing Porsche.

The Tuttle Team Racing/SAMAX Daytona Prototype had an adventurous race. Brian Tuttle started the No. 7 Pontiac-powered Riley Mk XI 24th on the 37-car grid and moved up three positions before ice used in his cooling-suit system broke loose in the car. Unable to brake, he went off track through a gravel trap, losing the nose of the car. After a pitstop for repairs, Jonathan Cochet took the wheel for a brief stint. Tuttle returned for the final drive to earn mileage points toward the Jim Trueman Award. The pair finished 21st in the DP class.

Jonathan Cochet (No. 7 Riley): "I am very disappointed because the result is not what I expected. [Finishing 21st] is not what I'm used to doing, so for me, it's a bad weekend."

Brian Tuttle (No. 7 Riley): "The cool box opened and it dumped all the ice under the pedals. I couldn't get the brake to work and I went off. I was trying to get miles in for the Trueman Award, so it was good -- I had a great race!"

Rob Bell (No. 17 Porsche): "We finished sixth, which is not too bad for the first time in the car, the first time being a partner with our engineer Steve [Bunkhall] and the first time driving together. We kept out of trouble and we were reasonably quick in the race. We just need to work on the car a little bit and I think there's a good combination there."

Martin Jensen (No. 17 Porsche): "We lost a lap in the pits and that is not ideal. I think we could have fought for a top-five today, but it became quite tough. I would like to come back and do more races with Robert. We are equal in performance and in the way the car needs to be set up, so it's a good basis for us to be together."

Dave Lacey (No. 71 Porsche): "It was awesome fun, to be running with our sister car in a good scrap. Rob did a great job; he kept it neat and tidy. I got run off the road once by a prototype, so I got some dirt and grass on my tires and it took me two laps to get back in the game. Sixth and seventh our first time here -- we'll take it and head off to Homestead [Miami Speedway on March 25] with a pretty good car."

Greg Wilkins (No. 17 Porsche): "The car ran the way we expected and it was well-balanced for most of the stint. The team did a great job; we had a good car out there. We were really competitive -- with all the pro drivers in front of us, we were the first of the 'amateurs', so that's not a bad result."

-tt/samax

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Series Grand-Am
Drivers Jonathan Cochet , Rob Bell , Dave Lacey , Greg Wilkins , Martin Jensen , Brian Tuttle