Mid-Ohio: ASC Motorsports race report

ASC Motorsports Hosts Friends & Family in First Home Race Tiffin, Ohio - August 28, 2005 ASC Motorsports of Tiffin, Ohio saw a huge turnout of friends and family at the EMCO Gears Classic at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio, the ...

ASC Motorsports Hosts Friends & Family in First Home Race

Tiffin, Ohio - August 28, 2005 ASC Motorsports of Tiffin, Ohio saw a huge turnout of friends and family at the EMCO Gears Classic at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio, the team's first home race in the Rolex Grand American Sports Car Series.

Owner/driver Zach Arnold of Tiffin, Ohio and Trans-Am stalwart Johnny Miller from Johnson City, Tennessee again shared the driving duties in the team's Prep 2 Corvette C5. Taking advantage of Arnold's familiarity with the design and construction of the car and Miller's vast experience in similar tube-frame chassis, the drivers provided the crew with the information they needed to choose the right setup and make the right adjustments throughout the weekend.

As the crew fine-tuned the car, the speeds improved steadily in each of the practice sessions on the 2.25 mile hilly and picturesque road course. In the 15-minute qualifying session, Arnold raced the car into the 13th starting spot, only 1.5 seconds behind the fastest competitor in the highly competitive GT class (and only eight tenths of a second out of 5th spot).

Arnold started the race and soon began advancing through the field. Frequent caution periods on the tight and very crowded track complicated his efforts (44 cars started the race, including 21 of the very fast Daytona Prototypes and 23 in the GT field). Using strategically timed, flawless pit stops, the crew helped the team pick off a few more spots. Then, disaster struck.

Despite the best efforts of drivers and crew to field a competitive race car, the final results did not reflect their excellent work as a very inopportune racing incident mid-way through the race cost the team many laps. A blown engine near the end of the long back straightaway caused three cars to slide into the gravel trap, including Arnold in the #55 Corvette. During the ensuing caution period, it took track workers over 25 minutes to extract the car from the wet gravel and get it back on the track.

The car was not badly damaged, but it was full of pea gravel. When the car arrived back in the pits, the crew quickly cleaned the gravel out, checked the car over, adjusted the suspension, changed drivers, refueled and sent the car back out. In a testament to the strength and quality of the race car and the excellence of the crew, the car was nearly as fast as it had been prior to the incident.

With the crew performing good pit stops through the remainder of the race, Miller brought the car to the finish line in 15th place among the 23 GT starters, a very creditable result considering the problems the team had to overcome.

In spite of the excruciating wait for the car to be removed from the gravel trap, everyone - drivers, crew members, family, friends and fans alike - knew that ASC Motorsports had been at its most competitive at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

-asc-

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Zach Arnold