Mid-Ohio: Beyer Racing race report

Problem Filled Race for Beyer Racing at Mid Ohio Lexington, Ohio - June 21st, 2009 - The Beyer Racing Team and its four young drivers had a busy day yesterday at the Mid Ohio Sports Car Course. The EMCO Gears Classicpresented by KeyBank, round 6...

Problem Filled Race for Beyer Racing at Mid Ohio

Lexington, Ohio - June 21st, 2009 - The Beyer Racing Team and its four young drivers had a busy day yesterday at the Mid Ohio Sports Car Course. The EMCO Gears Classicpresented by KeyBank, round 6 of the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16, turned out to be an incident filled day for the Beyer Racing squad that included on-track incidents, slow traffic, fueling and gearbox problems, and ended up with a 12th and 14th finishing position for the No.13 and No.5 Lennox cars.

Mike Forest started the race in his No.13 Lennox Pontiac Riley in the 13th position but quickly managed to move up the field and by lap ten he was running in the tenth position. This is when the first problems began for the No.13 car as Forest found himself stuck behind the slower No.59 car loosing time to the leaders and not able to get around it in this tight and tricky circuit. Forest kept the pressure on until lap 20 when he forced his rival into a mistake and pulled a great passing maneuver into Turn 1. Things were looking up for the Canadian as he was running as high as seventh when he made his first pit stop on lap 27, however on lap 30 he found himself close to the No.59 car again which hit him from behind forcing the team to bring him in for repairs and effectively ruining any chance of a top result for the No.13 Beyer Racing machine.

Teammate Ricky Taylor got behind the wheel on lap 36 and had to deal with an ill handling damaged car. Due to the aerodynamic damage to the rear of the car, the Beyer Racing crew brought Taylor in on lap 66 to install a different nose with reduced downforce that would help balance grip and make the Riley chassis more drivable. For the remainder of the race the Orlando native adjusted his driving to suit the new handling characteristic and fought his way back up the field, eventually finishing in the 12th position.

The No.5 Lennox Comptech/Honda Riley took the green flag with Jared Beyer behind the wheel from the 16th grid position. This would mark only the second time that the brand new V6 Comptech/Honda engine, which is run exclusively by Beyer Racing, started a Rolex Sports Car Series race. Beyer drove a solid and relatively uneventful first stint and by the time he pulled in for his first pit stop on lap 27 he had already moved up to the 12th position. He performed a quick driver change with teammate Jordan Taylor and the Beyer Racing crew rapidly changed all four Pirelli tires, but the fueling of the car however was not as successful and after several tries Taylor was asked to shut off the car so the Beyer Racing mechanics could decipher why the fuel wasn't flowing into the tank. This cost the team four laps, turning the first ever pit stop by the No.5 Lennox Comptech/Honda Riley into a disaster, and it only set the tone for what was to come.

After some quick repairs Taylor was able to go back out but was four laps down and in the 31st position overall, behind several GT cars. For the remainder of his stint the 18 year old managed to turn some competitive lap times but noticed some problems before he handed the car back to Beyer on lap 74. Beyer immediately reported these problems which turned out to be gearbox and clutch related and after a few laps the team principals decided to bring the car in and call it a day. The No.5 Lennox car would eventually be scored as 14th in class.

Mike Forest
No. 13 Lennox Pontiac Riley

"It was a frustrating start to the race, I had wanted to make sure I kept JC France behind me knowing his tendencies and the speed differences but unfortunately he was able to get in front and that really compromised the lap time that I as able to pull and it the end it compromised the car because on the second contact he had with me it took of a good chunk of the left rear and really upset the downforce, so we had to make an extra pit stop and went down a lap.

It's a lot of fun running with these guys they are very competitive, you don't expect anybody is going to give you room but you don't expect guys trying to punt you off the course either, so some of the instances are a little frustrating and some are understandable. But the important thing is that we showed that we had some speed and that we can be running with the top guys, now we'll just have to focus on Daytona and see what we can do there."

Ricky Taylor
No. 13 Lennox Pontiac Riley

"What a long day, whenever you have to get in the car once it's already gone laps down due to an unfortunately on track contact it is always difficult. But the car ran well considering the damage and we definitely learned a lot so I'm pretty excited about Daytona.

You always have to adapt in the race because the track changes, but today it was at much higher level because I had to adapt to a car that had much less downforce and less grip. It really affected when I was trying to warm up the tires and the during first couple of laps after a pit stop or a restart, and once we got going it definitely hurt our high speed cornering. But I just had to change my driving style and try to make the most out of it."

Jared Beyer
No. 5 Beyer Racing Lennox Comptech/Honda Riley

"This was the first time that I start a race so that was pretty exciting, after that my first stint was pretty decent, the car was handling pretty good but you could start to feel some problems with the gearbox that were slowing us down. After our first pit stop everything went downhill because we couldn't get fuel in the car, but the Beyer Racing guys did a great job fixing the problem and we were able to get back out.

When I got in the car again for the last stint we had bad clutch and gearbox problems, I could barely pass the GT cars on the straight. We decided just to call it a day and not hurt the car anymore, so overall it was a very frustrating weekend. But I'm excited about going back to Daytona, we had a good race there in January and we have a lot of experience at that track so I'm definitely looking forward to it."

Jordan Taylor
No. 5 Beyer Racing Lennox Comptech/Honda Riley

"It was a pretty rough day, it started out alright but we went down a lap early and then ended up loosing many more after our first pit stop because of the fueling problem. After I got in the car and went out I was basically learning the track for the first few laps, because of the weather all the laps that I did in practice were on a wet track so I had no references or experience in the dry. So my first five laps in the race I was basically learning all the brake zones and everything else, but once I got up to pace the car felt pretty good, I was happy with it."

The Beyer Racing squad now heads back to its St. Petersburg headquarters and prepares for the next round of the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series which will be the July 4 Brumos Porsche 250 at Daytona International Speedway, Round 7 of the 12-race season.

-credit: br

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers JC France , Jordan Taylor , Jared Beyer , Ricky Taylor , Mike Forest