Mid Ohio Sees SpeedSource Score a Top Five The sixth round of the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series brought the SpeedSource Castrol Syntec Mazda RX-8 to a rain soaked Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course for the Emco Gears Classic presented by KeyBank.
Mid Ohio Sees SpeedSource Score a Top Five
The sixth round of the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series brought the SpeedSource Castrol Syntec Mazda RX-8 to a rain soaked Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course for the Emco Gears Classic presented by KeyBank. Erratic weather conditions early in the weekend shortened practice sessions; this left little time for vehicle setup by the SpeedSource crew. Starting from 6th position, the #70 SpeedSource Mazda would struggle with a rare mechanical problem to finish 11th. The result is a heartbreaker for the team after the car had fought its way to the GT lead early in the race.
The SpeedSource Castrol Syntec Mazda RX-8 was competitive in the first half of the race as it charged its way through the GT field. Nick Ham brought the car in from the GT lead for a driver change at the one-hour mark with high hopes on a strong finish. Things would quickly turn for the worse, however, with Sylvain Tremblay taking over driving duties. Championship momentum gained from the previous two rounds of the Rolex Grand-Am Series literally slipped away due to an oil leak on the #70 SpeedSource Mazda. The unusual problem was created by the car's oil breather catch can. "I started to notice some smoking from the car and immediately felt the front end of the car wash out from under me. I thought we had a puncture but in reality I was driving in my own oil slick," Sylvain Tremblay recalled. The SpeedSource crew did an excellent job to mitigate the issue enough for the car to run another hour to race end.
Running an equally great race, Emil Assentato of the #69 SpeedSource FXDD Mazda RX-8 brought his car into pitlane after running in the Top Five of GT. Assentato handed driving duties over to Jeff Segal for the conclusion of the race. Throughout the last half of the race, excellent strategy coupled with flawless pit stops allowed Segal to challenge the #57 for the 3rd spot. A podium finish was stolen in the final minutes of the race when an incident with the #07 Pontiac caused heavy damage to the rear of the #69 SpeedSource FXDD Mazda RX-8. The car would take the checkered flag in 5th place with heavy smoking caused from bodywork rubbing on the rear tire. "The crew did an excellent job in setting the car up with the limited time this weekend. I knew we had a strong car that could have challenged for a podium spot," Segal stated.
The next round of the Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16 will take place in Daytona for a 70 lap shootout on Saturday, July 4th.