It rained hard at the 6 Heures du Circuit Mont-Tremblant race for the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series, and all the Daytona Prototypes got wet. Some made it through the rain without incident and others just seemed to slide into trouble. For...
It rained hard at the 6 Heures du Circuit Mont-Tremblant race for the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series, and all the Daytona Prototypes got wet. Some made it through the rain without incident and others just seemed to slide into trouble. For the #15 CB Motorsports / DLGL Software Lexus-Riley the rains brought on a bit of adventure - and some bad luck - after they stopped.
Team Owner and driver Chris Bingham reviews the weekend for this still-new team that is looking to find steady improvements with every outing.
"We got to Montreal early for a sponsor appearance at the local Lexus dealer - Vimont Lexus - on Tuesday night. It was great to meet people at the dealership and answer their questions about our car and the Grand American Road Racing Rolex Sports Car Series. It seems the series is building quite a fan base!
"CB Motorsports primary partner is DLGL Software. Mt. Tremblant is their 'home track'. This meant we set up a complete hospitality area where we entertained over 150 guests and friends. We think everyone enjoyed themselves despite the hard driving rains.
"As for the race itself, we struggled again all weekend, never quite finding a setup that felt completely comfortable. And this was also Jacques (Guénette) first time in the car "
Chris Bingham and Hugo Guénette are normally paired in the Lexus-Riley but, for this six hour race - Hugo's father, Jacques, joined them. For his first time in the car, he performed admirably under miserable driving conditions.
Bingham: "Jacques did a great job staying out of trouble and maintaining a competitive pace! And when you realize this was his first race with us, and that he had never driven this car in the rain before, his performance was even more remarkable. He did a great job."
Jacques Guénette: "From this point on, driving conditions can just get better. A race car cockpit is a hostile environment in the best conditions, but this was of another hellish dimension. It was like running blind in a snowstorm, all the while trying to figure out what the car likes and does not like when friction is at zero.
"The images will be set in my memory forever. And I got a lot of data accumulated about the personality of the car when it is beyond the normal limits. This will be useful in the future. The potential for a love affair with this awesome car is high!"
Bingham: "The race started out fine with Hugo starting in 18th position but quickly moving all the way to 6th. And this was in a rain soaked start! What a great driving performance!
"55 minutes into the race we pulled into the pits to hand the car over to Jacques. He too had to find his way around the circuit with his windshield being pelted by the spray from the other cars. But he held his own and turned the car over to me in good shape.
"When I jumped into the car the rains were still coming down. Halfway through my stint however, the track began to dry. Soon my rain tires started to quickly go away, but it still wasn't dry enough in other areas of the track to make the switch to slicks. We were hoping for a yellow to come out but it didn't happen and finally we simply could not wait any longer. We had to come in under green and switch to dry tires.
"When we went back out, the car was running fairly well, but was a little soft from the rain set up we had on the car. But I did manage to run quicker than we ran all weekend!
"As we approached the 5 hour mark we put Hugo back in the car and he finished the race bringing us home in 14th place."
Hugo Guénette: "For the last hour of the race no one was in sight as the closest car was a full lap behind and the closest in front was 2 laps away, it was simply a matter of staying on the track and hoping that the car would last this grueling 6 hours race."
While the results for the #15 Lexus-Riley left the team looking for a brighter day ahead, Bingham is confident they are about to move closer to a podium placing.
"All in all the weekend went OK. We do feel we need to make a few changes to the team. We started that process by hiring a chassis engineer for the next race (Sahlens 6-Hours at Watkins Glen, June 12). We are expecting to make some positive progress and overall improvements during our time at the Glen."
"We want to thank all the people who spent time with our team this weekend. We met a lot of great people from DLGL and Vimont Lexus, and we think we even made a few new fans for the series. Of course, we hope they are all rooting for car #15!"