SCC: Birmingham: Jason Martinelli race notes

Jason Martinelli Has Strong Run at Barber Motorsports Park LEEDS, Ala. -- Jason Martinelli faced rain and a crowded track during the Barber 250 on October 9 at Barber Motorsports Park, the third round of the Grand-Am Cup Series in which the...

Jason Martinelli Has Strong Run at Barber Motorsports Park

LEEDS, Ala. -- Jason Martinelli faced rain and a crowded track during the Barber 250 on October 9 at Barber Motorsports Park, the third round of the Grand-Am Cup Series in which the up-and-coming racer has driven.

Martinelli and co-driver Don St. John shared the No. 08 Automatic Racing BMW, and they had their work cut out for them as they battled rain and tough competition on the crowded 2.3-mile, 16-turn Barber Motorsports Park race track.

The weekend began with two practice sessions on Friday, October 8. Martinelli got reacquainted with the challenging layout of Barber, and he and St. John worked on getting the BMW set up properly. At the end of the day, Martinelli felt confident about the race on Saturday.

"We got a reasonable setup by the end of practice on Friday, and the car felt really strong," commented Martinelli. "And Barber is one of my favorite tracks, so I was having a lot of fun out there and expected to do well when the green flag dropped."

On Saturday morning, however, Martinelli awoke to rain. With just one practice session before qualifying, the car's setup had to be adjusted to the wet conditions and the drivers had to adapt to the new challenge.

Martinelli met the task head-on, and in the morning practice session he was 16th quickest on the time sheets.

When the three-hour race started that afternoon, the rain ceased and the track began to dry. "I was hoping for rain because our times were really competitive in the wet," commented Martinelli. "The team improved the setup for the rain, but then the track dried. Don did the first 45 minutes, then I got in the car. It had a bad push from the beginning, and the rear end was unsettled in the corners."

In spite of the unexpected dry weather, Martinelli was still able to put in his best drive yet in the Grand-Am Cup Series, working his way through traffic to finish 18th in the Grand Sports class and 30th overall.

Martinelli reflected that, "for some reason I turned my fastest laps when the car was so hard to drive. It was racing, it was fun and I had a great time out there. The Sport Touring cars are out there racing for position, and they're not going to let you by. And on a short track like this, they're almost as competitive as the Grand Sports cars. It was difficult working in and out of traffic. I drove two hours and 15 minutes. It went really well out there."

Martinelli will be behind the wheel of the No. 08 BMW again in two weeks for the final round of the Grand-Am Cup Series at California Speedway on Saturday, October 30.

Martinelli is sponsored by JJ Snacks, Good Hill Mechanical Contractors, Inc., and the J.S. Karlton Real Estate Investment Corporation.

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Don St. John , Jason Martinelli
Teams Automatic Racing