Fontana, California -- The SpeedSource team just missed a win at California but were still able to capture second and third in the very competitive Grand Sports I class. In qualifying on Friday, Sylvain Tremblay kept his pole winning qualifying...
Fontana, California -- The SpeedSource team just missed a win at California but were still able to capture second and third in the very competitive Grand Sports I class.
In qualifying on Friday, Sylvain Tremblay kept his pole winning qualifying form by placing the #63 Wilson Sporting Goods / Mears Motor Coach Grand Sports II Porsche in first.
"The car was a really good piece," commented Tremblay after qualifying. "It was really interesting out there. At one point, I saw three sides of a car. It added to the excitement."
After qualifying, the team had all day Saturday to prepare the six car fleet of Porsches for the Sunday morning race. On Sunday morning, the Grand Am Cup endurance race ran as a preliminary race to the Indy Racing League, which meant that as the race was finishing up, the thousands of fans that were coming to see the IRL race were filling the stands.
Grand Sports I
In the #70 Hello Arizona! / Mears Motor Coach Porsche, Paul Mears Jr worked his way up to fifth from his tenth place starting spot before turning the car over to Sylvain Tremblay. Selby Wellman had also started the #66 redhat Mears Motor Coach Porsche and turned it over to David Haskell to finish for him.
Haskell and Tremblay, through pit strategy and hard charging, were able to bring the #66 and #70 Porsche home second and third. The two Porsches ran without fault except for a cut tire on the #70 Porsche.
"This is one of the best drives I have had," commented Mears after the race. "We changed drivers at an hour (into the race), and got helped by a couple of yellows and kept the leaders in sight. The most important part was the pit crew. They got us out with a tire change and fuel in 36 seconds."
"We cut a tire so I guess it wasn't our day, but we'll take a 3rd place," said Tremblay. "The course held up relatively well with all the abuse it was given."
Grand Sports II
In Grand Sports II, Tremblay started the #63 Wilson Sporting Goods Porsche from the pole position. He led much of the early going before turning the car over to John Sturm for the finish. Sturm drove home to a fourth place finish, just narrowly missing a second straight race with a podium finish for the rookie driver.
Also in GSII, Buzz Marcus made his debut with the team with a fifth place finish co-driving with David Shep in the #65 Mears Motor Coach Porsche.
"I jumped into the car about twenty laps in," commented Sturm about the fourth place finish. "It was a really fun race. We had a great car and the crew did a wonderful job. So far we're getting points every race."
Sports Touring I
After starting third, David Haskell relinquished driving controls of the #67 Porsche Boxster early in the race to Stan Winokur. Winokur brought the car home to a 12th place finish in the hotly contested 20+ car field in STI.
Scott Schlesinger and J.C. France Jr. drove the #68 Papa John's / Mears Motor Coach Porsche to 14th in the endurance event.
"The car is running strong," commented Schlesinger. "We are breaking in a new co-driver, J.C. France Jr. He did real well considering he is a rookie and hasn't had much time in road racing at all. I think at Phoenix you'll see us back in the mid-pack, maybe a top five finish."
The next stop for the Grand-Am Cup Street Stock Series is Phoenix International Raceway, April 18-20. The series will race twin 250-mile races, separating the Grand Sport and Sport Touring fields for the first time.