Penalty pelts Burrows and Hopwood at Daytona Strong race pace thwarted by officials call DAYTONA BEACH, Fla (January 25, 2008) -- 2007 Grand-Am KONI Challenge Champions Adam Burrows of Canaan, CT and Trevor Hopwood of Lee, NH, didn't get...
Penalty pelts Burrows and Hopwood at Daytona
Strong race pace thwarted by officials call
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla (January 25, 2008) -- 2007 Grand-Am KONI Challenge Champions Adam Burrows of Canaan, CT and Trevor Hopwood of Lee, NH, didn't get their championship defense started they way they were hoping. At the opening round of the 2008 KONI Challenge season at Daytona International Speedway on Friday after an impressive debut with new team Compass360 Racing, their race was spoiled by a costly penalty. The two still rallied to bring the Fischer Skis Acura TSX a 9th place finish in the three-hour event to open the 2008 KONI season.
After Burrows started from deep on the grid for the nearly 100-car field, he quickly found a rhythm and moved up the order before turning the car over to Hopwood in a well-timed yellow pit stop from Compass360 Racing.
After taking a cautious approach to the opening laps on the restart, Hopwood started to emulate Burrows' progress through the order up into top-five contention before another caution period regrouped the field. On the restart, two GS-class cars had a problem right at the start finish line just as Hopwood was making his way for the green flag, so he was forced to make a quick evasive maneuver to avoid making contact. That caught the eye of Grand-Am officials, eliciting a penalty for passing before the start/finish line, which is not legal in KONI competition.
"It's disappointing that they called the race differently than the way they said they were going to in the drivers meeting," said Hopwood. "I know we can't pass before the start finish line but when those guys made contact and checked up, I had nowhere to go but right by them. We asked this morning, 'what if the guys ahead of us have a problem?' and they said 'no penalty,' but when it happened in the race, I even let them go back by me again, but I still had to do the drive through so its really frustrating."
The end result was even more dispiriting given the strong performance of the Acura TSX as the Compass360 Racing team enjoyed a remarkable race outing, as teammates Karl Thompson and Travis Walker took a third place finish with Kevin York and Christian Miller finishing in sixth.
"I'm really happy for the guys today but obviously we were hoping to be up there with them at the end," said Burrows. "But to come out of here with a top ten, a car that doesn't have a scratch on it, and a lot of confidence looking at the season ahead makes this result a little less difficult to take. The Compass360 guys did a great job this weekend and Trevor drove his butt off to get us in the top ten after that penalty. We have a lot of racing ahead of us so while today didn't go our way, we are looking forward to the rest of the season after this long break."
The KONI Challenge will reconvene in four months time at Lime Rock Park. Burrows sat on the pole in his KONI Lime Rock Park debut last season, so is understandably looking forward to racing on home soil.
"It is quite a while until Lime Rock, but it's going to be a great event and a good way to get the summer kicked off," said Burrows, who has a long record of success in a variety of categories on the one and half mile road racing bullring. "Trevor is really quick there and we'll both have a ton of friends and family there for the weekend so it's a good weekend to look forward to. Until then, Trevor and I will just keep up on our training regimens and be ready to go again in May"