What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stronger
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., 28 January - While the result may not show it, Insight Racing has much to be proud of after making their debut in GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge competition at Daytona International Speedway. Neither of the team's two cars finished the two and half hour race owing to mechanical woes. Yet, the group leaves unbowed, unbroken and with much more information than when they arrived.
"The outcome was obviously exactly what we wanted to avoid, but we learned that we have great people, the drivers performed as expected and the cars were fast," said team co-owner and director Gilbert Lynagh. "What makes me really happy is that through the challenges and adversity we faced this weekend, no one blamed anyone or got frustrated. Every person in the team pulled together to do what needed to be done."
The No. 19 Insight Racing BMW M3 driven by Paul Gerrard and Martin Jensen overcame a slow start to the weekend by qualifying in 15th and eventually making their way to as high as fifth place. However, soon after, with Gerrard behind the wheel for the opening stint, warning lights foreshadowed a problem with the differential. Gerrard heeded caution and turned the car into the garage, and after ten minutes on the jacks, called it a day before Jensen could ever take the wheel.
"It was tough first day, but all-in-all we have to happy with the pace of the car. Without much effort, and a little help from other cars pitting, I was able to get to the front of the field," said Gerrard. "I was talking through the warnings with the team on the radio trying to determine what to do when I started feeling the differential beginning to fail.
"Still, the car had the pace, which is fantastic given how little milage we have on it, so there's no doubt in anyone's mind here that we will be competitive," added Gerrard.
Jensen never got the chance to race the car, yet still, he too sees it's potential.
"We knew this was going to be difficult weekend with so little time on the car, but we are closer to the pace we need to be than we first thought. I believe we have more reasons to be encouraged than discouraged," said Jensen.
After an overnight engine change, the No. 18 Insight Racing 328i rolled out confident in its ability to make up positions from a last row starting position. Driver Tyler McQuarrie took the opening stint, and as expected, was making a charge to the front of the nearly 80-car field.
Fifteen laps in, McQuarrie had already made up 16 places when he pitted to hand the car over to Nico Rondet. During the stop, the Insight Racing crew was forced to top up the engine oil due to falling pressure. Six laps later, the oil pressure problem proved to be terminal and Rondet headed for the garage.
"We started out strong and car was fast when we first put it on the track, and then we ran into problems, first with needing the engine change, then with oil pressure in the race on the new engine. Still, we know the speed is there, so we'll go to the next race knowing that we truly have the potential, even if we are disappointed today," said Rondet.
Like the rest of the team, McQuarrie was a mixed bag of emotions, knowing full well that the squad is capable of so much more.
"It's not the result we were looking for, but at the same time it was awesome to be out here," said McQuarrie.
Not one to look backward, Lynagh was preparing for the next race at Homestead-Miami Speedway on March 5th before the green flag even fell on today's race.
"We already have a strategy and a game plan in place for what we need to do over the next four weeks to be prepared for the next race. We're going to deal with this and I'm confident that the few glimpses of what we can do will be more in evidence come Homestead."
-source: insight racing