Synergy Racing Rebounds From Wheel Failure for 19th in Grand-Am Cup 200 MONTEREY, Calif. (April 30, 2005) -- Synergy Racing put in one of its best performances of the Grand-Am Cup Series season at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca on Saturday afternoon.
Synergy Racing Rebounds From Wheel Failure for 19th in Grand-Am Cup 200
MONTEREY, Calif. (April 30, 2005) -- Synergy Racing put in one of its best performances of the Grand-Am Cup Series season at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca on Saturday afternoon. Brent Martini (Laguna Beach, Calif.) qualified the No. 81 Porsche 997 in the top-10 and was running in the lead pack when a wheel failure caused a flat tire. Despite the trouble, Kelly Collins (Newport Beach, Calif.) was able to rally back to finish 19th overall in the field of 71 cars.
Martini started Saturday by qualifying the No. 81 Porsche seventh overall, and he was able to start the race on the third row in sixth when one of the front-row qualifiers was sent to the back with an infraction. Martini maintained the car in the top-seven until an early caution when he ducked into the pits for fuel. Although he returned to the track in 21st place, Martini steadily worked his way back up through the field to regain his position among the top seven.
It was then that trouble befell the team in the form of a wheel failure. "We got a flat tire because of a wheel failure," Martini explained. "One of the bolts inside the wheel came loose and went into the tire causing the flat."
The unexpected failure resulted in the Porsche dropping back to 24th overall, but Collins slid behind the wheel and began his quest to regain track positions in the dense traffic of 71 race cars on the twisty 2.238-mile circuit. He was able to turn the third-fastest lap of the race on lap 52 of the 76-lap race, clocking a 1:39.569.
"It was quite an eventful race," remarked Collins, who eventually took the checkered in 19th. "We probably would have finished in the top seven had it not been for the flat tire."
"Clearly we had a top-10 car. Kelly was running with the leaders for the last half of the race. We just didn't get any breaks on getting our lap back," Martini added. "Traffic was nutty, which was to be expected. A lot of drivers were being responsible and making room for the GS cars. We had more problems within our own category than with the STs."
Overall, Martini and Collins were pleased with the progress their Porsche 997 has made since its debut at Daytona in February.
"I feel good about the progress of the car," Collins remarked. "The guys have been working a lot on the suspension and handling. This track was well suited for this car, too. We've come a long way from Daytona. We are getting happier and happier race after race."
"The progress we've made is amazing considering we haven't gotten help from Grand American since California Speedway," Martini added. "The hard work showed up today.
The Grand-Am Cup 200 will air on SPEED Channel on May 14 at 10 a.m. PT (1 p.m. ET).