Holtom and Curran Take Third Grand-Am Cup ST Victory of 2006 Jamie Holtom and Eric Curran took their third Grand-Am Cup series victory of the season at Lime Rock Park today, driving in the ClearSCADA Chevrolet Cobalt SS ...
Holtom and Curran Take Third Grand-Am Cup ST Victory of 2006
Jamie Holtom and Eric Curran took their third Grand-Am Cup series victory of the season at Lime Rock Park today, driving in the ClearSCADA Chevrolet Cobalt SS Supercharged.
It was their fifth consecutive top-four finish and their fourth straight podium. They finished ahead of the Turner Motorsport BMW of Will Turner and Don Salama, and the Bill Fenton Acura RSX of Hugh and Matt Plumb to extend their Drivers and Team Championship lead to 27 points, stretching Chevrolet's lead in the Manufacturers Championship to 8 points.
Jamie qualified eighth on the grid but in this case, the numbers don't tell the whole story. When all was said and done Holtom only had one lap, in traffic, to put in a "flyer" during qualifying.
"I sat in the pits for the first three minutes waiting to see what everyone else could do and then when I did go out I was called back in on the same lap apparently to serve a five-minute-penalty we had not been notified about," he said.
"After serving the penalty I went out and again had to pit when the track was black-flagged for a crashed car. When the track went green again I had two minutes to put in a fast lap. I passed four cars on the out-lap and three on the next. Luckily the GM Performance Division and Georgian Bay Motorsport had our Cobalt SS Supercharged absolutely perfect and I managed to get a lap good enough for eighth," he commented.
At the start of the race Jamie was able to make a great start, putting the car into fourth place, and after an intense battle, settled into a rhythm to end his stint in the race lead.
"I had a great start and took four positions when the car in front of me left the door open," said Holtom. "A train of cars from second to seventh was battling pretty hard for about 15 laps, but after that we all settled into our positions and tried to hunt down Don Salama in the lead BMW."
The next several laps were spent pursuing Salama, eventually catching and stalking him for two laps before the Turner car was called into the pits for tires, fuel and a driver change.
"I had caught Don, at just past the half-way point of the race, when he was called in for a pit stop. As soon as I got into the lead the [Georgian Bay Motorsports] team was on the radio telling me to push hard, and pit in next lap. It was a great call from the team. The competition adjustments from Grand Am meant that we were running out of tires very quickly towards the end of my stint" said Jamie, "we had a dynamite stop and Eric [Curran] came out in fourth, with the top three cars yet to stop."
From that point onwards, Curran earned the narrow win by doing a stellar job in traffic and holding off late pressure from Will Turner. Curran's victory margin, only :00.406 seconds was the closest finish of the Street Tuner class season.
Eric commented, "Jamie did a super job getting the car into the top three right away and kept the car clean and in perfect condition for me in the second stint. Our pit-stop was really fast and I came out in perfect position. I was able to use some home-track advantage to hold off Turner. His car was incredible under braking. Towards the end he was coming on very strong but the GM Performance Division and Georgian Bay Motorsports had our Cobalt SS Supercharged handling so well that I was able to hold on for the victory".