Second half of the season starts off strong for BSI Racing with another Top-10 finish Another top-10 finish was in store for the BSI Racing/Team Garcia, Mazda MX-5 team in the KONI Challenge at Mid-Ohio this past weekend. The No. 56 Mazda...
Second half of the season starts off strong for BSI Racing with another Top-10 finish
Another top-10 finish was in store for the BSI Racing/Team Garcia, Mazda MX-5 team in the KONI Challenge at Mid-Ohio this past weekend. The No. 56 Mazda MX-5, Joe Gibbs/MOMO driven by Todd Buras and Charles Putman finished in 10th place and the No. 58 MX-5, Joe Gibbs/MOMO/JustRacing.com Mazda finished in 18th with Justin Hall and Magnus Karlsson behind the wheel. With combined race results the team has earned seven top-10 finishes this KONI Challenge ST season.
Before the race, the driver lineup changed for the No. 56 MX-5. Carlos Garcia, who has started six races for BSI was unable to attend the race. Garcia's wife is expecting twins and Carlos did not want to risk missing their birth. Garcia will also be missing the Watkins Glen race this July and the team is currently looking for a driver to fill in. Fortunately, World Challenge driver Charles Putman was able to fill in for Garcia at this past week's race. Even with the last minute driver change, Putman worked well with teammate Todd Buras.
This was Putman's first time racing in the MX-5 but he did not have any trouble getting a handle on the car's setup. Putman was also racing in a GS car at Mid-Ohio and by race time he had learned all the tricks the track was willing to hand out. "The car was wonderful to drive and I could catch everybody at the key hole on track," said Putman. "At times going down the front stretch I felt like I was competing in a drag race. But I was not going to do anything crazy out there. I was able to catch many cars in the corners." Putman handed the car off to Buras during a yellow flag. Buras worked his way up from mid-pack and was running as high as 2nd place during the race.
Where the MX-5 lacked in speed the car made up for in agility and its hardiness. Other ST competitors were crashing on track and tearing apart their cars, but both MX-5's sat back and stayed clear from trouble.
The No. 58 MX-5 finished in one piece even though it was taken out early on in the race. The 58 car spun out and got trapped in the gravel pits. Karlsson then pit in and handed the car off to Hall. The amount of down time the car spent in the gravel pit was too long for Hall to get the car back on the lead lap. Although the team benefited by getting the lucky dog wave by, the No. 58 finished one lap behind the leaders.