Koni Challenge Series GS qualifying for Saturday's EMCO Gears Classic presented by Keybank took place this afternoon at Mid Ohio Sports Car Course. Dean Martin, driver of the No. 52 Mustang FR500C was the top Ford qualifier in fourth place and...
Koni Challenge Series GS qualifying for Saturday's EMCO Gears Classic presented by Keybank took place this afternoon at Mid Ohio Sports Car Course. Dean Martin, driver of the No. 52 Mustang FR500C was the top Ford qualifier in fourth place and Bret Seafuse, driver of the No. 37 with JBS Motorsports finished right behind him in fifth.
DEAN MARTIN--52-- Piloti Mustang FR500C (Qualified 4th)
"The weight certainly is hurting us here at this track compared to the BMWs. We're just going to have to manage the car."
IS BRAKE MANAGEMENT A HUGE FACTOR HERE? "We'll be all right on that, we're put on some fresh stuff and be able to make it through the whole race. We've just got to brake earlier which kind of leaves us vulnerable in the corners where the other cars can dive in the corners and take it away. We don't really have a lot of straightaways here to get it back, so we'll struggle a little bit. The race will just come down to who can race clean and can stay out of trouble and make the right decisions. We did good at Mosport and I had to come from the back there. Now, I'm going to be able to start from fourth. It's a huge advantage being at the front and not having to come through the traffic. There's a lot of guys that will battle you in the back and they shouldn't be, so we'll have that benefit of being in the front and I hope we'll stay up there and stay out of trouble and then hand it over to Kenny and have him take it home."
BRET SEAFUSE--37-- Trumansburg ShurSave Mustang FR500C (Qualified 5th)
YOU WERE SECOND HIGHEST FORD FOR TODAY AND A GOOD TOP FIVE QUALIFYING EFFORT. "It's a big struggle with the weight, but I'm going to say that it's a bigger struggle with the brakes. Obviously you can go faster in the corner with less weight, but the part that is the biggest struggle is making these things survive until the end on brakes. The weight is a huge factor on the brakes, we're kind of right at the limit on the brakes anyways. Now at a track like Laguna Seca or like this at Mid-Ohio, I don't know how we're going to go two hours. I'm going to be super, super easy on the brakes so that James has something to run with. In Laguna we lost some spots because we didn't have much left in the brakes. The brakes are the biggest thing."
IN PRACTICE YOU GOT OFF IN THE DIRT A LITTLE BIT. "Yeah, that was me. I came in there a little hot and there was a Porsche in front of me and he didn't exactly do what I had anticipated he would do, and so I put on the brakes a little harder than I wanted to. I just rotated around, we didn't have any damage and got into the beach there. We were working towards seeing what our limit was and I think we found that."
After putting new tires on for qualifying, series points leader Joe Foster, qualified his No. 55 Mustang FR500C 12th.
JOE FOSTER--55-- Hyper Sport Engineering Mustang FR500C (Qualified 12th)
"For us just now, we made the wrong call and put new tires on. We should have not run on new tires. The car really didn't run well on the new tires. We just did the worse we've done in a long time just now. The thing was just bad on new tires, and we're not quite sure why. We know we're going to struggle with the BMWs and Porches in the corners here because of the weight, but we'll at least still be racing in our class, the Mustang class. I think we just missed it, we shouldn't have gone out on new tires."
IN PRACTICE, YOU WERE CONSISTENTLY THE TOP MUSTANG. "In practice the car was good on old tires, it ran well on new tires, but we will no longer be running on new tires in qualifying."
Tom Nastasi, a three-time race winner this season in the Grand-Am Koni Challenge Series, qualified his No. 5 Mustang FR500C in 11th place. Nastasi said that Mid-Ohio is a rhythm track and a place where you've got to keep an eye on your brakes.
TOM NASTASI--5-- USG Sheetrock/Ramset Tools Mustang FR500C (Qualified 11th)
"The car handled so-so today. This is a rhythm track and you've really got to be able to go left and right smoothly."
IS THERE ENOUGH STRAIGHTAWAY HERE TO MAKE UP TIME LOST IN THE CORNERS? "Yes, I mean you can catch up to them in the straight, but you can't hold them long. The brakes are really critical here, you've got to be able to conserve them, but it's tough to do in the corners here."