ANOTHER TOP-FIVE FOR COMPASS360 RACING AT MOSPORT Fifth and Sixth-Place Finishes for Team Despite Challenges at Home Race BOWMANVILLE, ON -- Compass360 Racing brought four Acuras to do battle at Mosport. The team's bright orange RSX-S, which was...
ANOTHER TOP-FIVE FOR COMPASS360 RACING AT MOSPORT
Fifth and Sixth-Place Finishes for Team Despite Challenges at Home Race
BOWMANVILLE, ON -- Compass360 Racing brought four Acuras to do battle at Mosport. The team's bright orange RSX-S, which was taken out of retirement to stand-in for the new C360R Honda Civic that debuted -- and was destroyed -- at Lime Rock, joined the three matte-black TSXs for an all-out assault on the top spots.
Practice went well until the #75 GoEnzo.com / 034 Motorsport TSX was involved in a massive shunt in corner one. The damage was sufficient to render the car unrepairable, while driver Kevin York was fortunately uninjured.
With Kevin and his co-driver Christian Miller sitting second in the Driver's Championship going into the weekend, Team Owner Karl Thomson elected to have Miller drive in his place in the RSX, alongside hot-shoe Travis Walker.
Three Compass360 cars took to the grid on Saturday, Adam Burrows having qualified the #74 Fischer Skis / Sunday Group TSX in a solid eighth place. Miller put the unfamiliar #76 RSX 23rd and Jeremy Willard started the #73 Pure Hair + Body Care TSX close behind in 26th.
Surprisingly, the field managed to run without a caution period until near the one-hour mark of the two-and-a-half hour race. Pandemonium ensued, with cars pitting out of sequence, even before the pace car had picked up the field. Under Grand-Am rules, the pace car will pick up the leader of the race, after which time the faster class (Grand Sport at Mosport) is allowed to pit, with the slower class (Street Tuner) allowed to pit on the second time by. Apparently, a corner worker outside Grand-Am's control was holding a sign that said "Pits Closed" during the first part of the GS window, which threw everything into disarray.
The end result was that no one received any penalties, and the Compass360 Racing cars, which all pitted on the lap they were supposed to (and would not have incurred penalties) lost significant track position.
Prior to the yellow, the #73 TSX of Willard had been hit by a GS car, which threw Jeremy off-track, damaging a rim. He soldiered on and was able to pit during the yellow flag, handing the car to Kenny Wilden, but down a lap.
The second half of the race was marred by a number of caution periods, which meant that the team's two front-running cars weren't able to move through the field with any momentum. At the checkered flag, Trevor Hopwood in the #74 car was narrowly ahead of Travis Walker in the #76, both holding station to garner valuable points.
"The pit stop situation really screwed us today," fumed Crew Chief Ray Lee. "We had a real shot at second and third place, but that one lap pit difference made sure that didn't happen."
"We should have been a couple of places higher," remarked Walker. "But we had nothing, I mean nothing, for the Cobalts." Agreed Hopwood, "Those turbo-charged and super-charged cars are wicked fast! There's no way we can catch them on the straights."
The team is already building a new Civic to replace the one demolished at Lime Rock, but it won't be ready until the Iowa event in early August. Which means that Christian Miller will take Thomson's seat in the RSX for the Mid-Ohio and Watkins Glen events. "It was a tough decision to sit these races out, as I love Mosport, Mid-O and Waktins, and I've had good results at those tracks," said Thomson. "But Christian's doing well in the points and I think we owe it to him to give him the opportunity to stay up there. The fact that he and Travis finished sixth (the third sixth for Chris in three races) proves that I made the right call."
Kevin York, meanwhile, will run with Marko Radisic in the #75 BMW 330i, which is entered as a C360R car but will be run by Jeffery Bock and his Fountain Motorsports team. "Jeff was the first guy to offer assistance when my Civic was wrecked at Lime Rock," noted Thomson. "It made sense to run a joint effort for Kevin in one of Jeff's BMWs for the next two races, flying our joint colors along with GoEnzo.com."