Spirit of Daytona GTO a Great Run Ends Early at Phoenix Temperatures topped 100 degrees but Craig Conway and Marc-Antoine Camirand were still able to burn up the desert track at the Phoenix Int'l Raceway. The Daytona Mitsubishi/ Diamond Suzuki...
Spirit of Daytona GTO a Great Run Ends Early at Phoenix
Temperatures topped 100 degrees but Craig Conway and Marc-Antoine Camirand were still able to burn up the desert track at the Phoenix Int'l Raceway. The Daytona Mitsubishi/ Diamond Suzuki No. 9 GTO placed 19th overall but was in 10th place before the last few laps of the race. Camirand and Conway battled the mid-day heat and were still able to perform exceptional in the GTO.
The two-hour race started off safe and consistent and no yellow flags appeared on track during the entire race. Conway powered the GTO and early into his stint the heat started to kick in. Even with the heat he was one of the fastest cars on track. He had moved up from his qualifying position over 14 spots during his on track race. Conway pitted after the 46th lap and had powered the Pontiac into 9th place. He handed the GTO over to Camirand who right away was one of the fastest cars on the racetrack. "It was brutal in there, even with the cool suite on. Then before my stint ended the suite started leaking, which started to boil me even more. When I first got out of the car I felt horrible, but I feel much better now," said Conway.
Camirand stayed in the GTO for the remainder of the race. During his stint Camirand turned some of the fastest laps on track. He also managed to pass the overall leader to get the GTO back on the lead lap. With five laps left in the race the crew was getting nervous about running out of fuel. Then the team pitted with three laps left in the race. The team had refueled the car but realized there were greater issues at bay. An electrical issue in the car did not allow for the GTO to gain full power. Camirand was not able to finish the race and the car dropped to 19th place.
"There is no denying it, we had a rocket out there," said GTO team-manger Todd Flis. The GTO was looking to have a top-10 finish and was minutes away from reaching its goals. Camirand was disappointed with the early finish but knew that he had a good race car. "The car was really consistent and reliable. But these things happen. It was hot on the track but I felt pretty good in the car. I guess it was the adrenaline keeping me going. Towards the end I was getting tired but I would have been able to finish the race if the GTO let me," said Camirand.