Synergy Racing rallies from back of grid to take seventh in Luke Air Force Base 200 PHOENIX, Ariz. (September 10, 2005) -- Despite being forced to start from the back of the grid, Synergy Racing rallied back to score a seventh-place finish in...
Synergy Racing rallies from back of grid to take seventh in Luke Air Force Base 200
PHOENIX, Ariz. (September 10, 2005) -- Despite being forced to start from the back of the grid, Synergy Racing rallied back to score a seventh-place finish in the Grand-Am Cup Series GS Luke Air Force Base 200 at Phoenix International Raceway on Saturday evening.
After posting the third-quickest lap time during qualifying on Friday night, Brent Martini (Laguna Beach, Calif.) was sent to the back of the starting grid for the two-hour race due to a technical penalty levied by Grand-Am Cup officials following post-qualifying inspection of the No. 81 Porsche 997.
"We had a great qualifying run. Its too bad we had to start in the back because of violation I consider questionable," said Martini. "We were penalized for our ride height being too low, because the 997 has an under-tray that's not level; it's plastic. But, it's our job to take care of that stuff. It wasn't any advantage to us though."
Despite taking the green flag in the 21st position, Martini quickly went to work picking off his competitors and gained 10 positions in the first 10 laps. By the time he pitted to hand control over to co-driver Kelly Collins (Newport Beach, Calif.) on lap 51 of the 101-lap race, Martini had maneuvered the car into fifth overall.
"The car was really good," remarked Martini. "The fact that I was able to move all the way up to fifth during my stint is a real testament to what a good car the Synergy 997 was today."
Shortly after Collins took control of the No. 81 Porsche 997, an ill-timed full course caution came out, keeping the team from regaining the lap it lost during the pit stop. The bad luck continued during the restart when contact in a crowded turn one bounced another Porsche directly into the left front wheel of the 997, knocking it out of alignment.
"The car took a direct hit right on the left front wheel during the restart. It took Kelly a few laps to figure out exactly what was wrong with the car. Once he knew it was just out of alignment, he could compensate for it and continue to make competitive lap times," explained Martini.
However with the loss of a lap, the highest Collins was able get the Porsche was seventh before the two-hour time limit expired.
"The crew did a great job. We had a great pit stop. It's just too bad we had the tech violation and then that poorly-timed caution," noted Martini.