Powell hopes to head into season's second half gremlin free at Mid-Ohio. DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (August 2, 2002) -- The Grand-Am Cup Street Stock Series will begin the second half of the season with a 2.5-hour race at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course ...
Powell hopes to head into season's second half gremlin free at Mid-Ohio.
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (August 2, 2002) -- The Grand-Am Cup Street Stock Series will begin the second half of the season with a 2.5-hour race at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course during the CART Grand Prix weekend, August 9-11, and defending team champion Powell Motorsports hopes its pair of Corvettes will be back on form after losing the points lead during the last race at Virginia International Raceway.
Powell's #11 Corvette has led the Grand Sport I point standings for most of this season, until back-to-back victories by Doncaster Racing propelled its #76 Porsche into the lead. Powell was left helpless at VIR when a disastrous series of events saw both cars drop out of the race with mechanical failures.
"It was unusual for us to stumble like that. There are so many cars in this very competitive series that a championship lead can evaporate in an instant," said team leader John Powell.
The team returned to their home base in Port Perry, Ontario, determined to rid its Corvettes of any lingering mechanical gremlins. Devon Powell led the charge as he rebuilt the two race cars and began to track down the cause of the failures.
"We are fortunate that the powerful General Motors Tech 2 diagnostic tools can generally help us find faults. In this case, diagnostics told us we had a misfire, but could not tell us why," explained Devon, who also pilots the #11 Corvette with Doug Goad. "We finally traced our problems at Virginia to a crack in the aluminum cylinder head. The head is modified for racing, and machining had caused a weakness that led to a crack. This crack only opened up in extreme heat conditions on the racetrack."
The Powell #02 Corvette's trouble was a little easier for the team to diagnose. "We were running in third place (at Virginia), and I was sure we had something for at least one of the two leading Porsches," said Marty Miller, who subbed in for Stu Haynor in the #02 car at VIR. "Then without warning all the gauge needles suddenly shot up, the motor got really hot and I lost power steering. The accessory drive belt tensioner had broken."
With both the team's Corvette's back at 100 percent, the team is confident heading into the second half of the season. As the defending race champions, Devon Powell and Doug Goad are determined to repeat their win in the #11 Corvette at Mid-Ohio and reclaim the points lead. However, they will face fierce competition from teammates Mike Weinberg and Stu Hayner, who are also back in the hunt for a spot in Victory Lane in the #02 machine.
Tickets for the CART Grand Prix weekend at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course are currently on sale and may be purchased by calling 800-MID-OHIO or visiting www.midohio.com. More information on Grand-Am Cup is available online at www.grandamcup.com.