Freedom Autosport Earns Double Podium at Trois-Rivieres TROIS-RIVIERES, Quebec--The Freedom Autosport drivers had dejÃ vu during Saturday's two-hour Street Tuner race at the Grand Prix de Trois-Rivieres. For the second year in a row, the team...
Freedom Autosport Earns Double Podium at Trois-Rivieres
TROIS-RIVIERES, Quebec--The Freedom Autosport drivers had dejà vu during Saturday's two-hour Street Tuner race at the Grand Prix de Trois-Rivieres. For the second year in a row, the team put two of their cars on the podium at the Canadian street course.
Freedom Autosport went into the GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge weekend with a lot of optimism. In addition to their double podium there last year, it was also the first win for the team.
Derek Whitis qualified sixth in the No. 25 Freedom Autosport Mazda MX-5 and ran as high as second during his stint. He handed over to Long, who led several laps before settling into second.
The second-place finish marks the third podium appearance of the season for Whitis and Long, who won at Homestead-Miami Speedway and Barber Motorsports Park.
"The Freedom crew did an amazing job getting the cars perfectly prepared for what is always one of the best races of the year. GRAND-AM and Trois-Rivieres always put on a great show," says Whitis.
Andrew Carbonell and Rhett O'Doski were third in the No. 26 Freedom Autosport Mazda MX-5. The podium finish was hard fought: Carbonell spun as a result of contact from another car, but he recovered to take a top-three spot.
O'Doski, who handled qualifying and started the race, felt that a podium for the pair was due. He and Carbonell last stood on the podium after the season opener at Daytona, where they finished third, as well.
"It's been too long since Andrew and I have seen the podium but it finally all came together in Canada. Thanks to the Freedom team for an awesome job!" says O'Doski.
"We rolled the dice and had an early pit stop, hoping we'd make it to the end. When the three cars pitted under caution, it put me in the lead," says Carbonell. "On the restart, going into turn eight, a car locked up its brakes and spun me. I thought I was out of contention for anything because I had to watch the whole pack go by me. But I got back on track and kept driving. We caught third with about four minutes left in the race."
For Long, who also serves as team manager for Freedom Autosport, the double podium was especially rewarding. "It was a great race," he says. "Andrew and Rhett battled back from adversity, Derek had a great top-five run, and I managed to bring it home in second despite a shift linkage problem."
Freedom Autosport hopes to close the GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge season like they did last year: with a victory. With a double podium at Trois-Rivieres, the team is now poised for another great result during the season finale at Miller Motorsports Park next month.
-source: freedom autosport