Father-Son Combo Win First Race Together In KONI Sports Car Challenge Race At Trois-Rivieres Andrew Carbonell Holds Off Ian Baas For Freedom Autosport's First Win TROIS-RIVIÃˆRES, Quebec, Canada (Aug. 14, 2009) - It was a good day to be part...
Father-Son Combo Win First Race Together In KONI Sports Car Challenge Race At Trois-Rivieres
Andrew Carbonell Holds Off Ian Baas For Freedom Autosport's First Win
TROIS-RIVIÈRES, Quebec, Canada (Aug. 14, 2009) - It was a good day to be part of the Carbonell family. Andrew Carbonell ended APR Motorsport's three-race winning streak and gave Freedom Autosport its first-ever Grand-Am KONI Sports Car Challenge victory Saturday in the Street Tuner (ST) portion of the 40th annual Grand Prix de Trois-Rivières. He shared the car with father Alfredo Carbonell.
Carbonell was one of three leaders in the caution-free race around the 1.521-mile, 10-turn temporary street circuit, and he and father became the first father-son combo to win together in KONI Challenge competition since Jim (father) and Jamie Holtom on June 19, 2005 at Mosport International Raceway.
It was the pair's first-ever race together in the KONI Challenge, and their first victories each in the series. Andrew Carbonell led the final 31 circuits of the 71-lap, 90-minute race, winning by 4.821 seconds over Ian Baas and co-driver Josh Hurley in the No. 171 APR/Gunther VW Volkswagen GTI. The pair started 19th after Alfredo Carbonell's qualifying run Saturday morning, which gained them a race-high 18 positions, and averaged 71.008 mph.
"This is event is special to me," said Andrew Carbonell, who won in his 17th career KONI Challenge start. "I was here in 2007 with (SCCA) MX-5 Cup and I fell in love with the event and have been dying to come back. To be able to come back and stand on the top of the podium is just amazing, especially here with my father. It's my first professional win and probably a win I'll remember forever for a lot of reasons. I can't thank enough people for this. It's just amazing."
For the elder Carbonell - a late-weekend replacement for No. 146 Mazda/Freedom Autosport Mazda MX-5 regular Rhett O'Doski - it was only his second race in KONI Challenge competition. Both drivers live in Miami, Fla., where the 61-year-old Alfredo Carbonell emigrated to from Cuba in 1961.
"First of all, I want to thank all the fans here at Trois-Rivières," Alfredo Carbonell said. "I also want to thank Mazda and Freedom Autosport, who support all of our war veterans and troops. It was a wonderful weekend here. I had a very hard time qualifying. It was not a problem. I handed the car to the hotshoe here: my son. He took care of us and put up a great battle after that."
Baas and Hurley, who entered the event seeking a second consecutive victory, started second, and Hurley hounded early leader and polesitter Owen Trinkler for several laps before pitting and giving way to Baas. For several laps, Baas looked for a way to get by, but couldn't extend APR's streak, instead finishing second.
Freedom also completed the podium, as Tom Long and Derek Whitis finished third in the No. 145 Mazda/Freedom Autosport Mazda MX-5.
The championship point advantage opened again for Christian Miller, who co-drove with Boischatel, Quebec, driver Benoit Theetge in the No. 74 034 Motorsport/Skunk2 Honda Civic Si. Miller started third, completed his pit stop just after 30 minutes and watched as Theetge kept the car out of trouble to place sixth.
That was seven spots higher than Miller's closest point competitors - Andrew Aquilante and Kristian Skavnes. Starting sixth, Aquilante weaved through the field and had the quickest lap during his stint. Skavnes was running the top five soon after taking over when he slid wide coming out of Turn 1 and kissed the tire barrier with the left side of the car. He pitted, lost two laps, and the No. 111 Subaru of America Subaru Legacy finished 13th, matching the team's worst finish of the season (Lime Rock).
Miller now holds a 25-point lead (256-231) with two ST class races remaining, the next on Sept. 18 at Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, Utah. Baas and Hurley remained fourth overall, still in title contention with 227 points, 29 points behind Miller.
Trinkler led the first 39 laps from the pole, but a slow pit stop dropped him and his No. 196 Cruise America/4 Winds RV Mini Cooper S co-driver Jade Buford out of the top 10. They finished 11th. Teammates Adam Burrows and Trevor Hopwood, the 2008 race co-winners, finished eighth.
Quebecois drivers had mixed days. In addition to Theetge, reigning Grand Sport race co-winner Marc-Antoine Camirand of St. Leonard d'Aston helped give Compass360 Racing team owner Karl Thomson a fourth-place finish.
Jocelyn Hebert of Becancour started 10th in the No. 189 Trois-Rivières Honda/TVA-Chem Honda Civic Si, but the car was retired after 26 laps with transmission problems. Cyril Hamelin of Trois-Rivières did not drive.
Fifth were Bob Beede and Bill Fenton in the No. 29 Southern Auto Auction Honda Civic Si. Rookie Bret Spaude led a lap en route to 10th in the team's No. 27 Honda of Keene, N.H. he drove with David Thilenius.
Martin Wins Pole Position in Grand Sport
The Grand Sport point leaders will start 1-2 in Sunday's 90-minute race, scheduled to start at 9:15 a.m.
Dean Martin set a lap time of 1:11.448 (76.637 mph) Saturday morning in the No. 59 Rehagen Racing Ford Mustang GT to earn his third career pole position - all this season - to keep himself and point leader Ken Wilden in strong position for a driver and team championship.
Wilden leads the standings by 18 points (236-218) over James Gue and Bret Seafuse, who clocked in at 1:11.747 (76.318 mph) in the No. 37 Trumansburg ShurSave Ford Mustang GT, good enough for second. The No. 59 car has 14 consecutive top-10 finishes. Don Salama, Steve Cameron and Duncan Ende were third, fourth and fifth.