Miami, FL Â March 5, 2001 Â David Tuaty and his new Porsche Boxster made a big impact at their professional hometown debut during the March 1 Â 4th Nextel 250 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. David Tuaty, 28, ( www.tuatyracing.com) of Miami ...
Miami, FL March 5, 2001 David Tuaty and his new Porsche Boxster made a big impact at their professional hometown debut during the March 1 4th Nextel 250 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. David Tuaty, 28, ( www.tuatyracing.com) of Miami raced the Boxster in the Grand-Am Cup, a support race for the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series.
David looked forward to racing in front of his hometown crowd. "It's been a dream of mine to race at Homestead in a professional series. To be a part of the biggest sports car race in this track's history and to race the Boxster is a huge thrill for me." David started the weekend by navigating the 2.21 mile, 14 turn track working his speed up to fifth in class by the end of the second practice session. Tuaty commented on the practice sessions, "The SpeedSource team was concentrating on a good race set up in practice and not focusing so much on fast times. In a three-hour race like this, starting position isn't as critical as getting your car set up properly. Fortunately, the Boxster is such a good platform to start from it makes it a lot easier on us."
Tuaty went out for qualifying with the new setup and fresh tires for qualifying. The Boxster responded well to the new tires and was immediately quicker. Tuaty had trouble finding a lap without slower cars on his line but still managed to turn in a 1:36.9 for fourth in class on the grid. "The car was fantastic and I was feeling very confident but wasn't ab le to get in one full clean lap. I think we could have found another half second if I could have gotten a clean lap in, but we are happy with fourth in class on the grid. Remember this is a long race, and as my home track I should have a little advantage ."
Tuaty races the Boxster in the Sport Touring class, arguably the most competitive in the four class series. "Its not unusual for us to be rubbing doors looking for any advantage to gain a position." Stated Tuaty. "It's pretty tense for us but the fans eat it up." He continued.
Tuaty started the race and immediately engaged in a four -way fight for first place. Racing was very close as evidenced by the dents on the Speed Yellow Boxster after the race. "We were running flat out. Early on I was bumped pretty hard from behind but it didn't affect the car. Then for several laps we were running four wide into turn one. Wow, now that was amazing!" Tuaty describing the early part of the race, "Once the pace settled down we were able to take the fight to the Acuras. They must have gotten tired of constantly seeing me in their mirrors." A spin caused by an unrelated accident dropped the #67 Boxster back to eighth place but Tuaty was able to recover and quickly worked back to third place. David pitted fo r the mandatory driver change at one hour fifty five minutes into the race, turning the wheel over to teammate Mark Underwood to finish the last hour of the race. Mark turned in consistent lap times and brought the car home in fourth spot. "We just misse d being on the podium, but I am still happy as we were able to fight for the lead several times which gives me the taste for victory this season." Tuaty commented on the team's result. "This is just the second race in a long season; we are just where we need to be to fight for the championship.
The Grand-Am Cup features a schedule of 10 races run in the US and Canada. Virtually all auto manufacturers compete in four distinct classes, racing on track at the same time. The series awards driver, team and man ufacturer championships in each class raced. Next stop on the Grand -Am Cup schedule is the Sun Automotive 200 at Phoenix International Raceway April 18 -21.