Burrows and Hopwood Overcome Flat Tire and Penalty to Score Seventh for Kia Motorsport At VIR ALTON, Virginia, 25 April -Adam Burrows and Trevor Hopwood were part of another good outing for the Kia Motorsport program after the duo overcame a...
Burrows and Hopwood Overcome Flat Tire and Penalty to Score Seventh for Kia Motorsport At VIR
ALTON, Virginia, 25 April -Adam Burrows and Trevor Hopwood were part of another good outing for the Kia Motorsport program after the duo overcame a pair of significant setbacks to take seventh at the checkered flag at Virginia International Raceway for round four of the 2010 GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge championship. The result is the fourth consecutive race finish for the former Champions, and is the best finish of the year to date for the No. 12 Kia Forte Koup entry.
The result was also part of the first double-top ten for the Kinetic Motorsports-managed GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge program as the sister No. 10 entry scored fifth at the finish. In another indicator of how well things are beginning to gel at the new squad, Burrows recorded the machines best qualifying to date, starting from the 10th position on the ST Class grid.
Starting the 2.5-hour race from behind the wheel, Burrows worked his way up to fourth place in the early going before a significant accident slowed the race early on. Burrows made a lightning-quick decision to take to the grass to avoid the incident, and while he lost a few spots in the transaction, he was rewarded by not being involved with the accident. Taking advantage of the second caution period on lap 24, Burrows elected to pit for fuel, tires and a driver changeover to Hopwood. Unfortunately, as it turns out, so did practically everyone else, including their Kinetic Motorsports Kia teammates.
That spelled a very crowded pit lane, which forced Burrows to pull into the box ahead of the sister No. 10 entry. As a swirl of Kinetic-blue-clad mechanics effected a quick service to both Kia machines, the Grand-Am official miscounted the number of crew members over the wall and forced the No. 12 Kia, with Hopwood now behind the wheel, to serve a penalty. Despite the interminable delay on pit lane, Hopwood was looking to make a strong run to the finish.
But as he took to the track on his first flying lap, he knew he'd have to wait still longer for the chance to charge as a cut rear tire sent him off track as he fought to recover track position. A slow lap back to the pits and a new set of rubber saw him return to the track deep in the charts. But some sheer grit and determination along with a steam of consistently quick laps saw Hopwood edge his way back toward the front of the field.
As several competitors were forced to pit for fuel late in the day, Hopwood also took advantage of the fuel economy of the Kia to stretch his run right to the checkered flag.
Having set a fastest lap of the race just over 3 tenths of a second quicker than the top-five finishing team entry, the two were very encouraged by the weekend despite the frustrating setbacks of the penalty and cut tire.
"We were really happy this weekend with how far things have come in such a short time for this Kia Koup," said Hopwood. "I was so frustrated about the penalty, and the cut tire only made it worse but I just had to focus on making up as much ground as I could. I'm really happy to come back all the way up to the top ten today despite where we were. I was really being conservative to make sure we were going to be running at the finish, so there was a lot of drafting and short shifting at the end. Now I'm really looking forward to Lime Rock Park and hopefully we can just keep moving up."
"This weekend was another great step forward with the Kia Forte Koup," said Burrows as he was interviewed by SPEED Channel's Brian Till during the race broadcast. "The Kinetic guys have done another outstanding job, and for us to go four for four with race finishes is a great thing for us to show the reliability of these Kia Forte Koups. And it is even better that we are getting to show a little bit more speed with them now as well."
As the Kinetic Motorsports crew packed in preparation for the trip back to the team base outside of Atlanta, No. 12 Kia Koup lead mechanic Lee Webb had little to do to the car save for shine it, as the race fortunately saw the No.12 Kia emerge without a single battle scar despite having made such progress through the field.
Burrows and Hopwood will be back in GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge action at the duo's 'home' track, Lime Rock Park, on May 29 for round five of the championship. The duo have countless laps, poles, and podiums at the track in various racing categories, and will look to add a new chapter of success at the Northwest Connecticut track on Memorial Day weekend.