Kensai Racing with Compass360 Survive VIR Kensai Racing with Compass360 persevered through weather and traffic to take the checkered flag at Virginia International Raceway this past weekend. The team's Acura RSXs were among the fastest during...
Kensai Racing with Compass360 Survive VIR
Kensai Racing with Compass360 persevered through weather and traffic to take the checkered flag at Virginia International Raceway this past weekend. The team's Acura RSXs were among the fastest during the Friday practice sessions, with the #75 car of Travis Walker and Aaron Povoledo being second in Sport Tuner (ST) class.
Co-drivers Karl Thomson and David Ciekiewicz spent the sessions shaking down #76, the build of which had been completed the Thursday before the race. It was Thomson's first time behind the wheel of a front-wheel drive race car.
Saturday's qualifying session was changed to another practice due to heavy rain, and the cars were gridded by points. That was unfortunate, as Thomson set the eighth-fastest time on the sodden track. Since the #75 car had mechanical difficulties at Daytona, and the #76 car had never competed, both Kensai entries started the race well back. In fact, the #76 started nearly dead last.
Both cars made good starts in the race, but were challenged to make it to the front due to the carnage on the track which brought out yellow flags often, the first after the very first corner of the race. "I love VIR, and I love the rain," said Thomson, "but this race was really frustrating. The #76 Compass360 Acura was simply awesome all weekend, and felt really comfortable in the wet. Given the opportunity to do more than a couple of race laps at a time, I'm confident both cars would have been well into the top ten."
As it was, the #76 car finished 20th, with the #75 close behind in 22nd. "These finishes don't accurately reflect the true performance of these cars," said Kensai's Ray Lee. "Out pit calls didn't work as we'd planned, which put both cars a lap down in the early going. With all those yellows we really didn't have a chance to make that strategy work."
The Kensai Racing with Compass360 team is looking forward to the next race, at Laguna Seca. "We're hoping for better weather, and a few less cars in pit lane," quipped Lee. Walker and Povoledo will again pilot the #75 RSX, while Billy Johnson will join Thomson in the #76 car.
Coverage of the VIR race will be televised on SPEED, April 29th, 2006 at 1:00 PM ET.