SCC: Watkins Glen: Freedom Autosport preview

Freedom Autosport: Racing to Watkins Glen LAKEVILLE, Conn.--The race is on for the Freedom Autosport crew as they prepare the team's four Mazdas for round six of the GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge at Watkins Glen. A disappointing...

Freedom Autosport: Racing to Watkins Glen

LAKEVILLE, Conn.--The race is on for the Freedom Autosport crew as they prepare the team's four Mazdas for round six of the GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge at Watkins Glen. A disappointing race at Lime Rock on Saturday left the Freedom Autosport Mazdas in need of repairs with only one week between rounds.

The 2.5-hour Street Tuner class race at Lime Rock should have been a showcase for Freedom Autosport and Mazda, but an unusual amount of contact made the day a challenging one.

Derek Whitis and Tom Long finished 17th in the No. 25 Freedom Autosport Mazda MX-5 after an extended pit stop to repair damage from contact. Rhett O'Doski and Andrew Carbonell faced the same scenario in the No. 26 Mazda MX-5, finishing 26th.

Charlie Putman and Charles Espenlaub ran strong in the No. 27 Freedom Autosport MAZDASPEED3: Espenlaub was seventh before a punctured tire dropped him to 14th. Contact meant an early retirement for Nick Leverone and Craig McHaffie in the No. 28 Flatout Motorsports MAZDASPEED3 prepared by Freedom Autosport.

Freedom Autosport left Lime Rock and traveled to Mid-Ohio for a test on Monday. From there, the team will continue making repairs before heading to Watkins Glen for this weekend's GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge race.

"The crew is working so hard this week," said Team Manager Tom Long. "Even during testing at Mid-Ohio, four crew guys were dedicated to doing maintenance, repairs and setup on each car to prepare for Watkins Glen."

Carbonell is looking forward to returning to the historic New York circuit, where he led a lap last year. "It's an incredible track and I'm glad to be racing there again now that I have more experience," says Carbonell. "I like the feel of the track with the high speed corners and elevation changes. It's like a roller coaster."

Craig McHaffie will once again drive the No. 28 Flatout Motorsports MAZDASPEED3 prepared by Freedom Autosport, but this time he is teaming up with his father Hugh McHaffie. "I can't wait to get behind the wheel of the new Freedom Autosport MAZDASPEED3," says Hugh McHaffie. "Significant development has been made with the car so far this year and we look to add to that. We see the car being a real contender."

-source: fa

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Charles Espenlaub , Tom Long , Nick Leverone , Charlie Putman , Andrew Carbonell , Rhett O'Doski , Derek Whitis , Craig McHaffie , Hugh McHaffie
Teams Freedom Autosport