Pacific Mobile/Biosign car fourth in Utah 250 AIM Autosport thrilled to end year with a competitive run Tooele, Utah (September 11, 2010) -- AIM Autosport's Pacific Mobile/Biosign Ford Riley finish fourth today in the Utah 250, the final race of...
Pacific Mobile/Biosign car fourth in Utah 250
AIM Autosport thrilled to end year with a competitive run
Tooele, Utah (September 11, 2010) -- AIM Autosport's Pacific Mobile/Biosign Ford Riley finish fourth today in the Utah 250, the final race of the season for the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16. Despite falling short of a podium finish by a scant 0.223s, team members we're thrilled to finish the year with a good result. Driver, Mark Wilkins, used his in-car radio to thank the team for their hard work and a fun season as soon as he crossed the finish line.
Mark's co-driver, Burt Frisselle, who started the race from the second row after his fourth-place qualifying effort yesterday, quickly moved into third place and held it until the first pitstop just before the 45-minute mark. Burt handed the car over to Mark while the AIM Autosport crew replaced the tires and refuelled the car.
Through the next 70 minutes, which included a round of pitstops during a caution, Mark held fourth, the gap to third waxing and waning as the leaders wove through lapped traffic. Adapting the race strategy, Chief Engineer, Ian Willis, radioed Mark asking that he try to conserve fuel while maintaining his current pace.
"You guys are asking the impossible," an exasperated Mark responded.
"If it were easy, I'd be doing it," came Ian's cheeky reply.
But, Mark did a fantastic job, losing very little time while conserving enough fuel for Ian to give him the green light to go hard just 15-minutes later. Mark instantly upped his pace while his competitors tried to stretch their fuel, but with 30 minutes remaining AIM's strategy was thwarted by another caution.
Everyone now had enough fuel to push hard and Mark ran at the tail of the 4-car lead pack that outpaced the rest of the field. Mark pushed third-placed Max Angelelli, but didn't have quite enough to mount a passing attempt and crossed the line fourth, less than a quarter second behind Angelelli.
"Ian and Chachi (Data Engineer, Jim Malicki) gave us a great car and the AIM guys had it very well prepared, so it was a pleasure to drive," said Burt. "I'm very excited about the potential that we're showing and feel like next year we're going to be fighting for the championship. I couldn't be happier with the way AIM is growing as a team."
"We had a great race car today and it's great to end the year with a strong result," Mark said. "I'm really looking forward to next year and coming back with the power equalization between engine manufacturers a little better balanced so we can try and win this thing. Thanks to AIM Autosport for all their hard work this year and I look forward to getting back in the car soon."
"It was a good race," commented Ian. "We were on pace with the leaders and you could throw a blanket over the top four at the end. We started fourth, finished fourth and after the last couple of races, it was good just to finish."
AIM Autosport heads into the off season like most teams, looking to confirm its 2011 sponsors as early as possible and beginning the many hours of rebuilding and preparation work for next season.
-source: aim autosport