SYNERGY STYMIED BY TIRE FITMENT ISSUE IN QUALIFYING DANVILLE, Virgina, 23 April - Despite a solid top-10 showing in GT Class practice for the Grand-Am Rolex Series Bosch Engineering 250 at Virginia International Raceway, the Synergy Racing crew...
SYNERGY STYMIED BY TIRE FITMENT ISSUE IN QUALIFYING
DANVILLE, Virgina, 23 April - Despite a solid top-10 showing in GT Class practice for the Grand-Am Rolex Series Bosch Engineering 250 at Virginia International Raceway, the Synergy Racing crew had to contend with a disappointing let down in qualifying after the team was supplied the incorrect size tire ahead of the 15-minute qualifying session. The miscue from the series tire supplier prevented the team from setting a meaningful time with the J. Sargeant Reynolds Porsche 911 GT3 to be driven by David Murry and Patrick Huisman.
After both Murry and co-driver Huisman produced competitive times earlier in the day, Murry was suddenly alarmed when the car behaved erratically down the straights during his qualifying out lap. He pitted right away, thinking something was broken at the rear of the car or had come loose, but the Synergy Racing crew saw nothing out of order. Again, Murry ventured onto the track, and again, the car was obviously not right. This time, Murry headed behind the wall to the team transporter for a deeper inspection, and Synergy Racing crew continued to look for an issue with the car. Fortunately, VIR is literally the team's home base with their Porsche preparation and race shop just at the track's main gate. Closer inspection of the rear tires revealed that the sizing was meant for a Mazda RX-8, which is incompatible with the Porsche 911 GT3's requirements.
As a result the No. 81, with backing from J Sargent Reynolds Community College in Richmond, Virginia, will start from back of the grid. That it was not of their doing is of little consolation, yet team principal Cole Scrogham was philosophical about the set-back.
"We are going to have to be very creative with our pit strategy if we want to have any shot at moving up tomorrow," said Scrogham. "This was disappointing because we were certainly hoping to show more in qualifying and not to be starting from the back, so to have it be something out of our control is frustrating. But we have some excellent drivers, the car set some good times in practice and there could be some weather that plays a role in the race tomorrow, so you just don't know what we could happen tomorrow. We are looking forward to having guests from J. Sargeant Reynolds with us for the race, and hopefully we can bring them a good result and make it a good day out at the track!"
Huisman, who flew in from Amsterdam, the Netherlands, barely made it over to Virginia having had to endure the air traffic chaos caused by the Eyjafjallajoekull volcano in Iceland. Nevertheless, he demonstrated the Synergy Racing Porsche's potential in the second practice session after recording the ninth best time.