VIR: Synergy Racing race report

Synergy Racing's hotly contested championship race continues with seventh in VIR 400 ALTON, Va. (October 8, 2005) -- Synergy Racing's No. 80 Porsche GT3 Cup of Craig Stanton (Long Beach, Calif.) and David Murry (Atlanta, Ga.) took seventh...

Synergy Racing's hotly contested championship race continues with seventh in VIR 400

ALTON, Va. (October 8, 2005) -- Synergy Racing's No. 80 Porsche GT3 Cup of Craig Stanton (Long Beach, Calif.) and David Murry (Atlanta, Ga.) took seventh in the Rolex Sports Car Series VIR 400 at the team's home track of Virginia International Raceway on Sunday, heating up the already hotly contest race for the GT championship.

For the first time since April, Stanton slipped out of the driver points lead, but the determined Synergy racer didn't fall very far and will enter the season finale in Mexico City a mere one point out of the championship lead (348-347).

"We're just going to keep pushing. We'll never give up," proclaimed Stanton. "David and I and Harry (Haggard, engineer) and the guys, they never ever give up. They never have and they never will. We're going to keep going all the way down to Mexico--last lap of the last event."

"So many things can happen in a race. There will be a lot pressure on those guys in front of us to make sure they don't make a mistake," added Murry. "We're definitely not giving up. After 13 races, its coming down to one point

Luck did not appear to be on the team's side today as several incidents in which they had no control over, resulted in the loss of the points lead.

Stanton put the Porsche into the lead on the first lap of the race and stayed in the top two until lap 18 when several spinning cars in front of him forced evasive maneuvers. Unlike the last race at Watkins Glen, when a similar incident resulted in a car spinning into Stanton, this time he had room to take the No. 80 machine into the grass and avoid the accident. However, several days of rain caused muddy conditions around the track, where Stanton almost became mired. But, the veteran racer was able to keep the Porsche's momentum going in order to make it back onto the racetrack.

Unfortunately the off-track excursion dropped Stanton from second to seventh in the GT class. And, when the safety car split the No. 80 Porsche from the GT leaders a few laps later during a full course caution, it caused the Synergy entry to go one lap down.

After returning to green, Stanton again showed why he's held the points lead for most the season when he made some impressive moves to hold off two Pontiac entries in an exciting battle for sixth place. However, he had to forego the fight when his fuel supply dropped so low he had to switch to his reserve.

Stanton brought the No. 80 Porsche into the pits on lap 41 for its only pit stop of the race, giving the controls to Murry while it took on fuel and fresh Hoosiers. But once again bad luck out the team's control struck with a full-course caution four laps later, allowing other GT competitors to pit under caution.

Murry ran in ninth place for most of his stint but picked up two positions on the final lap of the 74-lap race to take seventh in the GT class.

"I really have to commend Synergy," remarked Murry. "They know in order to win the championship, they have to go all out. They aren't being conservative and content to settle with second place. They are being aggressive with their strategies to win the race. Unfortunately you have to have a little luck on your side to, and we didn't have that today."

Brothers Burt and Brian Frisselle (Aventura, Fla.) didn't have luck on their side with Synergy's No. 8 BMW Doran Daytona Prototype either. Both brothers had the misfortune of taking trips through the muddy grass, which quickly clogged the grill and result in an extra pit stop. Then on lap 55, older brother Burt was at the controls when the Daytona Prototype came to a stop outside of turn four. Ring and pinion trouble caused transmission failure that brought an early end to the brother's day and resulted in their 19th-place finish in the Daytona Prototype class.

Synergy Racing will now begin to gear up for the Rolex Series season finale in Mexico City, November 4-5, where the GT championship will be decided, BMW Doran will have its final shot at a podium finish, and the series' youngest female driver, Mae Van Wijk (Houston, Texas), is expected to return to the track.


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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers David Murry , Craig Stanton , Mae Van Wijk , Brian Frisselle