Watkins Glen II: SpeedSource race report

SpeedSource Victory at The Glen The SpeedSource team returned to the historic Watkins Glen International track to run a 2-hour sprint race on the short course. With only 4 races remaining in the season, the ...

SpeedSource Victory at The Glen

The SpeedSource team returned to the historic Watkins Glen International track to run a 2-hour sprint race on the short course. With only 4 races remaining in the season, the #70 SpeedSource Castrol Syntec Mazda RX-8 looked to gain valuable points in the GT Class Championship alongside team car #69 SpeedSource FXDD Mazda RX-8. The shortened race format demanded absolute perfection and concentration from all competitors as heavy race traffic and shortened pit windows complicated the normal racing procedures that crews were used to. As night fell over Watkins Glen, the duo of Emil Assentato and Jeff Segal took the GT Class win in the #69 SpeedSource FXDD Mazda RX-8.

Emil Assentato qualified the FXDD Mazda RX-8 to start the race from the 6th position. While battling with other GT cars early in the race, Emil managed the first stint of the race flawlessly by keeping his racecar free of trouble. The team seized the opportunity to put Jeff Segal in the car with fresh tires and fuel during the second caution period of the race.

After taking over driving duties for the #69 RX-8, Segal concentrated on bringing his car to the finish line. Segal drove his way to the front of the pack in GT before the final pit stop period. An excellent stop by the #69 crew gave Segal the advantage leaving the pits and set him up to challenge for the lead in GT. During the final moments of the race, Jeff overtook the #87 Porsche for the lead and held off any attempts of relinquishing the lead. This victory brings the #69 SpeedSource FXDD Mazda RX-8 to sixth in the points.

"I am extremely happy for the #69 FXDD car and the entire SpeedSource crew," team owner Sylvain Tremblay rejoiced. "The guys work hard to prepare two competitive cars and today's performance shows the results of that labor and dedication."

Nick Ham started the race in the #70 SpeedSource Castrol Syntec Mazda RX-8 from 8th on the grid but quickly managed to bring the car into contention for the GT lead. An early caution period stretched Nick's opening stint, allowing him to concentrate on settling into a driving rhythm.

The #70 Mazda RX-8 took the lead in GT before the midway point of the race, however, contact with another car sent the #70 car spinning out of contention and losing valuable championship momentum. Sylvain Tremblay managed to bring the car to the race end in 8th place, salvaging as many points as possible. "I'm bitterly disappointed for the #70 Castrol Syntec Mazda RX-8. We finally hit on the right set up for the race and were in perfect position for a podium and probably a win when we were taken out of contention by another driver's error," Nick Ham stated.

The SpeedSource team heads across the border to Montreal to race on the popular Circuit Gilles Villeneuve venue. The race will be televised on SPEED, August 29 at 2PM.

-credit: ss

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Emil Assentato , Gilles Villeneuve , Sylvain Tremblay , Jeff Segal , Nick Ham
Teams SpeedSource