Watkins Glen III: Spirit of Daytona race report

Another Frustrating Finish for Spirit of Daytona at the Glen History repeated itself as the Spirit of Daytona once again finished a race early. The team finished in 16th place at the Crown Royal 250 Saturday afternoon. The 09 ...

Another Frustrating Finish for Spirit of Daytona at the Glen

History repeated itself as the Spirit of Daytona once again finished a race early. The team finished in 16th place at the Crown Royal 250 Saturday afternoon. The 09 Pontiac-powered Daytona Prototype (DP) had a chance for a top-ten finish but that was not the case due to electrical problems. Co- owner/driver Doug Goad started the 09 DP first and he noticed the issue during the recon lap. With no time to address the issue, the team was forced the start the race and hope for the best. The best would not happen. In addition to a weak electrical system, the clutch would not disengage causing even more problems for the drivers.

Goad drove the DP for 29 laps before he pitted and had co-driver Marc- Antoine Camirand drive the rest of the race. Goad explained, "I am not use to driving without a clutch so I wanted to throw Marc in the car. He has more experience driving in that situation." Camirand was behind the DP's wheel during restart on lap 42 when a major accident took place on turn four. Camirand was able to escape the crash without any harm done to the car, but the accident took out three unfortunate DPs.

The carnage of DP and GT car parts was so wide spread that as the racecars approached the wreck, officials asked them to stop and let the tow trucks clean up the mess. Camirand stopped for the wreck and was not able to restart the 09DP. The clutch would not disengage leaving the 09 stuck at the top of the esses for a long period of time. The 09DP need a rolling start in order to continue racing but had to wait for outside help.

A tow truck rescued the 09DP returning the car to its pit, and the team refueled and pushed Camirand off for his race finish. The car was five laps down but the team just wanted to finish the remainder of the race. After another caution on the course, the team brought the 09DP in rather than risking the battery giving out in the middle of the track. The Spirit of Daytona 09 Crawford completed 58 laps, seven laps shy of the race leader.

"This has got to be the most frustrating race I have ever participated in," said Camirand. "Everything that could have gone wrong went wrong, and watching the race continue while I was sitting on top of the chicanes drove me crazy. But this is part of racing and hopefully we will get a break soon."

Goad felt the same way with the team's race results. " This team is way too good for these things to be happening. We need to wait this bad luck out, and I'd like to say this is not fair, but I do not even know what fair is now. This season has pushed us to the limit with how much bad luck we can take. Something has got to give."

"The most frustrating part of the race weekend was that the car was in great shape prior to the recon lap. It did not give us any trouble throughout the practice or qualifying sessions. The team worked great together all weekend long and we expected an up beat finish for our Saturday night", said Troy Flis, Team Manager/Co-Owner. The mechanical mayhem that took place on track will be fully investigated and repaired back at the race shop in Holly Hill, Florida.

The Spirit of Daytona will be racing again on October 9 at Virginia International Raceway.

-www.spiritofdaytona.com

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Doug Goad