THE BAD NEWS BEARS ARE BACK IN THE GAME (July 12th, 2008 Limerock Park, Lakeville, Connecticut) After nearly two months off the race track the Primetime Race Group was back for an action packed weekend at the recently renovated Limerock Park....
THE BAD NEWS BEARS ARE BACK IN THE GAME
(July 12th, 2008 Limerock Park, Lakeville, Connecticut) After nearly two months off the race track the Primetime Race Group was back for an action packed weekend at the recently renovated Limerock Park. The team would be facing a nonstop schedule of racing between their three IMSA Lites cars, as well as its ALMS GT2 Viper.
The weekend started out with shaking down a new dry sump motor and Motec engine management system in the Viper as well as dialing in a new tunnel floor system for the support series IMSA Lites cars. The new track surface and configuration would bring more red flags than green ones for the first two ALMS practices not allowing much time to get acclimated.
Once things settled down, drivers Joel Feinberg and Chris Hall began to get comfortable with the track and the lap times started to come down. When it came time to qualify the two drivers split the session bringing back a qualifying time of 58:05 placing the Viper in 13th place. On the other side of the track was the IMSA Lites qualifying where Feinberg would settle for P2 for the start of the Saturday double header.
On race day the team was looking at a 30 minute IMSA Lites race, a 2 hours and 45 minute ALMS race, and then another 30 minute IMSA Lites race all driven by team owner Joel Feinberg with Chris Hall assisting in the Viper.
At 10:45 the first Lites race took the green flag where Feinberg would clinch his fourth podium of the season taking a second place finish to Jonathan Goring. At 2:05 the Viper took the green flag for what would be another interesting day for the snake bit team. After 40 minutes of working up the field of GT cars, ducking and diving from LMP cars, and moving into 9th place Feinberg found himself backwards in the wall at the bottom of the downhill after an incident with another GT car.
Feinberg was able to get the car back to the pit but the damage was too severe to continue and the team would head back to their garage to assess the damage. After pulling off the bodywork it showed a bend in the rear of the chassis nearly 8 inches out of place. In less than thirty minutes the dedicated team had the wounded car riveted, tie wrapped and back on track. Chris Hall would take over the helm for the remaining 1 hour and 20 minutes where he would try regaining their position as well as collect some champion points for the team.
"This was by far the most challenging race track I have raced in my career", said co-driver Chris Hall. "The challenge was keeping the car on the track - it was very slippery. What we thought to be a retired race for Primetime resulted in a solid finish".
At 5:20 Feinberg was back in his #7 Elan DP-02 looking for another visit to the podium. Starting in P2 Feinberg got the jump at the start and slid into first ahead of Jonathan Goring and the two racers would then trade positions two more times throughout the 30 minute race. With one lap to go Feinberg was closing the gap and putting the pressure on Goring causing him to make a questionable pass into turn seven in lap traffic resulting in a three car pileup leaving Feinberg no way through the chicane other than to use the alternate "bailout" route of the old uphill and taking the checkered in first place.
"We had a great week as a team working hard to get pack into the points running" said team owner and driver Joel Feinberg. "It was great to be back on track and continue the development of our program. Our partnership with Hankook Tire just keeps getting better and better as we develop a proper tire for our Viper. Every race we run we find something positive to take to the next and Hankook has been a true partner allowing us the latitude to grow our product with them. I expect by the end of the season we will have a final version of our race tire to make a strong push in 09. At the end of a long and hard day the team would find overall satisfaction with their two podium finishes, (one of which was Feinbergs first win) and a points earning top ten in the ALMS GT2 field.
Instead of celebrating their success of the weekend, the team stayed at the track working until 11pm getting their Viper back into race prep condition in time for next week's Acura Sports Car Challenge on Saturday at Mid Ohio.