Ron White Overcomes Adversity to Score a 7th Place in Utah May 26, 2007 -- Team G.FRO's Star Mazda Series line-up was limited to a one-car team for Ron White since regular teammate Tyson Sy, 19, of the Philippines, was still recovering from a...
Ron White Overcomes Adversity to Score a 7th Place in Utah
May 26, 2007 -- Team G.FRO's Star Mazda Series line-up was limited to a one-car team for Ron White since regular teammate Tyson Sy, 19, of the Philippines, was still recovering from a concussion he suffered in a racing incident during the previous race at Virginia International Raceway. However, White flew the Team G.FRO flag well at Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, Utah, site of Round 4 of the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear.
Piloting his #69 Team G.FRO/RC-20/Adtech Star Mazda racecar, White was at or near the top of the timesheets throughout each practice session leading up to Friday afternoon's qualifying session.
"Practice felt pretty good," White said. "We were seven-tenths quicker than second place, and we definitely have some more left, so we still gotta keep working at it and go out and put it on the pole and try to win this thing."
Both White and Team G.FRO felt they had an excellent shot at a pole position however a rear tire grew disproportionately, throwing the handling of his car off just enough to be relegated to eighth on the starting grid.
Throughout the weekend at Miller Motorsports Park, the track's conditions would be one of the biggest variables teams and drivers would have to deal with and for Saturday's fifteen lap race, the track's grip level would once again play a big factor.
"The car was so hard to drive in the race," explained White of Santa Clara, Calif. "The track was completely different than any other session throughout the whole week, but the car was fast!"
An uncharacteristically poor start dropped White back to 14th place after the first lap but the former race-winner fought back and by lap five had moved into 7th position and caught sixth place Dane Cameron. Entering a high speed section of the 24-turn, 4.5 mile track, White ran too close to Cameron, lost just enough downforce off his rear wing to cause him to spin his #69 machine and fell back to 12th position.
The remaining laps once again saw White lead his G.FRO machine back through the field, pulling off remarkable passes and clicking off laps that helped him catch the lead back by up to two seconds a lap. A last-lap pass on Russell Walker for 7th place completed the come-back for White and Team G.FRO.
"I was proud of Ron and the entire G.FRO crew this weekend," said Team G.FRO Owner/Team Manager Geoff Fickling. "It would have been easy to get frustrated and give up after his spin, but Ron put his head down and maximized our result. Its finishes like this that make a difference at the end of the season--as bitter-sweet as it is, considering our pace was so strong all week long."
White slipped to 6th in the overall Star Mazda Points Standings, however its still very close as only a few points separate the top contenders.
Next up for Team G.FRO and the Star Mazda Championship is Round Five at Portland International Raceway in support of the Champcar World Series on June 8-9. White's teammate Tyson Sy is scheduled to return to the Team G.FRO team at Portland in his #68 Team G.FRO/Popsy/Petron Star Mazda for the remainder of the season after being forced to miss Round Four due to the post-effects of his concussion at VIR.
-credit: Team G.FRO