TruSpeed Makes its Presence Known at Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach The second World Challenge event puts TruSpeed near top in point standings COSTA MESA, Calif., April 27 - With three Porsches competing on the track and a large exhibit in the...
TruSpeed Makes its Presence Known at Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach
The second World Challenge event puts TruSpeed near top in point standings
COSTA MESA, Calif., April 27 - With three Porsches competing on the track and a large exhibit in the Convention Center, TruSpeed Motorsports made its mark at the recent Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.
The Costa Mesa, Calif.-based company, the largest independent Porsche dealer in the United States, used its home race to visit with fans while showcasing the cars and services it provides. The annual event, which attracts more than 200,000 fans, is the longest-running major street race in North America.
Enthusiasts who weren't able to attend the event can watch TruSpeed Motorsports' three Porsches in action on TV this coming Saturday, May 1, as VERSUS will air its coverage of the Long Beach SCCA World Challenge race at 4:30 p.m. Eastern time.
TruSpeed driver Rob Morgan of Ladera Ranch, Calif. finished eighth in the 36-car field in a Porsche 911 GT3 sponsored by TruSpeed and NADA Guides. His father, Charles Morgan of Dallas, placed 13th in a 2010 Porsche GT3 that carries the colors of PrivacyStar, a privacy solution for Blackberries. Patrick Lindsey of Santa Barbara, Calif. was as high as seventh in another Porsche GT3, but finished 28th after a wheel bearing broke on his car. Lindsey's car was showcasing Horton Autosport, Sloan Securities and TruSpeed.
Pat Lindsey and Rob Morgan had nearly identical qualifying times, with Lindsey earning the 12th starting spot to Morgan's 13th by only 0.007 of a second. Their average speeds were over 81 miles per hour for the unforgiving 1.968-mile, 11-turn temporary street course. Charles Morgan qualified 20th with an average speed that exceeded 79 miles per hour. Having a good standing start in the World Challenge race was critical, and all three TruSpeed drivers got off the line well.
Lindsey blasted from 12th to seventh before lap one was completed. His wheel bearing broke with 19 laps complete in the 29-lap event. Lindsey made it to the pits and after repairs were made he went back out to salvage some points until he concluded only the second street race of his career.
"It was the right-rear wheel bearing," Lindsey explained after the race. "When it broke it killed the sensor and locked the other wheel too. The car felt like it had a square right-rear tire, and at first I thought I had a flat so I came to pit road. After we figured out what had happened and fixed it I went out to make some laps for points, but my day was done. Before that I had good battles with Jeff Courtney, Ron Fellows and Randy Pobst. The highlight of my race was getting Ron Fellows at the start though. That was my first race ever against him. He's one of my heroes, so getting to race against him was phenomenal."
Rob Morgan's run may have been less flashy but he had better results. He remained in the same spot he started, 13th, for the first six laps, but then passed Steve Ott for 12th and Jason Daskalos for 11th. He moved into the top 10 on the tenth lap when Andy Pilgrim fell back. Morgan stayed in tenth for the next 10 laps, trying to catch Pobst while simultaneously holding off Tony Gaples. He got ninth when Lindsey pitted, and then advanced one more spot when Fellows' race came to an end with just two laps to go.
"We struggled with rear grip all weekend," Rob Morgan said later. "We were a little fooled with a fast first practice session. We made a big change to our shocks before the race that helped a little bit, but we couldn't get on the power the way we wanted to today. We'll figure it out soon enough."
Charles Morgan wisely let things settle down after the standing start, as he stayed in 20th position until he started to move up with six laps in the books. He passed Fred Roberts first but his best battle was with Nick Mancuso. He got around Mancuso's Aston Martin on lap 12. The next segment of his race was spent trying to catch William Ziegler while holding off Tomy Drissi's Ford Mustang. He advanced a position when Lindsey pitted to move into 14th and all three advanced one more spot when Fellows dropped out at the end.
"I had a good start," he said. "A Nissan saw me coming and chopped me at the start, but other than that it was just normal racing stuff. We made a lot of changes after qualifying and the car was better in the race than it had been all weekend."
After Long Beach, Rob Morgan has moved up from eighth to sixth in the point standings. Lindsey is 11th and Charles Morgan is 12th going into the next event, which is a doubleheader at Mosport International Raceway in Bowmanville, Ontario May 21-23.