Sugar Hill, Ga (August 10, 2003) - Following Round Six at Mid-Ohio, the SpeedSport team planned to be making their way across the Midwest towards Wisconsin for the next round of Touring Car racing at Road America, but they will now be going by...
Sugar Hill, Ga (August 10, 2003) - Following Round Six at Mid-Ohio, the SpeedSport team planned to be making their way across the Midwest towards Wisconsin for the next round of Touring Car racing at Road America, but they will now be going by way of their home base in Sugar Hill, Georgia to do some serious work on their Mazda Proteges. The team is satisfied with their results as Roger Foo did some customizing to the bodywork of his #88 Protege during the weekend enroute to a ninth place race finish for another Top-Ten while Robert Baxter was able to salvage a seventeenth place finish in his #86 Protege which was suffering from dire mechanical problems during the race.
Foo fell back one spot in the Touring Car championship to fourth with 112 points to tie with Turner and one point behind third place Dobson. Roger's Top-Ten finish keeps SpeedSport the top Mazda Protege team at this point in the season.
ROGER FOO - No. 88 MAZDA PROTEGE (Finish: 9th / Qualify: 14th):
"I was just a passenger a couple of times this weekend. Once at Turn 11 during the test day and a big one at Turn 15 four laps into qualifying on Saturday. I don't particularly have a good handle on Mid-Ohio yet, but thought I had a good line through Thunder Valley. Unfortunately I went over the crest and over the berm and into the wall. It will probably be a qualifying highlight - maybe the bloopers of the weekend or something like that when the race is shown on Speed. It seemed like it was just skim along the wall and not a hard hit, but it broke the rear suspension including a control arm, a shock and displaced the crossmember. It also bent one of the BBS wheels and did some body damage."
"The race was pretty good and I got a great start with the ACT clutch. Going into the hard braking area in Turn 2 on the first lap, the Cobalt Friction brake pads in the Protege worked wonders as I saw a lot of tire smoke with drivers locking up the brakes in their cars. I didn't have that problem and was able to make up some ground from my starting position further back in the field. The field spread out pretty quickly and I was holding my own when people started making mistakes ahead of me which allowed me to get ahead a little bit. I came away with another good finish and now we look forward to Road America where a Protege won last year so we are hoping for good things."
ROBERT BAXTER - No. 86 MAZDA PROTEGE (Finish: 17th / Qualify: 19th):
"Qualifying was in wet and dry track conditions so it was kind of iffy out there. We went out on a dry set-up and were running in the Top-Ten until the last couple of when we got shuffled back by some of the guys who went out the last few laps. I knew I didn't qualify the Mazda that well, but I knew the track would be dry and was hoping for a Top-Ten which would have been possible."
"I am getting a better handle on the starts this year and got another good one here. From there I was moving up. Thankfully I avoided a couple of big accidents that put a couple of the good cars out of the race. About thirteen laps into the race the brakes went almost completely out. Basically the right front wheel bearing went and heated up the axle in the area of the CV boot. Once everything got nice and hot, the grease leaked out all over the suspension and onto the brakes. Add in the slop in the right front wheel which was wobbling around and slapping the brake pads back and forth in the Stoptech calipers, and it was all I could do to hang on. I had moved up to about fourteenth by that point, but with the wheel bearing failure I was in damage control mode and was very fortunate to be able to last the race to get a seventeenth place finish."
SpeedSport next travels to Road America in Elkhart Lake, WI for Round Seven the weekend of August 22-23 to run in conjunction with the American Le Mans Series.