Canney Takes Podium at Road America in GT-1 Corvette Elkhart Lake, WI (23 June, 2008)--Mike Canney made the most of a weekend off from Grand-Am KONI Challenge competition as he returned to the cockpit of his Rocketsports-built Corvette GT-1...
Canney Takes Podium at Road America in GT-1 Corvette
Elkhart Lake, WI (23 June, 2008)--Mike Canney made the most of a weekend off from Grand-Am KONI Challenge competition as he returned to the cockpit of his Rocketsports-built Corvette GT-1 racecar for the Chicago SCCA Region's June Sprints at Road America. Fresh off a KONI Challenge podium at Mosport International Raceway, Canney notched his personal best times on the four mile circuit as he raced to a third place finish at the end of the sixty-mile event.
While Canney and crew chief Quinn Conda were tempted to utilize their largest powerplant for the race, the two strategized that with the extended race distance, using a smaller motor and lower race weight would give them a faster car for the finish. After starting from seventh on the nearly thirty-car grid, Canney moved forward through the field, saving his tires and brakes for a late race charge to the front.
Their smaller motor and the long straightaways of the 4 mile long Road America course initially gave an advantage to the heavier and more powerful cars. But, after a couple laps, it was obvious that Canney and Conda had made the right call, as their lighter car could overtake competitors entering each turn, cutting a tighter inside line to force the heavier cars into taking a defensive line and costing them exit speed. As the gap with each car closed, the #76 Sunset Hills Vineyard Corvette would draft down the long straights and look for an opportunity to pop out for a late braking move.
"My favorite move of the race, was very closely drafting behind a competitor down the front straight, then popping out at 175mph to late brake into turn 1 and make the pass stick. It was a classic move, and I was glad he gave me racing room when he saw I was there. I also benefitted later in the race with a quick point-by by Amy Ruman when she discovered her car had a handling issue, which I thought was a class act".
"When I first came here a couple of years ago, I felt fortunate to be on the same lap as the leaders at the end of the race! It is very gratifying to be on the podium in 2008 with national-championship guys like Cliff Ebbens and Phil Simms," said Canney. "Although this is the last race for me in the Corvette this year, I am looking forward to racing all the GT1 competitors when the runoffs come to Road America next year."
Next up for Canney will be returning to Koni Challenge racing when he competes July 3-5 as part of the IndyCar Series weekend at Watkins Glen, in the #60 car with co-driver Hugh Plumb. Currently the duo are in 3rd place in the points for the driver championship, with their team in 2nd place in team points.