Mechanical Problems Affect Team MGR Racing-WOT Performance at Thunderhill Raceway WILLOWS, Calif. (July 15, 2007) -- Team MGR Racing-WOT Performance made its first stop of 2007 in Northern California over the weekend, joining the rest of the...
Mechanical Problems Affect Team MGR Racing-WOT Performance at Thunderhill Raceway
WILLOWS, Calif. (July 15, 2007) -- Team MGR Racing-WOT Performance made its first stop of 2007 in Northern California over the weekend, joining the rest of the ASC Racing teams at the Sports Car Club of America's San Francisco Region for their Sizzling Summer Regional event at Thunderhill Raceway.
Right from the beginning of Friday's test sessions, the #27 WOT Performance Ford Taurus driven by Manuel Gil del Real and prepared by Pete Andreas was on top of the time sheets around the 2.9 mile road course in Willows, California. However, during Saturday's qualifying session, Gil del Real couldn't quite find the clear track that he needed to set a fast time and found himself relegated to a 12th place start. "It is really frustrating how some drivers still think that they are supposed to race each other during qualifying. I was behind two GT-1 cars for two laps and the two guys would just not look at their mirrors," said Gil del Real clearly upset about the situation.
Unfortunately, due to the large car counts in the San Francisco Region, qualifying was the only event held on Saturday, and both races to be contested on Sunday would pre-grid based on Saturday's qualifying results. At the start of the first race, Gil del Real moved quickly from the sixth row all the way to the top five. Just before entering turn 1, Carl Stein in the GT-1 #88 car overshot his braking and slid over making contact with the #27 Ford and sending Gil del Real into a slow spin. For a moment it looked like the WOT Performance car would recover from it, but Fred Lind, also competing in the ASC-U group, while trying to avoid Gil del Real's now sideways car, made slight contact to his left rear to accelerate his spin. Gil del Real fell back to last place in the 23-car field. He worked himself up to 14th with body panels flapping on his left side creating a bad push condition. However, the damage from the accident finally forced him to retire his car from the event on lap seven.
"Manuel made a great start... he had a pole car and naturally, he wanted to get up front as soon as possible... and it worked until the GT-1 car ran into us. Despite all our body damage after that, our #27 Ford still set the fast lap of 1:56.04, quicker than all other ASC competitors so we know we have something positive to look forward to for the second race today," said Pete Andreas after the first race.
With only three hours to repair the car, Andreas wasted no time to get started. The entire left side of the car had to be repaired and re-attached to the car, along with the front bumper and radiator airbox. Still, the car was back in race ready condition in just a couple of hours proving WOT Performance's experience in race car fabrication.
In a replay from the earlier race, the afternoon event again had Gil del Real starting from the sixth row. But this time he was more patient and decided to let the field sort out itself through the first corner rather repeating the earlier scene. From twelfth place, the WOT Performance Ford started carving through the field lap after lap. Stein, D. Arnheiter, Ochylski, Hartman, Glowniak,... all saw their mirrors filled by the Ford Taurus only to see it go by with not much to do about it.
Now running in 5th place overall, Gil del Real had his eyes set on the #25 of Michael Arnheiter who was now within striking distance... but this wasn't a weekend meant to be easy on the Phoenix based team. "All of a sudden, the car developed a nasty drivetrain vibration under acceleration... I radioed Pete to let him know about it and shortly after my oil pressure gauge read zero! I had no choice but to coast back to the pits to avoid further engine damage," said Gil del Real. Once again, Gil del Real scored the fast lap of all the ASC entrants while unable to finish the race.
Team MGR Racing - WOT Performance will now prepare for round five of the ASC Racing season at Buttonwillow Raceway Park on September 1-2, 2007.