Kenney Battles to Ninth at Lime Rock Park Sterling, Virginia (August 17, 2008) -- The 2008 VW Jetta TDI Cup Series reached the season's mid-way point on Saturday, 16th August, with Connecticut's scenic Lime Rock Park hosting Round 4 and ...
Kenney Battles to Ninth at Lime Rock Park
Sterling, Virginia (August 17, 2008) -- The 2008 VW Jetta TDI Cup Series reached the season's mid-way point on Saturday, 16th August, with Connecticut's scenic Lime Rock Park hosting Round 4 and an under-the-weather Liam Kenney.
The 16-year-old Virginia racer arrived at the 1.53-mile track sitting third overall in the points, following a second-place podium finish last month in Portland, but his Lime Rock campaign, where he finished ninth in the race, was blighted all weekend by a flu-like virus.
Friday's qualifying session saw Kenney charged with fighting both his illness and tire wear, the session eventually being cut short so the series officials could examine the issue. Liam's best lap, a 1m00.598s, placed him down in 17th while pole position went to Michael DeNino with a hot tour of 59.977s -- the only driver to break the one-minute barrier.
Saturday's 25-lap race was won by Chris Castagna, the Boston-resident becoming the fourth different winner in four races this season. He was joined on the podium by previous race winners, Mark Pombo (Round 1), in second and Josh Hurley (Round 3) in third. Liam raced from seventeenth to ninth at the checkered scoring his third straight top-ten finish following a tenth in Round 2 at Mosport in May and his second place effort last time out in Portland.
"Qualifying on Friday was a little crazy as we had an issue with tires shredding pretty quickly," Kenney reflected. "Taking seventeenth on the grid wasn't exactly a highlight of the weekend but I knew what we had to do to make some gains come race day. Once again it was a fairly frantic race but I made a good start then took the opportunities to pass for position when they came. Lime Rock's a really tight track so there was never going to be a ton of overtaking opportunities but I made the most of them when they presented themselves.
"When you have thirty identically prepared VW Jetta TDI's racing out on track it's always going to be close. When you put us all out on a short track like Lime Rock I think it's amplified just how tight the racing is and how difficult it is to make a move on someone. It was a pretty entertaining race though and once again we were all battling hard from start to finish. I'd obviously hoped for more from the weekend but it was what it was and now I'm concentrating on the next event. Ninth place is a solid finish; it's my third straight top-ten so hopefully I'm still up there in the points with half the season remaining."
The 2008 VW Jetta TDI Cup Series enjoys a short-break before heading to Iowa Speedway, in Newton, Iowa, for Round 5, Friday 19th -- Saturday 20th September -- www.iowaspeedway.com