ELKHART LAKE, Wis. (August 22, 2000) - Brian Simo turned in another strong performance in the ...
ELKHART LAKE, Wis. (August 22, 2000) - Brian Simo turned in another strong performance in the #88 Huffaker/Qvale Motorsports Tommy Bahama Qvale Mangusta at this past weekend's BFGoodrich Tires Trans-Am Series race, part of the Motorola 220 weekend. In addition, Huffaker/Qvale president Bruce Qvale recovered from a disappointing qualifying to climb to a respectable top ten finish in the final boxscore in the second Qvale Mangusta. Though Simo's race didn't end as well as it started - a mechanical problem sent him to the pits early, and he lost a lap before repairs could be completed - he still managed to set the fastest race lap. On the strength of three previous wins and two other podium finishes, Simo comes out of a difficult weekend still a strong second in season points.
"What can I say, we had a mechanical problem that won't happen again," said Simo after the event that saw a season-high 41 cars take the green flag. "We got it fixed, and we were the fastest car out there once again, but we didn't score many points. We'll just have to move on to the next round."
Qvale, despite never having logged many laps at the 4.0-mile, 14-Turn circuit that winds through the Kettle Moraine started 20th but managed to carve his way up to a solid seventh-placed finish. "We had a good run," smiled Qvale, who will contest one or two more rounds of the series in between commitments to launching the Qvale Mangusta street car, which is being manufactured in Italy.
"The front anti-roll bar linkage failed, and Brian went off course," explained Huffaker/Qvale vice president and technical director Joe Huffaker. "By the time Brian got back on course and to the pits for what we thought then was a flat tire, he'd just barely dropped a lap, which cost us a run for the front. On the red flag, we brought him in again and traced the problem to the sway bar. At the restart, we quickly fixed that, and he went out to run the fastest race lap and score a 20th place finish. This team can handle anything, and I'm sure we'll bounce right back at the next race. This championship is certainly not over yet."
Next up is The Grand Prix of Texas, on Sunday, September 3. Simo comes into that race trailing season points leader Paul Gentilozzi by 14 markers, 192 to 178. Telecast of the Road America race will be on the Speedvision Network, beginning at 8:00 pm EDT on Saturday, August 26. The rebroadcast will be at 12:00 pm EDT on Friday, September 1, also on Speedvision.