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SpeedSource FXDD Mazda RX-8 Victorious at The Glen
Submitted by Berny Herrera on Monday, August 17, 2009 - 3:06pm

08/10/2009 - The SpeedSource team returned to the historic Watkins Glen International track to run a 2-hour sprint race on the short course. With only 4 races remaining in the season, the #70 SpeedSource Castrol Syntec Mazda RX-8 looked to gain valuable points in the GT Class Championship alongside team car #69 SpeedSource FXDD Mazda RX-8. The shortened race format demanded absolute perfection and concentration from all competitors as heavy race traffic and shortened pit windows complicated the normal racing procedures that crews were used to. As night fell over Watkins Glen, the duo of Emil Assentato and Jeff Segal took the GT Class win in the #69 SpeedSource FXDD Mazda RX-8.

Emil Assentato qualified the FXDD Mazda RX-8 to start the race from the 6th position. While battling with other GT cars early in the race, Emil managed the first stint of the race flawlessly by keeping his racecar free of trouble. The team seized the opportunity to put Jeff Segal in the car with fresh tires and fuel during the second caution period of the race.
After taking over driving duties for the #69 RX-8, Segal concentrated on bringing his car to the finish line. Segal drove his way to the front of the pack in GT before the final pit stop period. An excellent stop by the #69 crew gave Segal the advantage leaving the pits and set him up to challenge for the lead in GT. During the final moments of the race, Jeff overtook the #87 Porsche for the lead and held off any attempts of relinquishing the lead. This victory brings the #69 SpeedSource FXDD Mazda RX-8 to sixth in the points.

"I am extremely happy for the #69 FXDD car and the entire SpeedSource crew," team owner Sylvain Tremblay rejoiced. "The guys work hard to prepare two competitive cars and today's performance shows the results of that labor and dedication."

Nick Ham started the race in the #70 SpeedSource Castrol Syntec Mazda RX-8 from 8th on the grid but quickly managed to bring the car into contention for the GT lead. An early caution period stretched Nick's opening stint, allowing him to concentrate on settling into a driving rhythm.

The #70 Mazda RX-8 took the lead in GT before the midway point of the race, however, contact with another car sent the #70 car spinning out of contention and losing valuable championship momentum. Sylvain Tremblay managed to bring the car to the race end in 8th place, salvaging as many points as possible. "I'm bitterly disappointed for the #70 Castrol Syntec Mazda RX-8. We finally hit on the right set up for the race and were in perfect position for a podium and probably a win when we were taken out of contention by another driver's error," Nick Ham stated.

The SpeedSource team heads across the border to Montreal to race on the popular Circuit Gilles Villeneuve venue. The race will be televised on SPEED, August 29 at 2PM.


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The Rolex Series
August 21, 2009 - 11:21am
If you watched last season. You probably remember that the series' legislators limited the Rx8's rpms to 8600, a handicap that didn't allow them to catch as fast on the straightaways. SpeedSource struggled to keep up after that change. In slow traffic and the twisty parts of the tracks the Porches and Pontiacs were faster out of corners, but no handicap there. Every time Mazda got ahead the Porches and Pontiacs caught in the twisties. But SpeedSource took it like water under the bridge, in stride.

This year, SpeedSource's hard work on the car's geometry/handling during the off time proved to be a success all season. What holds them back is the pit stop strategy and unforeseen accidents.
They've made a tremendous come back compared to last year, because they've improved significantly all around, even their pit stop strategy. They may or may not win but they sure have the potential to.

It seems like they have the golden ticket to Willie Wonka's Chocolate factory though.

On a personal note for Sylvain (team owner and driver), he lost his wife in death just before the first race of the season and has yet to loose focus together with teammate the Hamster.
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