The SpeedSource team maintained their recent success by winning the third race of the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16 schedule at Barber Motorsports Park. The pair of Emil Assentato and Jeff Segal earned their second win of the season in the #69 FXDD Mazda RX-8; now having won four of the last seven races. Grabbing the third podium spot, further adding to the team’s success, were Sylvain Tremblay and Jonathan Bomarito in the #70 Castrol Syntec Mazda RX-8. Finishing out the Top 5 in GT was the third SpeedSource team car with Mazda ladder drivers Adam Christodoulou and John Edwards in the #68 MAZDASPEED Motorsports Development Mazda RX-8.
After the GT qualifying session was cut short to just a 3-lap run, Emil Assentato put the #69 FXDD Mazda RX-8 in the 6th position for the starting grid. Excellent early driving from Assentato kept the #69 running in the lead GT pack setting up an ideal pit stop to put co-driver Jeff Segal in for the race’s conclusion. Outstanding tire management from Segal allowed him to maintain the necessary pace needed to make the final pit stop. A great call from team strategist Gerry Green brought the car into the pits right before a caution was called on-track. This late race decision proved to be the advantage as Segal was able to hold on for the GT Class win.
“I’m really proud of all of my guys and their hard work,” recalled #69 crew chief Marty Kintzi. “Both drivers drove great stints and that really set us up for the win.”
Jonathan Bomarito captured his first Rolex Sports Car Series pole position in the #70 Castrol Syntec Mazda RX-8. By starting from the front row, Bomarito quickly put a gap on the rest of the GT field before settling into a race rhythm. The benefit of the lead showed when it was time for Sylvain Tremblay to get in for his stint. Because of tire wear concerns, it was clear to the team that they would have to run a three-stop strategy to maintain the race pace. The team elected to pit again during Tremblay’s closing stint to put fresh tires on, allowing him to make his way back to the front of the GT class. Tremblay brought the car home in third position, trailing the P2 Mazda by just one second.
Further strengthening the SpeedSource presence at Barber Motorsports Park was the #68 MAZDASPEED Motorsports Development Mazda RX-8. Adam Christodoulou made his first Rolex Series qualifying run and was able to start the car from the 5th grid position for the race. This momentum carried into the first 1.5 hours of the race as Christodoulou maintained a strong pace to challenge for the top spot in GT. Co-driver John Edwards got into the car for his closing stint on lap 52 of the race’s 103. Edwards quickly climbed his way up the GT standings, leading for five laps as the class leaders cycled through their pit stops. The crew pitted Edwards with 30 minutes remaining for fresh tires and the added pace allowed him to overtake for a 5th place finish in the duos second race together.
Team owner and driver Sylvain Tremblay: “This is a great showing by the entire SpeedSource crew. To put our three cars in the Top 5 and having all the SpeedSource built Mazda’s doing this well is truly exciting.”
The team heads to Virginia International Raceway for the Bosch Engineering 250 on April 24th. Follow the race live on SPEED, 12PM EST.
EVENT IMAGE GALLERIES:
BARBER MOTORSPORT 2010 - GALLERY 1
BARBER MOTORSPORT 2010 - GALLERY 2
On any given weekend, there are more Mazda's on the road-race tracks of America than any other brand of vehicle. At the track, you'll see MX-5 Miata, RX-8, MAZDA3, MAZDA6, RX-7 and other vintage Mazda models competing, because every Mazda has the soul of a sports car. In fact, the fastest growing road-racing class in the U.S. is the SCCA's Spec Miata class, with nearly 1,500 first- and second-generation Miata's tearing up America's racetracks, making it the most-raced production car in the world. Mazda's involvement in motorsports extends to its relationship with Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, one of the world's premier road-racing circuits, and the Skip Barber Schools for driving and racing.
Headquartered in Irvine, Calif., Mazda North American Operations oversees the sales, marketing, parts and customer service support of Mazda vehicles in the United States, Canada and Mexico through nearly 900 dealers. Operations in Canada are managed by Mazda Canada, Inc., located in Ontario, Canada, and in Mexico by Mazda Motor de Mexico in Mexico City.