New Jersey Motorsports Park (07/19/2010) - The SpeedSource team claimed the first-ever Rolex Sports Car Series podium sweep during this weekend’s New Jersey Motorsports Park 250 presented by Crown Royal. Leading the pack and earning the GT-Class win were co-drivers Jonathan Bomarito and Sylvain Tremblay in the #70 Castrol Syntec Mazda RX-8. Following close behind and securing second and third was the #68 Mazdaspeed Motorsports Development Mazda RX-8 and the #69 FXDD Mazda RX-8, respectively.
The teams and drivers had to endure scorching hot temperatures throughout the entire race weekend. With highs in upwards of 90 F, and on-track temperatures exceeding 140 F, managing the race and its conditions was critical.
Jonathan Bomarito qualified the #70 Castrol Syntec Mazda RX-8 in fourth position for the start of Sunday’s race. Understanding the importance of having a fresh driver, the #70 crew opted to employ a two driver-change race strategy. Bomarito settled into a steady pace at the start of the race in order to preserve his tires and car. It was evident as the race progressed that the Mazda RX-8 chassis was less aggressive on the Pirelli P-Zero tires. As competitors began to slow, the SpeedSource Mazda RX-8’s remained consistent. Team owner Sylvain Tremblay took over driving duties 45 minutes into the race and continued the push towards the front. By the time Bomarito reentered the car for the race’s last 50 minutes the #70 Castrol Syntec Mazda RX-8 was in position to take the GT win.
John Edwards started the #68 Mazdaspeed Motorsports Development Mazda RX-8 from fifth position. Edwards drove the first hour of the race knowing that the #68 crew would be running a two driver-change race strategy. Co-driver Adam Christodoulou took controls of the #68 Mazda 44 laps into the race in prime position. However, the duos advantage would be short-lived as incidental contact with the #07 would force Christodoulou into the pits for a drive-thru penalty. The team quickly re-grouped and shifted their strategy to regain track position. Edwards closed the race on new tires to surge to a 2nd place finish.
Rounding out the SpeedSource sweep were Emil Assentato and Jeff Segal in the #69 FXDD Mazda RX-8. The current GT Class points leaders continued their race brilliance with a strong running at NJMP. Emil Assentato endured the summer heat and started the race’s first hour. Assentato gained several spots during his stint. Co-driver Jeff Segal took control of the #69 FXDD Mazda RX-8 with 1.5 hours to go. Through pure determination and will-power Segal, who had been fighting off stomach flu throughout the weekend, endured his extended stint in the car. The points leader steadily piloted his Mazda RX-8 to a solid third place finish.
The 2010 season has been a testament to the level of preparation from the entire SpeedSource crew. This latest result secures the first ever GT-Class podium sweep by a single team in the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series. “I am extremely proud of all the guys involved with this result,” exclaimed team owner Sylvain Tremblay. “This is a great result for Mazda, for our sponsors, and for the team.”
SpeedSource heads back to Watkins Glen International to run the short course in two weeks. Catch the action on SPEED, August 7th at 6pm.
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