March 31, 2012 - SpeedSource was back in black for Saturday’s race at Barber Motorsports Park. The weekend marked a return to the iconic matte black paint scheme for the #70 Castrol Edge Mazda RX-8 and the classic livery was warmly received through the paddock. On track, the return to racing since January’s Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona was equally welcomed and the #70 Castrol Edge Mazda RX-8 driven by Sylvain Tremblay and Jonathan Bomarito cruised to victory in GT. The result brings Mazda its first victory for the 2012 season in just the second race of the Championship.
The SpeedSource crew knew early on in the weekend that the #70 Castrol Edge Mazda RX-8 was excellent in preserving tires for long extended runs. This key trait would be pivotal for race day so the team elected to conserve their allotment of Continental tires. Sylvain Tremblay started the car from 8th on the grid and steadily followed the lead pack of cars in GT.
During the race’s second caution period, the #70 Castrol Edge Mazda RX-8 was able to take the lead in GT. Great race strategy and a quick pit stop allowed Jonathan Bomarito to beat the rest of the field out of pit lane, effectively ‘leapfrog’ing’ the competition into first place.
“I was really just trying to drive smart and manage my tires,” recalled Tremblay. “The #70 Castrol Edge Mazda RX-8 was really consistent over the entire stint and I just had to wait for the call to pit.”
Bomarito would continue to push the pace and extend his mid-race lead. As teams approached their final fuel windows and pit stops began to cycle, the SpeedSource crew once again rose to the challenge. The #70 Castrol Edge Mazda RX-8 pitted for four tires and fuel yet maintained its race lead. A last-minute yellow by GRAND-AM would create some drama and stack up the GT field for a 3 lap shootout; however, opportune track position actually meant that the #70 Mazda would get a free 9/10th of a lap on the field. Bomarito was finally able to breathe easy as he coasted the #70 Castrol Edge Mazda RX-8 across the finish line in first place.
After the race, Bomarito recalled “the guys did an amazing job today. They really had to make some good calls for us to have any chance of winning this weekend and they did! Hats off to everyone involved.”
“Having Castrol back is huge for us, but the added support from ModSpace allowed us to be at the level that we know this team can operate at consistently. This win is all the crew, with great pit stops and flawless strategy; we truly beat much faster cars because of this fantastic team. Thank you Castrol, ModSpace and Mazda for being the best at what they do” Tremblay said after the checker.
The third race of the Rolex Sports Car Series schedule will bring SpeedSource to its home track of Homestead-Miami Speedway. Follow the action live on SPEED April 29th, 1 PM EST.
Porsche 250, 2012 - RACE GALLERY