June 2, 2012 Detroit - The GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series rolled into the Motor City for Round 5 of the 2012 season. For the first time in series history, GRAND-AM would race at the historic Belle Isle Park converted street-course in downtown Detroit, MI. Anxious to carry momentum from a strong NJMP showing, the crew of the #70 Castrol Edge Modspace Mazda RX-8 was ready to take on the challenge of a fresh racetrack.
Friday morning greeted the teams with heavy rain. Belle Isle Park challenged all the Rolex Series competitors with rough road surfaces and localized flooding from the heavy rainfall. All teams had to endure the terrible track conditions as well as very limited test time during the A.M. session. Upon exiting pit lane, the #70 Castrol Edge Modspace Mazda RX-8 encountered a large puddle of standing water which stalled the car. Upon re-firing the engine, water ingested through the intake tract hydro-locked the engine forcing the team back to the paddock for a swap. “I’ve never seen anything like that before,” commented David Haskell, Team Technical Director; “there was so much water out there that we actually had a puddle within our air box!”
The crew worked methodically to replace all components in time for the afternoon’s qualifying session. Sylvain Tremblay was tasked with qualifying after having only 5 laps of experience around the track. For the veteran driver the limited seat time was a non-issue as he put the #70 Castrol Edge Modspace Mazda RX-8 was 8th on the grid.
Later that evening, Sylvain Tremblay and Jonathan Bomarito joined John Doonan, Director of MAZDASPEED Motorsports in introducing the new SKYACTIV-D clean diesel engine to compete in the 2013 GRAND-AM GX Class for advanced/clean technologies. More information on this can be read at www.mazdausamedia.com
Race Day kicked off with lingering buzz surrounding the announcement of the Motorsports SKYACTIV-D clean diesel engine. The crew made last minute balance changes up until race start to improve the nimble RX-8 chassis. As the green flag waved, Sylvain Tremblay quickly zoomed the #70 Castrol Edge Modspace Mazda RX-8 up four positions, into P4. As has been typical all season, a blazingly fast first pit stop propelled the #70 Castrol Edge Modspace Mazda RX-8 to the front of GT with Jonathan Bomarito behind the wheel. The hour marker passed quickly as SpeedSource held its ground at P2. Anticipation in the pit lane grew as cautions rolled out and weather conditions seemed to shift by the minute, but the SpeedSource team was able to stay focused. By the end of the 2-hour long sprint race, the #70 Castrol Edge Modspace Mazda RX-8 took the checkered flag in second place. The strong finish helps SpeedSource and Mazda build its strength in the Championship standings.
After celebrating, the team quickly packed up and prepped for the next race on Saturday June 9th. Cheer on the team as they continue to battle for the Championship title at Mid-Ohio. Live broadcast will be on SPEED 4:30PM ET.
Detroit 2012 - RACE GALLERY