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SpeedSource Thrives Under Pressure
Submitted by Dan Mazzella on Wednesday, May 4, 2005 - 9:32am

The weekend started off with challenges for SpeedSource, the current Grand-Am Cup points leader in the Sport Touring class. The team had no test days under its belt, qualifying driver David Haskell had never driven the track, and a few hundred Mazda enthusiasts had come to see the race-winning #70 put another one in the books. That should have been enough to make this Mazda RX-8 team sweat bullets the minute they entered pit lane. Despite all of this, SpeedSource brought home the checker at the track bearing their manufacturer's name, the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

"Not having a test day actually helped us. Our setup changes constantly moved in the right direction and our crew proved once again that they are the best in pit lane. We had MAZDASpeed, Charles Espenlaub, and Jeff Altenberg help us get a really great setup. Also Stan Worth helped us out a lot in the pits. There was a lot of pressure but the more the better," stated team owner and #70 driver, Sylvain Tremblay.

With a second place qualifying position, just .007 of a second behind the #95 BMW, Tremblay said, "We were disappointed we didn't get pole, but this was David's first time on the track and he did a really great job. His driving has been excellent lately," continued Tremblay.

For the Mazda enthusiasts, the last 20 minutes of the caution-filled race became nail-bitters. Tremblay moved forward from a secure 2nd-place finish to make up almost a second a lap in the closing minutes to catch and pass Bob Endicott in the #27 Acura.

"Bob (Endicott) is such a professional. I really didn't think we would have been able to pull off a win especially with so many cautions throughout the race, but we were able to make a clean pass towards the end," added Tremblay.

Three SpeedSource cars landed a top ten finish for the weekend. In addition to the #70 car, the #68 car with Jeff Altenburg and Steve Schlesinger took 8th place. John Bisignano and Rich Walker, who co-drove the #67 car, finished in 10th place. Charles Espenlaub and Marcello Abello in the #66 car posted the fastest time in practice session #1, but faced some damage early on in the race.

Tremblay clearly gets as pumped about Mazda's support as he does the performance of his team. "We have such an excellent system of support from Mazda. They really want to help and participate. This weekend a bunch of area dealers came out to root us on. It's great to have that kind of support and for them to be excited about what we are doing."

Even before the spray of champagne hits the ground, SpeedSource is ready to prepare for the next Grand-Am Cup races at Watkins Glen and Mosport. They will travel from their shop in Sunrise, Florida to the north in early June, in pursuit of more points to bolster their lead in driver, team, and manufacturer standings. Watch SpeedSource's most recent victory at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, on SPEEDTV Saturday, May 14th at 1:00pm (EST).

SpeedSource is proudly sponsored by: Mazda, Mazdaspeed, Hawk, Sparco, Racing Hart, Motec, Dynamic Suspension, Mechanix Wear, and Mother's Wax and Polishes.

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