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MazdaSpeed SpeedSource RX-8 Back on Podium at Mid Ohio
Submitted by Berny Herrera on Monday, July 3, 2006 - 10:09pm

Sylvain Tremblay and David Haskell are undeterred in their quest for victory in the Grand-Am Cup series. Although their team struggled earlier this year in the Street Tuner (ST) class, the SpeedSource drivers and crew members have maintained their focus and put their Mazda RX-8 back on the podium. At the Mid Ohio Sports Car Course this past weekend, SpeedSource earned their highest ST class finishing position this year.

The team took advantage of Thursday's test session at the track and made minor adjustments to a dramatically different set up. The effort paid off in quick lap times in the practice sessions for the No. 70 Mazdaspeed RX-8, and a second place starting position for the race, thanks to the quick qualifying laps of Haskell.

During the race Tremblay and Haskell maintained a top-five position while gaining a stronghold on a top-three spot during the final laps. Pit stop strategy and quick work by the crew ensured that they did not lose position in the field while changing all four tires. Tremblay expressed his appreciation for his crew members.

"We were able to put four tires on in the time that a lot of teams take to do two. Once again the crew just did a great job and we had a fantastic pit stop," stated Tremblay.

Although Tremblay pulled alongside the race leader in the closing laps, traffic and a long yellow late into the race kept the No. 70 Mazda in second place to the end. Overall Tremblay was very pleased with this accomplishment from his team.

"Historically, our cars have been 'good' -- but 'better than good' can be hard to achieve. This race was a big turning point for our team. We are glad to be back on the podium and to have raced in the top-five for most of the race. We are also happy to give Road & Track some great results in our second race with them," stated Tremblay.

In the No. 68 SpeedSource Mazda, Ken Dobson and Scott Schlesinger also made an aggressive charge during the Mid Ohio race. An unfortunate qualifying session put the No. 68 drivers in 29th position on the starting grid. After the qualifying session, adjustments made to the car showed immediate improvements.

"Scott got caught up in traffic when he was making his qualifying run which affected his position. We made some changes and he went faster in warm-up than he went in qualifying," Tremblay stated.

Dobson and Schlesinger made a strong run to the front of the pack during the race. They quickly moved up in position for the ST class. Unfortunately, contact with another car late in the race led to a spin without enough time to regain position.

"It was a tough break for Scott and Ken. They did extremely well moving up from 29th position to 15th. During the race at Lime Rock they won the Bernheim Award, so their talent and efforts are obvious. They simply had some bad luck out on the track this weekend," added Tremblay.

The SpeedSource team now heads to two tracks where they have been successful in the past. The team will head to Barber Motorsports Park July 28th through the 30th. SpeedSource has taken a win at Barber every year since 2003. In 2003, Tremblay partnered with current No. 68 car driver Scott Schlesinger at the track. In 2004 and 2005 Tremblay teamed with current co-driver, David Haskell.

For the weekend of August 4th through the 6th SpeedSource and the Grand-Am Cup will head to Quebec, Canada for a race at Circuit Trois Rivieres. The street course in Trois Rivieres is one of Tremblay's favorite tracks, where SpeedSource took a big win in 2005. Tremblay is a Quebec native and enjoys to the trip to Canada; this year he anticipates good results for the SpeedSource Mazdas.

"SpeedSource is looking forward to Barber and Trois Rivieres. They typically suit our car and we are strong at those tracks," added Tremblay.


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