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SpeedSource Mazda RX-8 Takes Top Five Finish at Hometrack
Submitted by Berny Herrera on Monday, April 16, 2007 - 4:18pm

(04/16/2007) - Homestead-Miami, FL -- SpeedSource Race Engineering secured a top five finish this past weekend at Homestead Miami Speedway. The #69 Mondial Forwarding Freedom Harley Davidson Mazda RX-8 came home as the top finishing Mazda in thirty five car strong Street Tuner class. Dan Allen and Jose Armengol shared the driving controls for the Southern Florida event. The duo bettered their season opening Daytona result by one position. The fifth place finish at Homestead places the pair in fourth place in the Koni Challenge Street Tuner Driver Championship.

"The driving pair did an excellent job with running a fast and clean race," commented Team Owner Sylvain Tremblay. "Dan led in the middle of the race. After pitstops sorted the field out, Jose made his way from mid pack up to a fifth place finish."

"Starting the race in Miami was an absolute thrill as right away we gained couple of positions going into turn one," commented Allen. "We started 19th and very quickly kept moving up until at one point we were in first. It was an amazing feeling leading the race. Early in the race I got in a rhythm of tracking down cars up ahead and capitalizing on their mistakes. Being up front allowed me to put my head down and get some fast, clean laps in without traffic.

"Throughout the race the humidity seemed to amplify the heat tremendously but only affected our lap times towards the end of my stint. After the driver change, my team mate Jose took care of business as he began his stint in eleventh and worked his way up to fifth by the end of the race. The car performed flawlessly due to the expertise of the entire SpeedSource crew, and the support from Freedom Harley Davidson of Denver, and Mondial Forwarding."

"The Homestead race was a very special for me in a number of ways," added Armengol. "Being able to race at my 'home track' in a professional race was a big thrill. To see the number of friends and family that were there to lend their support was such a thrill. When Dan took the lead and the #69 was shown at the top of the boards there was a distinct roar from where they were watching."

"Dan did an incredible job today," added Armengol. "For a twenty year old rookie in the Koni Challenge Series, he drove like a seasoned pro. It really says a lot about him that he not only was able to take the car into the lead, but just as importantly to keep the nose clean and hand over the car in perfect condition."

The fifth place finish for the #69 car was made even more special as the team was on a steep learning curve all weekend long to learn the new Koni shocks. For the first time this season the SpeedSource effort fitted the Koni shocks to the car to adapt to the new future required shock of the series. The team learned a lot about the handling characteristic and were pleased with their development of the setup for the Mazda.

"We struggled with the setup on the car on Friday and Saturday, as they were our first track sessions having made the switch to the very first set of Koni dampers designed specifically for the Koni Challenge RX-8 on the #69 car," Armengol explained about the challenges. "However I have to give all the credit in the world to Sylvain and the SpeedSource team for making the adjustments to the car to get the balance of the car perfect in such short order. Those adjustments gave Dan and me the confidence to really turn up the wick during the race itself. Of course there's still a big learning curve ahead of us with the new Koni dampers, but we're very encouraged with the results so far."

Also in the SpeedSource effort was the #68 Mazda RX-8 driven by SpeedSource veteran Scott Schlesinger and Team Engineer David Haskell. A potential for a great run was dampened twice by contact. Schlesinger first had contact early in the race however the car was able to continue. When Haskell climbed aboard he was as high as fourth place when contact took the car out of the race.

"David and Scott had a great weekend from the time we unloaded the cars," stated Tremblay. "This is our home track and we know the right setup for these cars. We were near the top of the charts every session and were anxious for a great result. There was so little give and take on the track this weekend. It was disappointing to see the race end this way."

Fortunately for the SpeedSource crew they will soon get another chance at securing two strong finishes. The trailer will leave for Iowa Speedway Tuesday morning. With twenty five Street Tuner machines entered, SpeedSource will once again be tested on their abilities to adapt their Mazda RX-8s. The Koni Challenge event at Iowa this weekend will mark the first professional race at the brand new facility. The SpeedSource Mazdas will take to the track on Saturday April 21st at 12:00 PM for a 400 kilometer race.

SpeedSource Race Engineering's 2007 Mazda RX-8 campaign is supported by Mazdaspeed Motorsports Development, Mazda North American Operations, Road & Track, Racing Hart, Sparco, Motec, Hawk Performance Brakes, Dynamic Suspensions, Mothers Wax and Polish, Goodridge, SIRIUS Satellite Radio, and Mechanix Wear. For information on SpeedSource's 2007 season, please visit

On any given weekend, there are more Mazdas on the road-race tracks of America than any other brand of vehicle. At the track, you'll see MX-5 Miata, RX-8, MAZDA3, MAZDA6, RX-7 and other vintage Mazda models competing, because every Mazda has the soul of a sports car. In fact, the fastest growing road-racing class in the U.S. is the SCCA's Spec Miata class, with nearly 1,500 first- and second-generation Miatas tearing up America's racetracks, making it the most-raced production car in the world. Mazda's involvement in motorsports extends to its relationship with Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, one of the world's premier road-racing circuits, and the Skip Barber Schools for driving and racing.

Headquartered in Irvine, Calif., Mazda North American Operations oversees the sales, marketing, parts and customer service support of Mazda vehicles in the United States, Canada and Mexico through nearly 900 dealers. Operations in Canada are managed by Mazda Canada, Inc., located in Ontario, Canada, and in Mexico by Mazda Motor de Mexico in Mexico City.

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April 17, 2007 - 4:38am
Consistency, thats what it's going to take to win the
ST class championship. (just ask Jim Downing)
I tuned in on the live timing and the 69 car was in the lead;
the 68 car was in the top ten. I was running around like
a little kid (I wish these races were shown live) explaining
to my wife how well things were going. When I checked
the results later and learned the 69 car ended up in 5th
I accepted that, but the finish of Haskell's car was a
surprise. Knowing how good a driver Haskell is with
these RX-8s, it had to be contact or something.
Haskell will be back, that's a given; the neat thing is
after only two races we're at the top in the run for the
championship. The strength of rotary is not it's overall
power but its ablilty to always be there at the end;
thanks to Speedsource it's always near the front.
Winning or being near the front brings attention
and sponsors.
Again thanks to Speedsource the rotary is again one of
the most reliable engines in racing.
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