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Vance Ready For Fresh Start At Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca
Posted by: newsla on Apr 29, 2014 - 03:23 PM
Sports Cars
Vance Ready For Fresh Start At Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca

James Vance has faced plenty of challenges after just two races of his rookie season in the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge.

But the fresh coastal air of the Monterey Peninsula that surrounds Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca is symbolic of the fresh start he'll receive for Round 3 as he begins his tenure with Compass360 Racing.


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In his rookie season, Vance competed at Daytona and Sebring - almost polar opposite tracks - for the first time in his career, in a Porsche. He now will share the the No. 74 Honda Civic Si fielded by C360R with teammate Jon Miller in the Sport Tuner (ST) class. Vance hasn't even tested the car.

But Vance has one advantage at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca - circuit knowledge. He competed at the picturesque circuit in a Mazda MX-5.

"Mazda Raceway was where I participated in my first pro event," Vance said. "So I hold this track close to my heart. I know this sounds weird, but I love anti-clockwise tracks. I love the flow of the track and the intricacies of the track, too. The subtle off-camber corners can catch you out, but those technical parts of the track are what makes it so great."

The 11-turn, 2.238-mile circuit will be the first track in Vance's racing career where he races a car that is not rear-wheel drive. But the benefits of the new team outweigh the challenge of learning the nuances of his front-wheel drive Honda Civic Si.

"I am extremely excited to be joining C360," Vance said. "They have such experience and so many great people within the team. It's going to be amazing to work with them. The biggest adjustment is going to be getting used to the front-wheel-drive system in my Honda Civic Si."

Vance will get on track for the first time in his new ride at 9:35 a.m. local time Friday, May 2 with the first of two practice sessions.

"To be honest, I haven't had much of a chance to prepare," Vance said. "Other than my fitness regimen and the odd simulator session, I have had little time to practice between my trips to Texas to visit potential sponsors. I'll get in a few more simulator sessions before I head out west. It should make for an interesting first few practice laps."

Qualifying will begin at 4:10 p.m. Friday. The two-hour, 30-minute race starts at 12:45 p.m. Saturday, May 3.

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