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May 02, 2014 - 03:47 PM
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DragonSpeed Racing News – 01 May 14
Posted by: newsla on May 02, 2014 - 03:45 PM
Sports Cars
DragonSpeed Racing News – 01 May 14


DragonSpeed Ferrari driver Henrik Hedman established himself as a serious contender for the Pirelli World Challenge’s GT-A class title with what would have been a pair of podium finishes but for a slow puncture suffered in the second race of the IndyCar weekend at Alabama’s picturesque Barber Motorsports Park.

 

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Hedman picked up where he left off at Long Beach, making steady progress during practice while building up to another strong qualifying run. The Florida-based Swede’s best lap of 1m26.081s was 11th overall and second in class only to Nick Mancuso’s overall pole time in another Ferrari 458 GT3. Henrik made a demon start to gain two positions on lap one and diced Brazilian Marcelo Hahn’s Lamborghini and Tim Pappas’ Mercedes SLS on his way to ninth at the flag, recording his first GT-A podium and first top-ten overall result in the series.

Henrik’s fastest lap from race one placed him 14th overall and fourth in class on the grid for Sunday’s race. Again displaying his talent for standing starts, he was 12th by the end of the first lap with only Hahn ahead in GT-A. Hedman handily kept Michael Mills’ Porsche at bay until Mills got by on a restart after yellow on lap 8. The IndyCar crowd then enjoyed eight laps of Hedman fending off Pappas for eight laps despite a slow puncture picked up midway through the race. The tire finally let go three laps from the finish, dropping Henrik down to 17th overall and seventh in class, but a quick pit stop and wheel change from the DragonSpeed crew allowed Henrik to complete the minimum distance required to score points.

With Mancuso’s third overall in race one automatically elevating him out of the GT-A ranks, Hedman left Barber tied for second in the class standings with Pappas on 205 points and just 20 points adrift of Mills. The Pirelli World Challenge and Elton Julian-led DragonSpeed squad now enjoy a break until battle resumes at the Detroit IndyCar weekend at the end of May.

Henrik Hedman: “As far as I’m concerned, this weekend goes to the team. They did a great job setting the car up for qualifying and the races.”

Elton Julian: “Apart from the bad luck with the puncture, we’ve had another great weekend with Henrik. He’s the only rookie in GT-A, so second in the points after the first four races is pretty impressive, as is seeing him mix it up with pros like Andy Pilgrim and Alex Figge. As a team, we’re pumped up to make the most of the break and come back at Detroit ready to continue our progress.”


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