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Jun 22, 2014 - 07:51 AM
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Impressive Team Effort Nets Solid Finishes For Gmg
Posted by: newsla on Jun 22, 2014 - 07:50 AM
Sports Cars
Impressive Team Effort Nets Solid Finishes For Gmg


While today’s series of top-ten finishes for all three Global Motorsports Group (GMG) entries would prove fairly average for the team, the real story behind the scenes would come in the team’s efforts to get the cars on track.

 

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“The guys put in an incredibly late night, or should I say morning, to get the 14 car on track today,” stated GMG team owner and driver James Sofronas. “After yesterday’s issue with the power steering, and then the motor mounts, everyone on this team, not to mention Audi Sport customer racing, jumped in to get everything fixed and didn’t get out until 7AM today. I did everything I could to show my appreciation on track, unfortunately the long yellow during today’s race held us back from really finishing big. I am so proud of my team!”

Following a power steering issue for the No. 14 Mobil 1 / Spyder / The Thermal Club Audi R8 LMS ultra of Sofronas in Race One, the team immediately went to work in efforts to replace it. In the process of tearing down the car, the team then discovered an issue with the car’s motor mounts, which would mean going through the extensive process of removing the engine, fixing the mounts, and putting it all back together. Thanks to the support of Audi Sport customer racing, a replacement part was driven in several hours later, and the crew literally worked until 7AM to get the car working properly. With a 9AM race start, the entire GMG team took to the race today having literally spent all night getting ready.

With the grid in Race Two based on the fastest times during Race One, the team’s three cars would start from the fifth, sixth, and eighth rows. Knowing that the strength of the Audi would come as the stint wore on, all three cars managed their tires during the opening laps, however, a heavy crash between the No. 9 McLaren and the No. 61 Ferrari would bring out an extended yellow taking up a large amount of the race’s 50 minutes. With the race effectively resuming just minutes from the finish, survival would be the name of the game for the GMG machines.

Top finishing honors would go to Andrew Palmer in the No. 21 Spyder / The Thermal Club Audi R8 LMS ultra who made good use of his limited run time to gain four spots en route to sixth.

“We really wanted to maximize what we could out of today, and I think we did that,” stated Palmer. “The guys did everything they could and we at least walked away salvaging points, which should put us in a good position for Toronto. We’d really hoped for a lot this weekend so it’s definitely not what we were looking for, but everyone will learn and we’ll come back ready for more.”

For James Sofronas, another top ten would end a fairly quiet weekend for the Californian.

“I would have loved to deliver a good result for the guys and for Audi, but at least we brought the car home clean,” stated Sofronas. “It was a long yellow, and it sounds like everyone is OK which I’m very happy to hear. We definitely have some homework to do before Toronto, but I’m lucky to have the best crew in the world and I know we’ll get this turned around quickly.”

Finally, after his first podium just 24 hours earlier, Bill Ziegler would endure the long yellow to match his starting position in the No. 95 Swisher Racing machine, finishing fifth in the GT-A class.

“It was a very quiet day today,” stated Ziegler. “With the long yellow we were really just biding our time, and it just became about finishing. I’m happy we were able to make it cleanly to the end, and it was good points.”

The Pirelli World Challenge will now take a small break returning to action in one month’s time for the Honda Indy Toronto on July 18-20.

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