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Jul 14, 2014 - 04:16 PM
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Breakthrough for GB Autosport at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park
Posted by: newsla on Jul 14, 2014 - 04:12 PM
Sports Cars
Breakthrough for GB Autosport at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park


In the team’s sixth race outing, GB Autosport scored the young team’s best result of the year so far as Damien Faulkner and Ben Barker piloted the No. 81 Tully’s Porsche 911 GT America to a fourth place finish in the Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix Presented by Hawk Performance on Sunday.

 

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The strong finish came in a flat out race that ran entirely caution-free for the full two hour and forty-five minute race distance as the Tully’s squad continues to deliver more performance each time out.

A rainy morning cleared just before Barker strapped into the car for the drop of the green flag as sunny and warm conditions took over. Taking the green from the seventh row, Barker quickly set to work to make up ground early in the race to move into the top ten on the first lap.

But Barker didn’t stop there, as he gained an impressive seven positions in the first two laps of the race. After his initial jump up the pack, Barker settled in to the Tully’s machine on the high-speed 2.459-mile track, consistently picking off positions through his opening stint. Just past the one-hour mark, Barker pitted in third position to hand the car over to Faulkner.

A flawless pit stop from the GB Autosport team saw the No. 81 Tully’s Porsche re-join the pack in seventh position with one hour and 40 minutes remaining to race. Faulkner wasted no time in getting up to speed and quickly picked off two more positions as he ran lap times equal to the class leader to slot the Tully’s machine into the top-five.

Another excellent pit stop by the crew for a final load of fuel and four fresh Continental Tires and Faulkner was back out on track, fighting through traffic for the final 55 minutes of the race. As his stint wore on Faulkner faced pressure from behind, and the final laps of the race featured an intense battle with the No. 22 car for fourth place. Ultimately, Faulkner expertly managed to maintain his advantage even on old tires and arrive at the checkered flag just one step off the IMSA podium.

“This is a fourth place finish that feels like a win,” said an elated Cole Scrogham, Team Manager after the race. “It's a lot of hard work to turn a German taxicab into a silver and black attack - that's what we wanted it to be. And we still have some work to do for sure. This result was really just due to not having any real set backs happen once the race started. There were no yellows; very unusual, especially because we had so many reds during the practice and qualifying. But it helped us so much because we had two fantastic drivers. We started nearly at the back. Ben had a great stint and came through the field. Damien is so smooth, he just held on, perfect job from both of them. And a perfect job from the team. We passed two cars that had penalties during pit stops so the team did a great job as well and I am very pleased.”

The team now looks to continue their breakthrough positive momentum to the historic yard of bricks at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the next round of TUDOR United Sports Car Competition at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 24-25.

Driver Quotes:
Damien Faulkner – “In the last laps there I think it was obvious that the No. 22 car had more pace at that point than we did. And we lost our tires definitely. But where there's a will, there's a way! It was just a matter of hanging in there until the end. Cole was counting the laps down for me. We got a little bit of traffic which was lucky for us at the end. It was difficult, very, very difficult to keep him behind.Right now I am delighted for the whole team and extremely grateful for the hard work of the entire team. From Michael Avenatti through Cole (Scrogham, Team Manager) down to the whole team. I'm sorry it's not a podium but fourth is almost like a victory for this team, relative to what we've achieved so far. But this really realizes a bit of the true potential of this outfit that those guys have put together. So I'd like to thank them sincerely for having me here and just giving me the tools to bring it home in fourth.”

Ben Barker – “It was a good stint, I managed to make up quite a few places. The car didn't feel amazing and I really didn't want to have another tire issue like Watkins Glen so I was really trying to look after the tires at the end of the stint. It turned out that the tire looked okay which was good news for Damien so he could push on his tires. I was a bit of a guinea pig on the tires but overall, the team did an amazing job to come from 14th to fourth is great. Damien did a mega job in his stint. Roll on the next round!”

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