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Aug 11, 2014 - 06:54 AM
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Rough Weekend at Road America for Alta Velocita Racing
Posted by: newsla on Aug 11, 2014 - 06:50 AM
Sports Cars
Rough Weekend at Road America for Alta Velocita Racing


Crossing the checkered flag in third in class on Sunday was the highlight of Jerome Mee's weekend at the legendary 4.048-mile, 14-turn road course at Road America.

 

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The events leading up to Round 10 of the Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Powered by Mazda left nothing less than misfortune and lessons learned for Mee and his Alta Velocita Racing (AVR) team.

"In Thursday's promoter test at about the fifth lap, I didn't hold the turn long enough coming out of the carousel," Mee said. "I caught some grass and hit the wall really hard. We had to replace the whole left hand side of the car. That took us out for the day which really cost us from a pace and diagnosis standpoint."

Round 9 of competition on Saturday looked to be promising for the No. 95 Alta Velocita Racing car before a mechanical issue forced Mee to retire early.

"On Saturday I actually picked up pace and made really good progress," Mee said. "On the first turn I jumped into the lead only to give it up fairly shortly, after taking a too conservative entry into Turn 5.

"I stayed behind the leader really well and kept a strong pace, but coming into Canada Corner we had a major malfunction on the upper right suspension (front right suspension), which threw me into the wall and destroyed the full right hand side of the car."

Mee's crew worked fiercely through the night before cars took the grid at Road America for Round 10 early Sunday morning. Mee started the 45-minute sprint from the back of the field and used the 'survival of the fittest' method to stand on the third step of the podium at the end of the day.

"I have to give credit where credit is due," Mee said. "My crew stayed up for 24 hours to fix the car in addition to the guys from Performance Tech Motorsports coming over to help out. They did a great job, but when we got out today the suspension was not all the way there, and there was a bit of vibration on the font right, which made me nervous.

"I never really had pace, and finally started to pick up pace toward the middle of the race. The yellow flags helped me get caught up to the group. I actually made a pass into second and went to go for the lead when there was an incident in Turn 2 and the car stalled. That was the end of our day, but at least there was no more damage done.

"Sometimes victory is just in finishing. I didn't want to have any more incidents so I just decided to finish the race."

Mee's final two rounds of racing action in the Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Powered by Mazda season will come at Road Atlanta, Oct. 1-3.

"At this point we are going to debrief and see what we have learned," he said. "We're going to test between now and Atlanta and come ready and prepared for Atlanta."

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