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Aug 11, 2014 - 06:54 AM
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Difficult Day for GB Autosport at Road America
Posted by: newsla on Aug 11, 2014 - 06:53 AM
USCR News
Difficult Day for GB Autosport at Road America


GB Autosport made progress toward the team's long-term goals in Round 9 of the IMSA TUDOR United SportsCar Championship even though a pair of setbacks during the race left their short-term, race weekend ambitions unfulfilled. After a 2.75-hour sprint race at Road America, Damien Faulkner drove the No. 81 Tully’s Porsche 911 GT America home to a 12th place finish after a roller coaster of a weekend for the Tully’s team.

 

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Ben Barker opened the Continental Tire Road Race Showcase from 15th position following an issue in qualifying that kept the team from showing more strength. But Barker wasted no time getting up to speed in the Tully’s machine at the drop of the green, with a strong race day pace to make progress up the order.

Barker capitalized on the restart of the first of what was to be many more yellows to come and made his way safely inside of the top-10, eventually running as high as seventh place.

A quick pit around the 40-minute mark gave Barker four fresh Continental Tires and fuel to work with and he quickly put tires to work, posting the fastest lap of the class soon after rejoining.

Unfortunately, Barker had a brief brake issue as he entered high-speed Canada corner which sent him into the gravel, which caused issues with the gearbox. However, Barker was able to gather it up and continue on in 12th position.

In spite of the hiccup, the car continued to show pace, but the rest of the caution-ridden race did not play to the team’s advantage. A pit stop violation forced Faulkner to serve a long four-minute penalty with just minutes remaining, effectively ending his ability to fight for position with just a few minutes left to race.

“That last caution came out at exactly the wrong time and we knew the GT pit wasn’t going to open in time for us to get Damien (Faulkner) in the car to get his points. So we elected to take emergency service to change a driver, but I didn’t realize that was also going to count towards a pit stop so we had to serve a penalty. This is one of those weekends that kind of feels like it is a step back rather than a step forward. But we are learning every day so we can improve and get better in the most competitive GT class in North America, if not the world. So we will just keep fighting race to race and we are looking forward to VIR.”

Driver Quoteboard:

Ben Barker – “It was completely my fault today. We had been struggling with the car this weekend, but I was doing okay and hanging in there and I just locked a rear brake in Canada corner when I had two faster guys inside of me and got squeezed a little bit. I have definitely learned a lot and hopefully the team has as well. The main thing is just to move the car forward for the next round. We are really digging deep as a team. The whole team has developed massively, even just since I have joined them. They are so professional and efficient. I couldn’t ask for a better team, we have great mechanics, good drivers and a great team owner. We are moving forward for sure and I don’t think it is going to be long before you see us up front for the win. This is a weekend to put behind us, but we need to take what we can from it as far as the car.”

Damien Faulkner – “It has been a sort of mixed batch of a weekend and fairly unfortunate for us. The race was actually going okay for us and Ben had a small issue with the brakes and went off, but really nothing seemed to go our way this weekend or work in harmony for us. We have such high ambitions as a team, so we are disappointed. But the positive thing is that we are a very good group and it is the mark of a good team to come back from a bad weekend and score a positive result. No doubt we are still a very new team, but there is a lot of talent on the team and we have yet to have a chance to truly realize that to its fullest potential yet. But that takes time. There is a massive difference in the team from the beginning of the season and even from race to race, we just keep getting better as a team. So we just have to keep working hard and moving forward, we are fairly optimistic and we will just keep working.”

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