The SpeedSource team had to regroup quickly after the Memorial Day Classic at Lime Rock Park. Just five days later the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16 headed to the historic Watkins Glen International circuit for the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen. SpeedSource continued their streak of podium appearances capturing 2nd in the #70 Castrol Syntec Mazda RX-8. Closing out the remainder of the Top 5 was the #69 FXDD Mazda RX-8 and the #68 Mazdaspeed Motorsports Development Mazda RX-8 in fourth and fifth.
The crew had just three days to prepare their cars for Saturday’s race. Having a very short turn-around between events, the SpeedSource crew unloaded the #70 Castrol Syntec Mazda RX-8 ready for Friday’s practice and qualifying sessions. Team owner and driver Sylvain Tremblay was happy with the setup of his Mazda RX-8 and qualified in 8th position with an average speed of 109.9 MPH.
Tremblay steadily raced through to the front of the GT field after taking the Green flag. The crew of the #70 Mazda RX-8 decided to conduct driver changes during each hour of the race in order to keep their drivers fresh. Co-driver Jonathan Bomarito shared driving duties for the six hour race. The team was able to gain several spots through great pit strategy and quick stops by the crew. In fact, by the time the last pit stop sequence cycled through, Bomarito was holding a solid 2nd place position for the race’s closing minutes. The team scored the third podium finish of the season for the #70 Castrol Syntec Mazda RX-8.
The second SpeedSource team car driven by current Rolex GT points leaders Emil Assentato and Jeff Segal was not to be outdone. The crew elected to bring in their Rolex 24 co-drivers Nick Longhi and Anthony Lazzaro to split driving duties. Assentato qualified the #69 FXDD Mazda RX-8 to start from the 11th on the grid. The pair of Assentato and Segal was familiar with the winding Watkins Glen course having won races on both track configurations in the past. The #69 Mazda RX-8 continued to add to their championship lead with a 4th place finish. They currently hold a one point advantage over the #70 team car.
Making their first appearance in an extended endurance format race was Adam Christodoulou and John Edwards in the brand new #68 Mazdaspeed Motorsports Development Mazda RX-8. The two would get help from Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge veteran Tom Long in the third SpeedSource car. Christodoulou continued to show his qualifying ability by putting the car in the 5th starting position. The rookie drivers consistently ran with the GT leaders throughout the race and earned another Top Five finish.
The SpeedSource team continued to show their experience in endurance racing during Saturday’s race. All four new GT car chassis once again placed in the Top 5 in GT. The new Z-Car platform co-developed with chassis manufacturer Riley Technologies of Mooresville, NC has shown to be the strength of the GT class with over 100 improvements from the 1st generation cars. The on-going engineering effort behind the Mazda platform has proven to be a successful formula for 2010.
The team has a weekend off before leaving for the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Follow live on SPEED with coverage beginning at 5PM EST on June 19th.
On any given weekend, there are more Mazda’s on the road-race tracks of America than any other brand of vehicle. At the track, you’ll see MX-5 Miata, RX-8, MAZDA3, MAZDA6, RX-7 and other vintage Mazda models competing, because every Mazda has the soul of a sports car. In fact, the fastest growing road-racing class in the U.S. is the SCCA’s Spec Miata class, with nearly 1,500 first- and second-generation Miata’s tearing up America’s racetracks, making it the most-raced production car in the world. Mazda’s involvement in motorsports extends to its relationship with Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, one of the world’s premier road-racing circuits, and the Skip Barber Schools for driving and racing.