Speedsource Faced Extreme Challenge

by : Kraig Johanssen

The SpeedSource Race Engineering team had a long road trip at Lime Rock Park this Memorial Day weekend.

The team faced a test of having only a few short days to make adjustments to the #69 Mondial Forwarding/Freedom Harley-Davidson sponsored RX-8 that suffered in the closing stages of the Laguna Seca race which took place the weekend before the Lime Rock event. Nonetheless, the #69 did a good job. And that is because of the assistance of the folks at MazdaSpeed who had all the necessary parts flown straight to Connecticut. The SpeedSource crew, who worked tirelessly just to make sure that the car race ready, was also a big part.

Drivers Jose Armengol and Dan Allen were both new to the scenic yet thrilling 1.53 mile circuit and both were impressed.

Armengol said that they have been warned that the track seems simple, but that it takes lots of time to learn and he can now attest for that firsthand. He added that there are nuances that he only picked up on at the end of his race weekend, and he was sure that they would still be learning the track if they spent an entire month at Lime Rock Park. According to him, in a tenth of a second around, this track is really something and making a clean pass in this track is quite difficult with the field as close as it is.

Having qualified 18th, the #69 would begin the race from the 9th row.

With Armengol in the car, after dropping back to 22nd early, the #69 reached 14th slot an hour into the 2.5 hour long race. In almost the midway point of the race, Dan Allen took the controls of the SpeedSource RX-8. Unfortunately, during a pit stop, the team went a lap down to the leading racers. The team never gave up despite dropping all the way back as the 24th and one lap back as Allen posted lap times as compared to the leaders of the race. In the later part of the game, the #69 would make it all the way back to run in 11th place and back on the lead lap. Unfortunately, due to a gearbox failure, the car was stuck in top gear.

Allen said that the only gear that was available was the 6th so they went on to at least finish the race and collect some points. He added that their team learned a lot from last weekend's race and will apply their efforts towards their next upcoming Canadian race.

In the Drivers Championship points tables for the Koni Challenge Series ST Class, Allen and Armengol remain in the third place. The team looks every ready again and challenged for podiums and wins at the Mosport in Ontario, Canada June 15-17, after two difficult races that made the #69 finish lower than the 10th place for the first time this season.

About SpeedSource

The 2007 Mazda RX-8 campaign of SpeedSource Race Engineering is supported by Mazdaspeed Motorsports Development, Mazda North American Operations, Road & Track, Racing Hart, Sparco, Motec, Hawk Performance Brakes, Dynamic Suspensions, Mothers Wax and Polish, Goodridge, SIRIUS Satellite Radio, and Mechanix Wear.

More than any other brand of automobiles, Mazda vehicles have the most numbers on road-race tracks on any given weekends. It race cars are MX-5 Miata, RX-8, MAZDA3, MAZDA6, RX-7 and other vintage Mazda models with top of the line . Every Mazda vehicle has the soul of a sports car that is why more Mazdas are seen on the track than any other brands.

The fastest growing road-racing class in the U.S. is the SCCA's Spec Miata class. It has almost 1,500 first- and second-generation Miatas that tear up America's racetracks. This made the car the most-raced production car in the entire world. Mazda's link in motorsports is extended with Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, which is one of the premier road-racing circuits in the world, and the Skip Barber Schools for driving and racing.