Posted (05/26/2007) -
Lime Rock, CT - SpeedSource Race Engineering wrapped up a long road trip at Lime Rock Park this Memorial Day weekend. The team was put to the test; having only a few short days to make repairs to the #69 Mondial Forwarding/Freedom Harley-Davidson sponsored RX-8 suffered during the closing stages of the Laguna Seca race the weekend prior to the Lime Rock event. The #69 would make the event, thanks to the efforts of the folks at MazdaSpeed who had all the necessary parts flown straight to Connecticut, as well as the SpeedSource crew, who worked tirelessly to make the car race ready.
Drivers Jose Armengol and Dan Allen were both new to the scenic and undulating 1.53 mile circuit and both came away impressed. "We'd been warned that this track is seemingly simple, but that it takes lots of time to learn and I can now vouch for that firsthand" commented Armengol. "There are nuances that I only picked up on at the end of my race weekend here, and I'm sure that we'd still be learning this track if we spent an entire month here. A tenth of a second around this track is really a huge deal and making a clean pass at Lime Rock is quite difficult with the field as close as it is." The #69 would begin the race from the 9th row, having qualified 18th. After falling back to 22nd early, the #69 climbed back to 14th an hour into the 2.5 hour long race with Armengol in the car. Dan Allen took the controls of the SpeedSource RX-8 near the midway point of the race, but unfortunately the team went a lap down to the leaders during the pit stop. Falling all the way back to 24th and one lap back, the team never gave up as Allen posted lap times comparable to the leaders of the race. The #69 would make it all the way back to run in 11th place and back on the lead lap late in the race until a gearbox failure left the car stuck in top gear. "The SpeedSource Mazda was performing flawlessly up until the last fourth of the race when the transmission failed" Said Allen. "The only gear that was available was 6th so we went on to at least finish the race and collect some points. We learned a lot from this weekend and will apply our efforts towards our next upcoming race in Canada."
Allen and Armengol remain in third place in the Drivers Championship points tables for the Koni Challenge Series ST Class. After a couple of difficult races that saw the #69 finish outside of the top ten for the first time this season, the team looks to hit its stride again and challenge for podiums and wins beginning at the Mosport in Ontario, Canada June 15-17.