The Mazda MX-5s collected valuable points despite setbacks at VIR.
ALTON, Va.—Freedom Autosport’s weekend at Virginia International Raceway got off to a good start, but the results of the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge Race were not what the team had been hoping for. Although all three of the team’s Mazda MX-5s collected valuable points, the team was not able to earn their third consecutive ST win.
Liam Dwyer and Andrew Carbonell kept the No. 26 Semper Fi Fund Mazda MX-5 in the top-ten throughout the two-hour race, eventually crossing the finish line in eighth. That seemed to be their number for the weekend, since Dwyer had qualified eighth.
Tom Long and Britt Casey, Jr. finished 11th in the No. 27 TRUMPF Inc. Mazda MX-5, also ending in the same position where they qualified. Long started the race and ran in third early in his stint, but the high temperatures did not agree with the car’s setup, and both drivers had their hands full as the race continued.
Chad McCumbee qualified fifth in the No. 25 ModSpace/Spartan Cargo Trailers Mazda MX-5, and he ran as high as second during his stint. Unfortunately, his co-driver Stevan McAleer was running third when an impact from a competitor dropped him back to 14th. McAleer was able to get back up to 12th before the checkered flag.
Fans can watch the FS1 broadcast of the race at 3:00 p.m. ET on Monday, Sept. 4.
Freedom Autosport Quotes
It’s tough to walk away with an eighth-place finish at VIR, which has historically been a good track for us, especially with how strong our Freedom Autosport Mazda MX-5 was handling. After a great pit stop by the crew, we were ready to show just how good of a Mazda Freedom Autosport had given us for the race. The long yellow hurt our ability to capitalize on our great handling during a long green-flag run.
The Freedom Autosport guys gave Andrew and me a fast Semper Fi Fund Mazda MX-5. The car was really fast in qualifying, which allowed us to start and stay in the top ten in the opening stint. Our crew gave us a phenomenal pit stop that allowed Andrew to restart in fourth. The short green flag run did not allow us to show our long green flag speed. But to walk away with an eighth place finish after rounds of bad luck is quite awesome, and the Freedom Autosport team should be extremely proud of themselves
Britt Casey, Jr.:
I was extremely excited to see our pace be so strong at the start, and I looked forward to getting into the No. 27 TRUMPF Inc. Mazda MX-5. On the final restart I was able to move into the fourth place spot and comfortably stayed there. With the temperatures at VIR being so hot, I think we missed the ball on our setup and after a few laps of maintaining pace with the leaders, the car began to fall off quickly. While it may have been a short sprint to the finish after a long caution, it was one of the hardest stints I’ve had to drive. It was just one of those unfortunate weekends and I wish we could have continued our podium streak.
It was a real blast to be back in the TRUMPF Inc. Mazda with Britt Casey, Jr., especially at my home track of VIR. The racing was spectacular and we had our work cut out for us today. The opening stint was fun, running in the top three with my teammate Chad McCumbee, but the racing was tough at the end. We expected that here at VIR with the long straights, but it was a solid points day for Britt and the No. 27 TRUMPF Mazda.
The end result this weekend at VIR was not what we were hoping for. The momentum from the past two events did follow us through the first half of the race at VIR, however. We were able to battle for the lead with our ModSpace Mazda as the race hit halfway. Unfortunately, a flat tire put us out of the running for a podium and ultimately relegated us to 12th. Now I’m looking forward to Mazda Raceway.
We had tons of speed this weekend, way quicker than we have ever been in the past. However, we simply got outclassed on the straights, so we were just not as competitive as we thought at the start of the weekend. We needed the race to stay under green the whole time to have a chance. It puts us out of the championship and a little tired of our luck this season, so we’re looking forward to 2018 at this point.
William Mann, Vice President of Motorsports for ModSpace:
Chad and Stevan had a great start to the weekend, qualifying fifth at VIR. The car was relatively fast and the drivers maintained a position in the top-three during the race until another car made contact with their Mazda. The damage compromised the team’s hopes for win number three, but they are now focused on the next race at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
ABOUT FREEDOM AUTOSPORT
Since 2008, Freedom Autosport has been a major force in the ST class of the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge Series, proving the might of the Mazda MX-5s. Between their inaugural season in 2008 and 2016, Freedom Autosport earned 15 wins. Freedom Autosport is named in honor of the men and women of the U.S. military who defend our freedom, and the team is a proud supporter of the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund. Keep up with the team on Facebook and Twitter.
ABOUT MAZDA MOTORSPORTS
Mazda Motorsports boasts the most comprehensive auto racing development ladder system of any auto manufacturer in the world. The Mazda Road to 24 program offers a number of scholarships to advance drivers up the sports car racing ladder, beginning with the Global MX-5 Cup series and culminating with the Mazda Prototype team. The Mazda Road to Indy is a similar program that includes Mazda-powered categories of USF2000, Pro Mazda and Indy Lights. In grassroots road racing, more Mazdas race on any given weekend in North America than any other manufacturer. Mazda is also the title sponsor of the renowned Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, Calif. Follow all of the latest news at MazdaMotorsports.com, @MazdaRacing on Twitter, and MazdaMotorsports on Instagram and Facebook.
ABOUT THE SEMPER FI FUND
The Semper Fi Fund provides urgently needed resources and lifetime support for wounded, critically ill and injured members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their families. Case managers from the Semper Fi Fund work one-on-one with service members and veterans in order to understand and support their individual needs right now and throughout their lifetime. We keep our overhead low so our impact on the lives of service members and veterans is greater. The Semper Fi Fund is one of only three veteran charities to receive an “A+” rating from The American Institute of Philanthropy and a four-star rating from Charity Navigator. For more information visit www.semperfifund.org.
TRUMPF Inc. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the TRUMPF Group. Dedicated to serving the manufacturing needs of the American, Canadian and Mexican markets, TRUMPF is currently the largest manufacturer of fabricating equipment and industrial lasers in North America. We offer our customers innovative, high-quality products and solutions in the areas of sheet metal processing, laser-based production processes and electronic applications. Find TRUMPF online at www.us.trumpf.com and on Twitter as @TRUMPFInc.
ABOUT CUSHMAN & WAKEFIELD
Cushman & Wakefield is a leading global real estate services firm that helps clients transform the way people work, shop, and live. The firm’s 43,000 employees in more than 60 countries provide deep local and global insights that create significant value for occupiers and investors around the world. Find Cushman & Wakefield at cushmanwakefield.com.
Modular Space Corporation (ModSpace), based in Berwyn, Pa., is the largest U.S.-owned provider of office trailers, portable storage units and modular buildings for temporary or permanent space needs. Building on 50 years of experience, ModSpace serves a diverse set of customers and markets—including commercial, construction, education, government, healthcare, industrial, energy, disaster relief, franchise and special events—through an extensive branch network across the United States and Canada. For more information, visit www.ModSpace.com or http://Blog.ModSpace.com.
ABOUT SPARTAN CARGO TRAILERS
Spartan Cargo Trailers, LLC is located in Alma, Ga., and is a wholesale manufacturer of cargo and utility trailers. Manufacturing the industry’s very-best-quality trailers, Spartan Cargo Trailers provides the widest range of products in the industry including common utility/work trailer, a race car hauler, concession stands, restroom units with options like observations decks, hydraulic lifts, audio/visual equipment or something new and straight out of the box. Simply put, if you can imagine it, we can build it. Spartan Cargo Trailers offers as a standard: fifteen exterior colors, with single and tandem axles, radial tires, screw-less exteriors and awnings just to name a few. With the finest customization department in the industry, Spartan Cargo Trailers has designers that engineer trailers to suit customer wants and needs. https://www.facebook.com/Spartan-Cargo-Trailers-LLC-1686537238299528/