McCumbee, McAleer on the podium in season finale
BRASELTON, Ga.—Friday’s IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge season finale at Road Atlanta was anything but predictable for Freedom Autosport. An unexpected finish left two of the team’s Mazda MX-5s out of the running, while propelling the No. 25 ModSpace/Spartan Cargo Trailers Mazda MX-5 to a third-place finish.
This is the third podium of the year for Chad McCumbee and Stevan McAleer, who had two wins this year and closed the season fifth in the ST class championship with the No. 25 ModSpace Mazda.
Freedom Autosport Mazdas were rarely outside the top-three throughout the two-hour race. McCumbee moved into third early in the race, a spot later held by Britt Casey, Jr. in the No. 27 TRUMPF, Inc. Mazda MX-5. Casey’s co-driver Tom Long later took the lead. The No. 26 Semper Fi Fund Mazda MX-5 of Liam Dwyer and Andrew Carbonell also ran in the top-three during the race.
Disaster struck during the final caution. As the field prepared to take the green flag for a sprint to the finish, a competitor at the front of the line of ST cars braked hard, causing a chain reaction of impacts behind. Both the No. 26 and 27 Mazdas were caught up in it, ending the race for both with only two laps remaining. The shake-up allowed the No. 25 Mazda to move into third.
Fans can watch Freedom Autosport’s final podium finish of the 2017 season when FS1 airs the broadcast at 7:00 a.m. ET on Sunday, October 15.
Freedom Autosport Quotes
We had a car that was probably capable of battling for the lead all race long. In terms of long runs, I think we had the best car today. We developed a stumble in the engine about 30 minutes in, and ultimately that was our demise on battling for the win. I’m frustrated because I think we had a car capable of winning, but I’ll take a solid result to finish the year for ModSapce and Freedom Autosport.
The car has been good all season in terms of pace, but reliability has hurt us. We had a good car, just like we did last year, and we ended up in a similar situation where the car developed a misfire on a restart. Halfway through, the car started coming back in and we were hunting the lead group down before the final caution.
Britt Casey, Jr.:
We made huge improvements to our TRUMPF Mazda on the test day. The adjustments got smaller and smaller, and Tom and I had to get pickier and pickier with what we wanted to change! What happened at the end of the race was unfortunate, but the car was awesome.
This was not the result we wanted to end the year for Freedom Autosport. The team did such an incredible job with our Mazda. We had a good car and were running strong. We were trying to do our best for TRUMPF, Mazda and Freedom Autosport, and we came up short. I don’t think everyone played very fair, and that was a big piece to the end of the race.
Freedom Autosport has done such an incredible job of giving us the best cars we’ve ever had. Over the course of ten years, we’ve never been able to produce the lap times we have this year. Even so, it’s been an uphill battle. We can’t thank the team enough for staying motivated and not giving up. It’s a big testament to the team for staying strong mentally through the whole season.
We rolled off the trailer not very good for the test day, and the guys did a ton of work, so the car was tremendously better the next morning. The car just really came alive. The qualifying time was not indicative of how fast the car was for the race. I’m honored and blessed to be a part of Freedom Autosport and to have Andrew as a teammate and friend.
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/