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Posted (06/04/2012) -
Detroit, MI (June 03, 2012) - Randy and his #6 K-PAX Racing Volvo S60 team traveled to Detroit for the 2012 Pirelli World Challenge GT Championship doubleheader at Belle Isle for what was supposed to be a weekend of poles and podiums.  Randy had won before at Belle Isle, a temporary street course on an island in the shadows of Motown, and they knew the track suited their Volvo.  The team decided to skip the first practice due to poor weather and track conditions but was very happy with the results of the second practice.  Randy started off race day not feeling well and even skipped the autograph session to rest before the race.  Despite his unhappy stomach, the Volvo was fast and Randy was able to grab the pole for the first race.  Fully expecting the usual Volvo all-wheel drive launch, as the red light went out, Randy hit the gas and... nothing happened.  The car wouldn't move.  Randy was forced to sit helplessly as cars maneuvered around him.  Most of the field went by but some GTS drivers in the back couldn't see him and were left with no place to go but into the back of the Volvo, sending Randy into the wall.  The car was destroyed but, thanks to Volvo's high safety standards and other mandatory safety devices, Randy was not hurt.  Teammate Alex Figge was able to avoid hitting Randy and actually won the Cadillac CTS-V Move of the Race as he swerved to avoid him, racing on to a fourth place finish.
"Its a darn shame because we truly thought we could win both races.  I was feeling really lousy before qualifying and was very apprehensive about racing a track that was so demanding while feeling so badly.  It was work to drive and I was breathing hard but the Volvo performed well and we got the pole.  This, and a nap, helped me to feel a bit better before the race.  At the start, I dropped the clutch and the rear drive train broke.  Too much turbo torque and too much all-wheel drive traction.  All I could do was think small and look in the mirror.  I saw some amazing driving talent as cars swerved around me.  The guys in the back were going fast by the time they got to me and had less time to react.  One driver said that by the time he heard his team on the radio, he was there and it was too late.  I don't blame those drivers.  It was a tough situation.  SCCA is going to work on a warning system for the start of future races to improve standing start safety.  My car was severely damaged but I was not injured.  That is a testament to the quality of the K-PAX racecar and the inherent safety of the Volvo.  It absorbed the impact energy and reduced the blow to me.  Luckily I had recently switched to a new HANS device, from my sponsor saferacer.com, which holds my shoulder belts better.  Those were big hits.  I thank all the other drivers who didn't hit me.  It could have been worse."
"The weekend did have a silver lining.  The K-PAX team had a spare car on board but it was incomplete.  The guys pulled an all-nighter, taking two parts cars and making them one.  By morning warm-up, we were a half second faster than the rest of the field!  I knew it would be tough coming from the back of the pack and I drove very carefully at the start.  I soon lost the power steering and it was a monstrous effort just to finish the race.  My arms were noodles.  Alex finished third which was great for team morale.  I have huge admiration for the K-PAX team for the great effort it took to assemble a racecar overnight.  My personal sponsors, WeatherTech, TPC Racing, and especially saferacer.com came through for me again this weekend.  We also had the support of our Volvo North America executives, Director of Marketing Jay Hamill and President and CEO John Maloney.  Autoweek reporter and editor, Jake Lingeman was embedded with the team and was part of our big adventure.  He is writing a feature article on the K-PAX team that will include in-car video online.  On to Mosport..."
Randy has many more adventures coming up.  Next week he will be coaching TPC Racing at the Porsche GT3 Cup in Canada.  In mid-June, Randy will again join Motor Trend for the "Best Driver's Car" test at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.  His Motor Trend test of the 2013 Shelby GT500 can currently be read on motortrend.com and already has over 200,000 views.  The Pirelli World Challenge Cadillac V-Series Challenge at Belle Isle will be televised on NBC Sports Network on July 7 at 5:00 PM ET.  Keep your eyes out for the new Volvo TV commercial that will be seen during World Challenge races and other sporting events. The next race for the World Challenge GT series will be a doubleheader at Mosport International Raceway,  June 22 - 24.  You can now watch live streaming on www.world-challengeTV.com on the day of races and continuously on demand after races.  Randy's stints as a commentator for the Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup will air on Velocity as part of the Mazda Motorsports Hour, June 9 and June 16 at Noon ET. 
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