Daytona Beach, FL (January 27, 2014) -- Randy returned to the famous Daytona International Speedway to do double duty in one of the most prestigious race weekends of the year, the opening of Speedweeks. Randy first raced on Friday in the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge BMW Performance 200 with his new team Freedom Autosport. Randy raced the first stint in the No. 26 Mazda MX-5 and was near the top when he relinquished the seat to co-driver Andrew Carbonell. Andrew drove on to finish a respectable twelfth.
"It was a good weekend. Our finishes are better than they look and the final numbers don't tell the whole story. Our first Continental race weekend with Freedom Autosport was terrific and I have high hopes for the championship. In qualifying, I got a nearly perfect draft off the pole-winning BMW and put the MX-5 in an overachieving sixth on the grid. We are the lightest car in class and handling and braking are our strengths. But top speed is not and Daytona has two very long straightaways which hurt us. The MX-5 is much better suited to normal road courses with lots of corners. Andrew and I had a perfect race and are a good match as co-drivers. The team called a really clever pit strategy for our one and only pit stop by diving into the pits early, gambling that there would be a yellow...and there was. We were up near the front at the restart but several cars easily passed us on the straight. We were happy with twelfth. Freedom Autosport is a well organized and well run team and I am very pleased to be a part of it."
Randy also raced in the 52nd Rolex 24 At Daytona in the No. 19 Muehlner Motorsports Porsche 911 GT America with co-drivers Jim Taggert, Robert Gewirtz, Mark Kvamme and Jim Michaelian in the GTD class which features a combination of professional and amateur drivers. Randy started the race and drove for three stints. Although there were the usual stops for mechanical fixes, two of them for at least 30 minutes, the team brought the Porsche home in 20th in class.
"We finished the race which is an achievement on its own. There were some really close calls. In the first few laps, an Audi got in trouble in Turn 2 right in front of me. He spun and then was rolling backwards and almost pinched me in the wall. It was very hairy and a close one. Then not long after, one of the Patron cars spun in the Bus Stop, but I was watching and avoided disaster. When I got out after my first stint, we were in fourth place after starting 28th. I was glad to be in the race but was disappointed in the pace of the car. It was not possible to run with the other cars in class but we did our best. It was just frustrating. I am very proud of my co-drivers for staying out of trouble and bringing the car home in one piece. It was the first 24 hour race for some of these guys. We finished on a high with Jim Taggert turning some fast laps at the end and taking the checkered flag. I want to thank the Muehlner Motorsports team for their hard work, especially the spotters who were on the radio pointing out both the faster and slower cars. I take great pleasure in pushing the car and always working for all the speed I can get. I really enjoy the constant dance with traffic."
"I would like to thank my business manager and significant other, Jennifer Drews, for her assistance with the chaos that happens on a weekend such as this. I would also like to thank my personal sponsors Blackbox Guard, SafeRacer, Motor Trend Magazine and TPC Racing for their support in this new season. I am very excited to promote the Blackbox Guard dash board cams. Everyone should have one. I will be coaching all this week for TPC Racing and my good friend Mike Levitas at Sebring for the David Murray track days and the Porsche Club of America 48 hours at Sebring. I am looking forward to our next race there with Freedom Autosport in March."
The next IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge race will be at Sebring International Racing on March 14, 2014. Randy is still looking for a ride in the Pirelli World Challenge.
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