Posted (03/16/2014) -
Sebring, FL (March 16, 2014) -- Victory! Randy returned to Florida this weekend for round two of the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge Championships at Sebring International Raceway. Randy and his new Freedom Autosport No. 26 Mazda MX-5 team with co-driver Andrew Carbonell, started the week strongly with fast speeds in practice and a fourth starting spot from qualifying. Due to disqualifications from three of the five top cars, Randy started the race on the outside pole. After a dicey start while racing with slower GS cars, Randy raced his way to first. The team made their mandatory pit stop for driver change part way through the race and Andrew got in and held the lead for their first team victory for 2014!
"What a terrific race! At Sebring, I had the right car, the right team and the right co-driver. It was clear from our practice times that our car was better suited for Sebring, with all of its corners, than it was for Daytona. We were very quick in practice but I thought the shifter felt funny. Our crew chief, Mark Canup, pulled the transmission and found a problem. It was a good catch for us and I am happy the team followed it through. It could have been a disaster. It was also very advantageous for us that we were able to move up on the starting grid after others were disqualified. It is Andrew's home track so we decided I would start the race and he would finish, After the green flew, I caught the back of the GS field in Turn 2 and things got crazy. It was hard to get around the slower GS cars and my competitors behind were catching me. IMSA asked them to let us by and thank God I got through with no problems. I was able to catch the top Honda and get the lead and I had a wonderful stint for about an hour. The braking system is so different on the Mazda than what I have been driving recently and I fried the brakes in practice. In my last car I had to totally slam on the brakes and that doesn't work with the MX-5. The team and Andrew gave me guidance, telling me to "drive it slowly". They installed an alarm on the dash that would alert me if I pushed on the brake pedal too hard. I can proudly say that I never set the alarm off and I still led. During our green flag stop, the Freedom Autosport team really shined and we gained 10 seconds on the second place Mazda. Andrew ran smoothly and finished the race under yellow after a hard crash by another Mazda team. It was an exciting win and the MX-5 ran perfectly. We won it on handling."
"I would like to thank my business manager and significant other, Jennifer Drews, for taking care of my food and business the whole week and SafeRacer.com for getting me my helmet radio cord in time. I also want to thank Freedom Autosport for allowing me the time to coach for TPC Racing during their Sebring Porsche GT3 effort. Thanks also goes to my personal sponsors Blackbox Guard, Motor Trend Magazine and TPC Racing for their support in this 2014 season."
The next IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge race will be at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca on May 3, 2014. The race will be broadcast on March 19 at 1:00 p.m. ET on Fox Sports 1 and on March 23 at 7:30 p.m. on Fox Sports 2.
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