Posted (05/24/2014) -
Lakeville, CT (May 24, 2014) -- After two race wins in a row, Randy and his Freedom Autosport No. 26 Mazda MX-5 team, with co-driver Andrew Carbonell, traveled to Lime Rock Park for Round 4 of the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge Championships, feeling like they had another good shot at a win. When qualifying was rained out, Randy, leading in points, was able to start on the pole. He held the lead for awhile, then lost a few spots in traffic, but had worked himself back into second when disaster struck. Randy was going into Turn 1 when he temporarily lost his brakes and ended up on the tire wall. The track workers were able to get the Mazda off the tires and Randy went to the pits. After small repairs, Andrew took over and raced for about 40 minutes until a shock broke. With no chance to improve their position after all the repairs, the team decided to retire the car. Freedom Autosport teammates Tom Long and Staff Sgt. Liam Dwyer brought the win home, with three Mazda MX-5s on the podium again!
"I crashed. I can't believe it. I was happy to start on the pole and I led for about 10 minutes until three slower cars came out of the pits and slowed me down, letting some of the pack get ahead of me. I was racing for the lead when things went wrong. I got a good run down the hill into Turn 1, but when I hit the brakes, the pedal went to the floor and I backed it onto the tire wall. The probable cause was pedal knock back, where you have to pump the brakes to get them ready for braking. You tap the brake pedal with your left foot before you brake with the right foot. I was doing this in every corner but this time I must not have done it enough. It was my fault. Luckily Lime Rock's tire walls are banded together and free standing. They absorbed the impact so the car was not badly damaged and, once off the tires, we were able to continue to the pits. We had been running well and I was having a good time. I thought we could win. After fixing the mirror, Andrew was able to get some good times in before the shock broke. We were so far behind now that we retired."
"The silver lining to our dark cloud is that it was still a good race for Mazda, taking all three podium spots, and for Freedom Autosport, with Tom and Liam winning in the No. 27. Freedom Autosport supports the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund and runs a third car with Tom Long and Staff Sgt. Liam Dwyer, an active duty U.S. Marine, who lost his left leg and injured other parts of his body when he stepped on an Improvised Explosive Device (I.E.D) in Afghanistan and drives the car with a special prosthesis. It was fitting that it happened on Memorial Day weekend, just after the three year anniversary of the injury, and at his home track. It is very inspiring how he has been able to persevere. The ending of the race was very exciting with cars bumping and fuel strategies being played out. They really earned that win with strategy and skill. I want to thank my personal sponsors Blackbox Guard, SafeRacer.com, Motor Trend Magazine and TPC Racing for their support in this 2014 season. I am flying down to Daytona to do the Chumpcar race with Jennifer Drews for her birthday present. It should be a lot of fun."
A tough day for Randy but a good day for the team and for Mazda. The next IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge race will be at Kansas Speedway on June 7, 2014.
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