Posted (08/23/2014) -
Alton, VA (August 23, 2014) -- Since leaving the last race at Road America, Randy has been racking up the frequent flyer miles and auditioning for an episode of Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous. He first traveled to California for the 2014 Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion, which showcases classic cars and features events with historic and often legendary racecars. Randy drove in two of the vintage races held at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in a 1980 IMSA GT BMW M1. Soon after, he flew to Italy, compliments of Motor Trend Magazine, for a dinner with Audi Sport leader and racing genius Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich and other fellow journalists. The next day was spent at the Misano World Circuit, testing the Audi R18 e-tron Quattro that won the 2014 24 Hours of Le Mans, a true racers dream.
The whirlwind trip continued with a flight back to the states, just in time for Round 10 of the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge Championships at Virginia International Raceway. Due to his trip to Italy, Randy had to miss practice and qualifying for the race and the Freedom Autosport team decided to move Randy from his usual No. 26 with co-driver Andrew Carbonell, to the Freedom Autosport No. 27 Mazda MX-5 with teammate Staff Sgt. Liam Dwyer. Weather conditions forced the cancellation of ST qualifying and the class grid was set according to points, placing the No. 27 Mazda in seventh position. Liam, who started the race, had been happy with the car's performance during the practice sessions, but began to suffer handling issues at the beginning of the race. During the pit stop, Randy got in the driver's seat and the team made changes to the Mazda to try to improve the handling and speed. The changes did not help, but Randy continued on and kept the car in one piece, finishing the race in a disappointing seventeenth position.
"What a crazy end to an amazing two weeks. I was really honored to drive with Liam. He is a great guy and got the job done. Something was really off with our setup even though nothing obvious was wrong. The Mazda was loose and I couldn't get much speed out of the car. Liam commented during his stint that the car was tail happy so we tried tire pressure adjustments, but that only made it worse. We later came in and put the pressure back which helped a little. I worked really hard but couldn't fix it. I managed to keep my nose clean and not spin or crash. This was the car that Liam won with at Lime Rock and they said it felt good in practice so we don't know what happened. Maybe it was track temp related. It will be interesting to see if they find anything. How odd. It made me feel old because I didn't feel fast. We hung on and got what we could and will go on the next race and try to do better. Liam had an ESPN team following him and they interviewed me about him. I'm not sure when it will air but it was fun."
"I missed all of practice and qualifying, showing up just for the race because I had the incredible offer to drive the Audi R18 e-tron Quattro that won this year's 24 Hours of Le Mans...the very car! I will be writing an article for Motor Trend about it. The Audi is very unique because it is the most advanced endurance racing car of today. A hybrid, it combines V6 diesel power with an electric energy recovery system that takes the energy from braking and converts it to power to accelerate the car. It was too risky to go really fast with only a couple of laps in the car and I had to be careful but it was a fantastic experience in the dream come true category. The evening before, I attended a dinner with Dr Ulrich and had the privilege of sitting next to him. I found him to be a very entertaining and enlightening man. I felt like one of the Make A Wish kids."
"Last week, again through Motor Trend, I was a guest driver with BMW in their 1980 M1 IMSA racecar. I enjoyed first class accommodations for the week and drove in two of the races on Saturday. BMW loaned me a striking new hybrid BMW I8 sportscar for the whole week. It was fun to get cozy with it. I enjoyed checking out the classic cars and racing against the historic racecars. I would like to thank Motor Trend for these amazing experiences. Watch for our upcoming articles and both events. I would also like to thank my personal sponsors Blackbox Guard, SafeRacer.com, and TPC Racing for their continued support."
The Oak Tree Grand Prix at VIR will be televised August 31 at 10:00 AM ET on FOX Sports 1. The next IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge race will be at Circuit of the Americas on September 20, 2014.
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