August 8th was the 7th race of the IMSA Continental Tire Sportscar Challenge at Road America. I was very excited for this race as it is not only a great race track, but it is also my home track. Road America is known for its three very long, high speed straightaways as well as its huge elevation changes.
This race also marked one year since my series debut. Needless to say, I felt like I had something to prove after the engine failure at Road America in 2014. I went into the weekend the same way I always do; open minded with big ears and a small mouth. There is always something new to learn and I embrace that part of racing every time I go to the track.
This was also the first professional race for my co-driver Danny Bender. I've known Danny since I started racing Spec Miata in 2010 so getting acquainted was not a problem. I did my best to help Danny learn the in's and out's of driving on a professional team. The best way to help him was to think about what I felt like a year ago in my debut. All the questions that I had last year, I answered for him.
Qualifying was rained out so Danny started the race 21st. Danny had the challenge of moving towards the front of the field while preserving the car (especially brakes) before I could take the car to the end of the race. Before pit stop cycles began, Danny had moved up to 7th position, a perfect spot to pit from.
Danny brought the car in from first position and we performed a flawless pit stop. The only "slip-up" was when I ran around the car and slipped on an oil patch in the pit box.
Towards the end of the race, I found myself in 9th position on the final restart. However, one mistake in turn six would result in a 10th place finish. Overall, I am ecstatic about the performance of everyone on the Freedom Autosport team. We did phenomenal considering that Road America isn't the best track for our Mazda MX-5's.