|GRAND AMERICAN ROAD RACING ASSOCIATION|
|CB Motorsports Confident With New Pontiac Engine|
|Team Switch From Lexus|
|CB Motorsports Confident With New Pontiac Engine |
CB Motorsports took a gamble this year and the team claims it's paying off. The Bellevue based outfit entered this year's Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series with their No.15 Lexus Riley Daytona Prototype (DP) and didn't have the performance they had hoped for until they switched engines. The team had not finished better than thirteenth through the June race at Daytona, so Chris Bingham, the team's owner, decided Pontiac power would better suit CB Motorsports. So far, he is happy with his decision.
"We missed the race at Barber due to the changing of our motor," said Bingham. "The first few races with a Pontiac engine we spent tuning the car and getting used to it, so we were still working our way up to where we wanted to be. Phoenix was our first race where we really had everything together and although we finished seventh due to a bad pit call, we should've finished fourth or fifth. We had a good finish at The Glen (fourth) and now we're ready for this weekend's race at Virginia International Raceway (V.I.R.).
"Switching to a Pontiac engine definitely gave us some notable changes for the better and we're glad we did it. Torque is up now and the balance of the car is much better. We're doing well and feeling good about the final two races."
Those final two races will be held at V.I.R. and Mexico City, respectively. The upcoming event at historic V.I.R. will be similar in many aspects to the last race at Watkins Glen as both tracks are winding road courses with many elevation changes. The 3.27-mile V.I.R. circuit, however, has 17 turns as opposed to The Glen's 3.37-mile course with 11 turns.
"Both The Glen and V.I.R. are great tracks," said Marc Bunting, co-driver of the No.65 TRG Pontiac GTO.R, which won the previous race in GT class. "They are both favourites of mine. Both have many high-speed turns as well as tight ones. However, at Watkins Glen it's easier to go flat V.I.R. is the more challenging of the two."
"We're looking forward to V.I.R because, in part, it's one of the few tracks we've been able to test at this season," said Andy Lally, who shares No.65 GTO.R with Bunting. "We found a pretty good setup for our Pontiac when we were there and with the points race for GT drivers champions as close as it is right now, we really need to keep our focus."
While Andy and Marc seek their GT driver championship - they both currently hold second place - Pontiac will aim for a second consecutive DP manufacturers championship, which is not far from being clinched over second-place Lexus. Additionally, DP Pontiac drivers Wayne Taylor and Max Angelelli of the No.10 SunTrust Pontiac Riley are shooting for their goal of drivers champions having won the last race at The Glen (and four others this season). They currently lead in driver points and their team, SunTrust Racing, is on top of the battle for the team championship.
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