LATE RETIREMENT FOR ANTHONY SIMONE AND GARETT GRIST. DIFFICULT RACE FOR AARON POVOLEDO’S CONQUEST RACING TEAM.
SuperSebring weekend is packing lots of action on track and with the FIA WEC 1000 miles of Sebring on top of the regular Mobil 1 Twelve hour of Sebring we already had a first race today.
IMSA Prototype Challenge had their practice sessions yesterday then qualifying this morning.
Simone had been placed third and sixth during practice sessions, Garett Grist ended the sessions in sixth and eighth place while Aaron Povoledo sharing the ride with teammate Ross Chouet placed 16th and 17th.
When the 15 minutes qualifying session got underway this morning, a couple of incidents very early in the session made it so the session was cut short. One of the vehicle involved was the no. 25 Conquest Racing when Povoledo’s teammate Chouet had an off at one of the corners. With some heavy damages to the rear of the car, the team worked hard to get the car ready for the race that was to take place less than four hours later.
The starting grid had Garett Grist with K2R Motorsport starting in sixth, Anthony Simone 25th as he did not set a time and Conquest Racing Povoledo/Chouet starting 26th du to the accident.
Right from the green flag, we could see some aggressive driving taking place has the starting order had been shuffled around form the usual order due to the shortened qualifying session. We could see very close fights and spins as everyone was trying to gain spots early in the 1 hour 45 minutes race.
Anthony Simone muscled his way through the pack in the first couple of laps and pointing third place for most of the race, until he had to retire the car for mechanical problems.
Garett Grist, who had started in sixth place, ran in the top five for most of the race until he had to retire the car with less than 20 minutes to go.
Having started in last place, it was to be a difficult race for Conquest Racing duo of Povoledo/Chouet. After a lengthy pit stop, when Aaron took over from Chouet, it was a matter of bringing the car home. At the checkered flag, they were 14th, one lap behind.
The top three finisher were the no. 43 of Stevan McAleer with Robillard Racing who had a comfortable lead over second place no. 47 of Austin McCusker/Rodrigo Pflucker of Forty7 Motorsports. And in third place James McGuire et Matt Bell of K2R Motorsports.
The next race on the calendar for IMSA Prototype Challenge is on May 3-5 at Mid-Ohio.
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