ANOTHER MISFORTUNE FOR COMPASS RACING AND KUNO WITTMER
On such a short track, it was going to be a very challenging race for everyone with a total of 33 cars combining the GS and TCR classes.
The combined temperature with humidity factor was around 40 degrees Celsius at the time of the race so drivers would have to stay extremely hydrated throughout their stints as temperatures inside could reach well over 50 degrees.
there were some great battles in the early stages between two Canadians in GS when Jesse Lazare in the MIA McLaren drove hard to stay ahead of Kyle Marcelli driving the KohR Motorposrt Mustang. At the time, they were fighting for fourth spot.
Strategy would play a big role as well with the high track temperature putting the Michelin Pilot through their pace. Several teams opting to conserve tires as much as they could to keep the grip to a more acceptable level.
Having started from Pole, the Hyundai Veloster N TCR of Mark Wilkins and Michael Lewis were very much in the fought in the TCR class battling it out in the early stages with the Alfa Romeo of Papadopulos/Popow.
Compass racing having started in 13th place in GS were running their pace and trying to keep up with the leaders. When Paul Rees came into the pits and ended the car over to Canadian Kuno Wittmer, they raked as high as eight.
And then more of the same happened to Compass Racing as Kuno came out of the pits, the McLaren got hit from behind by a competitor. This is actually the fourth race in which this occur for the Canadian team who is due for a break for sure.
Canadian Racers News reached out to Kuno after the race to exchange on the adventure of the weekend at Lime Rock.
“We knew Lime Rock would be difficult for us compared to the Mercedes, Audi and Mustang on the shorter layout. We were then looking at simply getting a good result. We wanted too qualify in a good position and simply stay out of trouble to finish as high as possible. We still needed a bit more pace throughout the weekend and the team is doing an excellent job in dealing with the BOP that was given to us by the Series,” mentioned Kuno.
“My teammate Paul Rees started the race and did a great job. He came in the pits after 45 minutes in eight place. I then took over for the remaining hour and fifteen. It was a hot day today and 30 minutes into my stint, the air conditioning system failed in the car and it got very warm, as you can imagine and not even the water supply was functioning,” to continue Kuno. “But that was not really the issue with our race. When I came out of the pits, a competitor hit me from behind causing damages to the rear suspension and causing a flat tire. I had to come back into the pits to make the necessary repairs. Speaking with the team we decided to keep going despite bring 5 laps down.”
We asked Kuno how is it that we see so much contacts between competitors. “This is hard to believe has this is the 4th time we get hit like this by a competitor and there is no reason for it. We are still trying to understand why this other driver ran into us like he did. I am all about fighting for positions and battling door to door but not in the middle of the race. In the last couple of laps of a race then yes, I am all for a good fight for position,” Kuno explains.
And Kuno now look ahead to Road America. “We are now looking ahead to Road America as it will be a track that favours us much better. It is a track that has longer straight and longer corners that suits the McLaren better.”
In the end, the victory in GS went to the Team TGM Mercedes-AMG of Trinkler/Plumb with second place to McQuarrie/Westphall in their Carbhan Motorsports Audi R8 and third to Mosing/Foss in the Murillo Racing Mercedes-AMG.
Kyle Marcelli crossed the checkered flag in sixth ahead of Jesse Lazare and MIA ended the race in seventh. AWA Porsche of Fidani/Hargrove were classified in 22nd.
In the TCR class, it is Mark Wilkins and teammate Michael Lewis driving their Bryan Herta Motorsport w/ Curb Agajanian that took the honours with a win that takes them to the lead of the Championship.
This team has really come out strong this year and is always at the top of the leader board race after race.
Second to the Hyundai Veloster N TCR was Johnson/Simpson driving the JDC Miller Motorsports Audi RS3 LMS followed by the second Bryan Herta Motorsport w/ Curb Agajanian of Fillipi/Gottsacker.
The next race is scheduled two weeks form now on August 2-4 at Road America.
Photographer & Editor