For Immediate Release
April 23 - Jeff Westphal and Scuderia Corsa headed to the fourth round of the Grand Am Rolex Championship with the stage set at the infamous, Road Atlanta. This was the first year Grand Am had visited the historic track, with the most notable event prior being the Petit LeMans, a 12 hour sprint that is considered a testing ground for those hoping to score a victory at the 24 Hours of Lemans later in the season. The venue in Braselton, GA was not only new to Grand Am, but the entire Scuderia Corsa team bar 6 laps Jeff did last year at a Time Attack event.
“The start of the weekend was familiarization for Balzan and I, neither of us had solid references around the track so each outing we spent our time trying to get our feet on the ground to be able to click off consistent laps…….. Qualifying was rained out so the officials set the grid based on points. Although this isn’t ideal for my competitive nature, it’s a pretty good deal. Scuderia Corsa is slated to start the race on the outside of front row, so I am pretty happy with our chances heading into the race” explained Westphal.
The Race was 2 Hours and 45 Minutes in length, and with Balzan not feeling well just days prior to the green flag, the plan was to have Westphal take the lions share and run a double stint to get the team going (a double stint is 2 full tanks of fuel). With that said, Jeff impressed the entire paddock by leading the race for all but two laps during his 1 Hour 50 Minute drive time, at some points holding a lead of 6 seconds over the entire GT field while managing tire degradation. Once the fuel light came on for the second time, the Californian dove into pitlane to do the mandatory driver change and let his team mate carry the car to the end.
“We have nothing but faith in our drivers, they have shown strength all year and both are capable of winning races, so we choose the most advantageous time to do the driver change. Jeff did a fantastic job at the beginning of the race, and Alessandro fought very hard to fend off cars with new tires nipping at our heels.” said owner, Giacomo.
As the dust settled, Scuderia Corsa finished 3rd in their maiden race at Road Atlanta, making this their second podium in a row, as well as now taking over the points lead of the championship heading into the long break before the Detroit Gp at Belle Isle.
All races are live on Speed channel with the full hourly schedule on the grand-am.com website. Next up is Belle Isle street circuit on June 1st, 2013.