|For Immediate Release - September 5, 2005|
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Velocity Motorsports Formula Mazda team has a solid finish at Mosport
Prospect Hill, NC - The Velocity Motorsports Team came to the Mosport Circuit in Canada a week prior to the race weekend for a couple of days of testing. Driver John Pew completed over 550 miles around the ultra-fast circuit. During the test, the team continued to rebuild Phil Saville’s car after the accident at Road America. The test was a success as Pew and the crew worked on car setups for the race weekend.
The rest of the team arrived to the circuit to begin the race weekend. During practice John Pew had a significant wreck into the high speed turn one. The turn is a high speed sixth gear right hand sweeper that relies almost exclusively on the left rear wheel and tire. “A pebble had lodged itself between the brake caliper and the wheel,” stated team owner Ken Erb. “This caused the wheel to slice apart causing immediate loss of tire pressure in the left rear wheel.” John was not injured but the car needed significant repairs in order to race. Lucas Griffin, John’s lead mechanic, and the crew worked into the early morning hours to repair the car’s damage. At 1:00am the team left the track for a quick nights rest.
While John missed the 9:00am session, Lucas was able to complete the extensive repairs in time for John to join his teammates for the final practice session of the afternoon. During the first practice session, both Mark Patterson and Phil Saville picked up the pace after a full day of practice. Both drivers set times in the 1:18 range. Unfortunately for Mark, he went off track at turn three and damaged his left front suspension. Lead mechanic, Dave McClain, was able to repair the damage and get Mark out on track for the afternoon session. Saville would post the 12th quickest time during practice with a time of 1:17.394.
During qualifying all three drivers continually pick up the pace with Phil Saville posting the quickest time of the Velocity Team drivers. His time of 1:17.458 was just three one thousandths off the pole time for the first group. Once the second group finished qualifying and positions were decided, Saville would start in 18th, Patterson in 22nd and Pew in 23rd.
Race day arrived and the team looked for solid finishes in the points. All of the Velocity drivers stayed out of trouble during the event. Despite a full course caution the team saw all three drivers cross the finish line in the points. Saville finished 16th overall and second in the Expert Series and Patterson finished 18th overall and second in the Masters Series. “It was a wonderful race under perfect conditions,” said Patterson. “The dedicated crew provided all of us with very well setup cars.” Pew, despite the huge accident in practice, would finish in 20th place overall. His fourth place finish in the Master Series vaulted him back into first place in the points standings. “Kudos to Lucas, my lead mechanic and the rest of the team for putting my car back together,” said Pew.
The team now heads to the Petit Le Mans weekend at Road Atlanta for their next race. This will be the penultimate round of the 2005 Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear. The final round will take place at the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. For SPEED television times, visit the Star Mazda website at www.starmazda.com or for team information, visit www.burrismotorsport.com.