Freedom Autosport | By Beth Dolgner | September 27, 2017 | LINK TO ARTICLE
SALINAS, Calif.– Andrew Carbonell and Liam Dwyer gave Freedom Autosport its eighth consecutive podium at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca on Saturday. They drove the No. 26 Semper Fi Fund Mazda MX-5 to second in the ST class during the four-hour IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge race.
The race was a milestone for Carbonell: it marked his 100th start in the series. He is also the sole Freedom Autosport driver to have been on the Mazda Raceway podium every year that the series has visited the historic track. In eight races, Carbonell has earned four wins, three second-place finishes and one third-place finish.
Mechanical issues plagued both the No. 25 ModSpace/Spartan Cargo Trailers Mazda MX-5 and No. 27 TRUMPF Inc. Mazda MX-5 during the latter half of the race. Earlier, Chad McCumbee and Stevan McAleer ran up front with the No. 25 Mazda and were on track to get another podium finish. Similarly, Britt Casey, Jr. and Mark Drennan had the pace in the No. 27 Mazda before their promising day was cut short.
FS1 will broadcast the race on Sunday, October 1, at 5:00 p.m. ET.
Freedom Autosport Quotes
The endurance format is a different race than what we’re used to, but it played into our favor, giving us time to work toward the front. It was nice to have the long run time to really bring out the strength of the Mazda MX-5, which is pace over a long stint. The crew was firing on all cylinders and Liam had an incredible stint. Everyone performed at their best and nobody made a mistake. Everyone should be proud of this finish.
The team did a great job setting up the car and making the changes Andrew and I needed to be competitive. The changes that we made gave us a good car for long green-flag runs, but the number of yellows at the end dictated how we finished. I’d have liked to get a win at our home track, but I’ll take a P2 as a good shot in the arm for the whole team as we head into the season finale.
I really enjoyed the longer race, and I felt like the longer format benefitted our ModSpace Mazda, but we had to battle back from an early pit stop. I was able to run the leader down around the halfway mark, which is when I pitted. We were in a good position to potentially win, but we had a failure, so we’ll go to Road Atlanta and see if can redeem ourselves.
One of the biggest things in a long race is preserving equipment, and I was taking my time, even though we were out front. I was very careful. We came in for that last pit stop to do fuel. We decided we needed tires and got hung up with the left rear tire. I came out fourth, and we had a race on our hands. The moment I got excited, we started to lose power.
Britt Casey, Jr.:
Fuel strategy and conserving the car both really come into play with a four-hour, so there are aspects that change with the longer format. There is also twice as much time for something to go wrong! We had no problem maintaining pace. We were right up there with the leaders until we had an unfortunate mechanical issue.
I’d met Britt through Spec Miata, but we really got to know each other when we started talking about driving together at Mosport earlier this season. It was great to co-drive with him again at Mazda Raceway. I felt great after my first stint, so the team kept me in the car. The stints went well, and I think Britt could have been there contending for a podium at the end.
William Mann, Vice President of Motorsports for ModSpace:
ModSpace always looks forward to racing at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, but this past weekend was tough for our No. 25 team. As a motorsports partner to Mazda, this track is special to ModSpace since this is their home track. After a tough weekend, ModSpace looks forward to our final race and has no doubts that the No. 25 will be running up front again.
ABOUT FREEDOM AUTOSPORT
Since 2008, Freedom Autosport has been a major force in the ST class of the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge Series, proving the might of the Mazda MX-5s. Between their inaugural season in 2008 and 2016, Freedom Autosport earned 15 wins. Freedom Autosport is named in honor of the men and women of the U.S. military who defend our freedom, and the team is a proud supporter of the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund. Keep up with the team on Facebook and Twitter.
ABOUT MAZDA MOTORSPORTS
Mazda Motorsports boasts the most comprehensive auto racing development ladder system of any auto manufacturer in the world. The Mazda Road to 24 program offers a number of scholarships to advance drivers up the sports car racing ladder, beginning with the Global MX-5 Cup series and culminating with the Mazda Prototype team. The Mazda Road to Indy is a similar program that includes Mazda-powered categories of USF2000, Pro Mazda and Indy Lights. In grassroots road racing, more Mazdas race on any given weekend in North America than any other manufacturer. Mazda is also the title sponsor of the renowned Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, Calif. Follow all of the latest news at MazdaMotorsports.com, @MazdaRacing on Twitter, and MazdaMotorsports on Instagram and Facebook.
ABOUT THE SEMPER FI FUND
The Semper Fi Fund provides urgently needed resources and lifetime support for wounded, critically ill and injured members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their families. Case managers from the Semper Fi Fund work one-on-one with service members and veterans in order to understand and support their individual needs right now and throughout their lifetime. We keep our overhead low so our impact on the lives of service members and veterans is greater. The Semper Fi Fund is one of only three veteran charities to receive an “A+” rating from The American Institute of Philanthropy and a four-star rating from Charity Navigator. For more information visit www.semperfifund.org.
TRUMPF Inc. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the TRUMPF Group. Dedicated to serving the manufacturing needs of the American, Canadian and Mexican markets, TRUMPF is currently the largest manufacturer of fabricating equipment and industrial lasers in North America. We offer our customers innovative, high-quality products and solutions in the areas of sheet metal processing, laser-based production processes and electronic applications. Find TRUMPF online at www.us.trumpf.com and on Twitter as @TRUMPFInc.
ABOUT CUSHMAN & WAKEFIELD
Cushman & Wakefield is a leading global real estate services firm that helps clients transform the way people work, shop, and live. The firm’s 43,000 employees in more than 60 countries provide deep local and global insights that create significant value for occupiers and investors around the world. Find Cushman & Wakefield at cushmanwakefield.com.
Modular Space Corporation (ModSpace), based in Berwyn, Pa., is the largest U.S.-owned provider of office trailers, portable storage units and modular buildings for temporary or permanent space needs. Building on 50 years of experience, ModSpace serves a diverse set of customers and markets—including commercial, construction, education, government, healthcare, industrial, energy, disaster relief, franchise and special events—through an extensive branch network across the United States and Canada. For more information, visit www.ModSpace.com or http://Blog.ModSpace.com.
ABOUT SPARTAN CARGO TRAILERS
Spartan Cargo Trailers, LLC is located in Alma, Ga., and is a wholesale manufacturer of cargo and utility trailers. Manufacturing the industry’s very-best-quality trailers, Spartan Cargo Trailers provides the widest range of products in the industry including common utility/work trailer, a race car hauler, concession stands, restroom units with options like observations decks, hydraulic lifts, audio/visual equipment or something new and straight out of the box. Simply put, if you can imagine it, we can build it. Spartan Cargo Trailers offers as a standard: fifteen exterior colors, with single and tandem axles, radial tires, screw-less exteriors and awnings just to name a few. With the finest customization department in the industry, Spartan Cargo Trailers has designers that engineer trailers to suit customer wants and needs. https://www.facebook.com/Spartan-Cargo-Trailers-LLC-1686537238299528/