By PaddockTalk | paddocktalk.com | February 25, 2013
Freedom Autosport is looking forward to introducing a new group of fans to their Mazda MX-5s this weekend, when GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge has their inaugural event at Circuit of the Americas.
Rhett O'Doski and Andrew Carbonell had a strong start to the season, finishing sixth at Daytona, and they will be hoping for an even better result at Austin in the No. 26 Mazda MX-5. Derek Whitis and Tom Long, who co-drive the No. 25 Mazda MX-5, were 13th at Daytona.
"Going to a new track is always a fun challenge, and this is a great chance to not only show off what a great car the Mazda MX-5 is, but to promote the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund," says O'Doski. "We encourage veterans to stop by our pits so we can say thank you in person."
Long drove the 3.4-mile, 20-turn Circuit of the Americas earlier this year, and he says the new track has plenty of areas where the MX-5 will excel. "I think the MX-5 will do well there because there are a lot of complex series of corners, and corners are a good thing for our Mazdas," Long says. "The straights might be a challenge, but there are big braking zones with hairpins–five of them, in fact–where we'll excel in the MX-5. There are some high-speed esses and other technical bits that should complement the car, as well."
Carbonell is preparing for the race by studying the track map and videos. "The track is full of switchbacks and multiple apexes, which are both places where the MX-5 shines. I'm not going in with any ideas of what gear to be in or where to apex; I want to drive it first with an open mind and feel it out."
"Austin is a great city, and we're excited about racing at such a world-class facility. We always enjoy getting to race and meet fans in an area where GRAND-AM hasn't raced before, and we expect Austin to be a lot of fun and a great showcase for the MX-5," says Whitis.
See the Freedom Autosport Mazda MX-5s in action when the race starts on Saturday, March 2, at 10:05 a.m. CT. The race will be broadcast on SPEED on Saturday, March 9, at 4:00 p.m. ET.