Posted (05/29/2008) -
C-Max racing arrived at Lime Rock Park, ready to resume racing after the long three month post-Daytona layoff. Team owner and driver Dave Riddle was trying to beat a nasty cold/flu bug, so Lonnie Pechnik was recruited as a back up co-driver with Kris Wilson.
Both the #25 and #26 Porsches were out for the practice sessions, with all three drivers taking a turn. The decision was made to qualify both cars to keep all strategic options open. Kris Wilson qualified the #25 in 2nd place, with Lonnie following .034 seconds behind in 3rd.
As is customary at Lime Rock Park, Sunday is an off day and the races are held on Memorial Day, Monday. The team worked hard all day Sunday to improve the cars and practice the fueling and pit stop procedures. The drivers wore themselves out practicing driver changes and everyone was confident that the race day would go well.
With an early morning race start time on Monday and Dave still not feeling well enough to tackle the race, the team decided to start both cars as qualified and withdraw the #26 if the start and early laps went well for the #25. Kris had a clean start and was running well in third so Lonnie brought in the #26 and retired.
Kris set the third fastest race lap and moved into the lead on lap 44. He proceeded to increase his lead to over seven seconds when the first full course yellow came out on lap 59. Kris pitted, Lonnie jumped in and the team experienced a problem with the fueling rig. Lonnie was forced to come in two more times under the yellow to insure a full tank in the Porsche.
With the extra stops, Lonnie dropped back to 14th place. He quickly moved up to 5th but with no other yellow flags and the need to conserve fuel he stayed in 5th. Fortunately, his fuel saving measures worked, since on the last lap as he was passing for 4th the car stumbled with low fuel. He brought the #25 home in a strong 5th place finish.
Overall, the 5th place finish was a good result and the team has identified the areas where improvement is needed. Due to the extremely high cost of diesel fuel the team has rented a shop in Montour Falls, outside of Watkins Glen in upstate New York, in which to prepare the cars for the upcoming race at Mosport in Canada.
The Koni Challenge event at Mosport International Raceway will be run Saturday June 14th at 1pm EST.