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Kasemets Nets First Pole of the Season for Multimatic Aston

Kasemets Nets First Pole of the Season for Multimatic Aston

WATKINS GLEN, New York (June 30th, 2012) – The Multimatic Motorsports Aston Martin Team was back to full strength at this venerable road racing course, once the home of the US Grand Prix. John Gaw, the Managing Director of Aston Martin Racing, made the trip from England to lead the reappearance of the team’s #71 car, sharing the seat with his long term driving partner Phil Dryburgh. Gaw found the measure of the extremely demanding long track in short order and qualified an outstanding fourteenth in what has now become North America’s most competitive road racing series. The only thing eclipsing the AMR man’s outstanding rookie achievement was Tonis Kasemets’ pole in the team’s #55 Vantage. His second flying lap was a solid 0.2 second clear of a tight following group of extremely rapid Camaros. The race was an up-and-down affair for both cars as they suffered from penalties, numerous on-track incidents and the excessive heat. The #55 led for a good portion of the race but fell back after the pit-stops, Maxwell managing to battle back up to P8 while the #71 had moved securely into the top 20 when a final stroke of bad luck took both cars out of the race with only two laps to go. Highlights of the weekend were as follows:

  • The #55 was fast off the trailer due to an excellent four post rig derived set-up and, to a lesser extent, a 35-pound weight reduction awarded by Grand-Am. Maxwell and Kasemets were in the top five in all practice sessions and had few complaints about the car. Neither Gaw nor Dryburgh had been to Watkins Glen before but they learned quickly and both drivers gained large amounts of time in each session. Qualifying was spectacular for both cars as Kasemets earned the Aston’s first pole of the season and Gaw placed Q14, just two seconds off the fast time and well up the extremely competitive grid.
  • Kasemets made an outstanding start into the extremely challenging first corner, holding off the looming bow tie brigade by exploiting the Aston’s superior handling. Once again the race was crash and caution filled, slowing the pace enough to open a wide range of possible strategies. To make things more interesting, there was no caution to be had once the final stops needed to be made and all the leaders were forced to come in under green. The #55, which had led a good portion of the opening stint, was hindered in the pit by a short penalty, made more costly by the green, as a crew member left the wall too early. The #71 was helped into a spin just before making a delayed green flag stop; an unfortunate series of events that left Gaw two laps down.
  • The combination of extremely high ambient temperatures and the tight pack racing raised the Aston’s engine coolant and oil temperatures beyond acceptable limits and performance suffered. Maxwell pushed the #55 hard in the final laps but with the heat related issues, was left on the defense, clinging to a top ten position. Gaw gained a lap back and climbed into the top 20 when a gamble on fuel saw the #71 run out with only two laps remaining, stranding it out on track. In a turn of even worse fortune, the #55 car, which had made a later stop and should have had six laps more fuel than #71, pulled to the side of the road within a couple of hundred metres of its sister car. The team, in conjunction with AMR, has planned an intensive development program using the University Of Ontario Institute Of Technology’s ACE climactic wind tunnel focused on solving the heat related issues before returning to competition in a few weeks for Super Weekend At The Brickyard on July 27th.

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Contact Info:

Sean Mason or Stephen Charsley
Multimatic Motorsports
+1 905-470-0025
racepr@multimatic.com