- 21 September 2011
A big DNF weekend for Championship hopefuls at Connecticut's Lime Rock Park, Ryan Leach finishes second in the Spectrum/Honda for Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing, and Colin Thompson uses social media to run a fan contest.
Lime Rock could have been a big weekend for points – in that cars passing each other for the lead on the last lap context. But things feel a bit differently as the top three Championship contenders heading into the weekend (Tim Kautz, Bill Valet, Jim Goughary) totaled five DNFs, with Bill Valet managing to finish the first race in victory lane.
That sole finish vaulted Valet to the top of the official (but somewhat unofficial, without two calculated drops) standings by ten points over Kautz. With drops figured in, Kautz takes the lead back by 13 points, setting up a Championship showdown for Watkins Glen.
Kautz failed to finish the first race with an electrical issue, according to the team, and suffered a massive engine failure in the second race. Meanwhile, Valet had an electrical problem that shut his Swift/Ford off in the afternoon race.
Jim Goughary looked to be taking control of the points lead back, sitting on pole and leading both races. Both races would end in crash damage, however, as Goughary was unable to capitalize around the seven-turn road course.
“It was a bad day,” said Goughary. “Ryan (Leach) and I hit in turn one (in the first race), it knocked the toe off and three laps later the left front suspension snapped at the apex to the uphill, causing the huge wreck I had.”
In race two, Goughary was leading when he came together with Colin Thompson. He explained: “Once I was turned backward his wheel hit my right front and bent the tie rod to the point where I could not continue. It is a shame really that the young guys are not showing enough patience cause we the way it turned out for Tim and Bill we could have come out of there with the points lead.”
“It was definitely nice to get my first podium of the year,” said Leach. “The team and I look forward to Watkins Glen and racing how we did in the second race at Lime Rock, smart and patient. I know I have the speed, I just need to get through the race, the last lap is all that matters.”
Meanwhile, Leach came together with Goughary in race one. He explained: “On lap four, from what I saw we were going side by side down into one, I felt like I went in deeper than he did since I saw his car leave my peripheral vision, I thought I gave him enough room but he had his brakes locked up and got into my left rear and damaged the suspension. It was just a racing incident, no hard feelings but I will definitely make sure I leave more room next time. I can't afford to be out of the race that early.”
Colin Thompson deserves a shoutout for running a fan contest on his Facebook and Twitter pages. Fans were able to write in with their prediction of Thompon’s fastest qualifying lap with prizes awarded to the three fans that got the closest. He plans to do it again at Watkins Glen - check out his site for more.