Set-up changes and a strong start helped K-PAX Racing’s Volvo S60s collect two of the top three finishing positions in the second race at Optima Batteries Mid-Ohio Grand Prix presented by Game Streamer, round 9 of the 2010 World Challenge Championships.
Andy Pilgrim started from the third position in the number 8 K-PAX Volvo, and got by the Chevrolet Corvette of Mike Skeen on the opening lap to move into second. Andy held the position until a restart on lap 11, when Skeen retook second place. Andy got the position back late in the race on the restart on lap 24, and challenged race winner James Sofronas in the Porsche 911 GT3 on the closing laps, finishing 0.151 seconds behind.
“Yesterday’s race was a good practice session, so with the feedback I had from the race yesterday, and (race engineer) Will Moody’s expertise and Jeremy (Smallwood), my crew chief, working hard with Will we came up with a set-up for today that we thought would be better. We threw a lot of stuff at it without being able to practice with it, but with the experience of someone like Will, we made good changes, spring changes, wing changes and shock changes – a lot of stuff. We had a much better car. It stayed with me and it was good,” a happy Andy said afterward.
Andy’s teammate Randy Pobst started fifth on the grid in the number 6 K-PAX Volvo, but a strong start allowed him to move up to third. Like his team mate, Randy fell back one position on the lap 11 restart. He held the fourth place position until lap 16, when Kuno Wittmer got took advantage of slower traffic and passed Randy in the esses. He remained in the fifth position until a restart on lap 24, when he was able to get by Skeen and the Porsche 911 GT3 of Patrick Lindsey and moved into the final podium position where he would finish.
“Our K-PAX team did improve the Volvo in a lot of ways. My brakes were better, the handling was better, but I think the single thing that really changed the complexion of this race for us was at the start. We got a good start, Andy and I both, our Volvos have all-wheel drive and come off the line great and we’re sitting second and third. Behind us is a Corvette (Skeen) and a Porsche (Lindsey), they both beat us yesterday and they battled in the keyhole (turn 2) before the long straight away. That gave us a little bit of a gap down the straight away so they couldn’t catch us. We we’re into the curvy bits ahead of them, and that changed the race a lot. We we’re able to stay ahead of them,” Randy explained.
Randy’s lead in driver’s championship is 146 over second place Kuno Wittmer and he is 171 points ahead of third place James Sofronas.
Volvo’s lead in the manufacturer’s championship standings is 3 points over Porsche and 19 ahead of Dodge.
K-PAX Racing will be back in action at Virginia International Raceway, Sept. 10-12. The Optima Batteries Mid-Ohio Grand Prix presented by Game Streamer will be broadcast on Versus on Saturday, August 28 from 4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. ET.