Second Place Qualifier, Ortiz (far left) Kept the No. 79 at the Front of the Pack Throughout His Stint
Kinetic Motorsports and drivers hit the track for the third official time this season for the KONI Challenge race at Homestead – Miami Speedway. Kinetic fielded its No. 79 BMW M3 in the Grand Sport class of the series formerly known as Grand Am Cup. The entry was piloted by Kinetic drivers Shawn Price, President and CEO of Savvion and young Puerto Rican phenomenon Brian Ortiz.
The event started off a bit challenging for the duo finishing 37th during the first practice run due to setup issues. Back in the garage, the team worked with the drivers, analyzing data and feedback in hopes of determining a setup that would work as well as possible for the two different driving styles. Kinetic had the opportunity to prepare for qualifying once more during the second a final practice of the weekend during which Ortiz and Price picked up 14 spots to finish the day 23rd fastest.
“I think we definitely benefited from both practice sessions this weekend from a setup standpoint,” said Crew Chief James Pauly. “The team came up with a happy medium in terms of car setup with the pairing of Brian and Shawn for the weekend. They have two different driving styles which requires a slightly different chassis setup. The practice rounds gave our drivers the chance to get comfortable with that setup prior to qualifying and the race. The guys did a great job this weekend and we are looking forward to the next race.”
After the team made the necessary changes to the car, Ortiz was given the task of putting the No. 79 up front to begin the race. Qualifying went extremely well and displayed the ability of the team to work under pressure and provide its drivers with a fast car. Ortiz initially took third in qualifying and after a tech infraction for the second place qualifier the No. 79 was bumped up to the second position putting the team on the front row.
“For me the team did a great job setting the car up,” said Ortiz. “During practice we were a bit slow but we managed to make the right adjustments for qualifying. The race showed how hard the team worked and how fast the car was. Unfortunately the rain didn't come at the right time for us. Next weekend looks good. I know that Boris is faster than I am so we should be in a good position at Iowa and hopefully come away with a win.”
At the fall of the Green Flag for Saturday's event, Ortiz stayed true to form running extremely fast, keeping the BMW in the top-five throughout his time in the car. With less than perfect weather around the corner, Kinetic Crew Chief James Pauly kept Ortiz in the car to allow for a calculated driver change as well as a conversion from slick to rain tires.
The rain however held off causing Ortiz to pit during Green Flag conditions for a required driver change. Price entered the BMW finding himself in the back in the pack once he sped away into the field. With just a few laps into his stint, the rain fell resulting on another pit stop for rain tire transition. The crew was able to make a quick tire change losing only three positions as a result. Price reentered the race in the 30th position with less than 40 minutes to go in the event. Racing hard in the rain, he was able to gain five spots taking the Checkered Flag in 25th.
Kinetic is now making the trek to Iowa Speedway directly from Homestead for the third installment of the 2007 KONI Challenge season. Kinetic Motorsports will field two BMWs on the 1.3 mile road course with the No. 80 driven by Boris Said and Bryan Ortiz and the No. 79 piloted by Shawn Price and Anthony Lazzaro. For more information about Kinetic Motorsports, please visit www.kssmotorsports.com
– Alex Thompson Kinetic Motorsports-
17.04.2007 / MaP