Posted (07/30/2012) -
A very chaotic 1 day event at Indianapolis Motor Speedway became just a bit more chaotic when afternoon thunderstorms changed the entire complexity of the Brickyard.
Thus as the ROLEX grid rolled to the starting line at 4 pm, the entire track was deluged with water. Everyone was on rains, and the skies continued to let loose as the early laps progressed.
Will Nonnamaker, who started #42, shared his impressions of the start - “The early stages of the race were a bit funny. Not only was it raining, but after several laps, the sun came out, despite the fact that was still raining. I was hydroplaning all the way down the back straightaway. And turning into some turns was a matter of just guessing that you were near the turn in point.”
Eventually, the track dried enough that everyone had to switch to slick tires. But then no more than 10 laps later, the skies opened up again, and teams were forced to rains. The unique thing was that this rain pour occurred under yellow flag conditions, as the pack was rounding the banking heading for green flag continuation of the race. Thus all but 2 of the ROLEX competitors choose wisely to pit for rain tires. Even at this slow pace, one of the GT competitors spun in the pit lane due to the treacherous conditions.
When the race went back to green, the #42 RX-8 faced a collision with an overtly aggressive GT competitor. “It seemed awfully early in the race to be attempting such a risky pass, which ended up taking both of us out.” – shared Will Nonnamaker
During the middle stages of the race, as the track was neither soaked or dry, the #43 Mazda came to life, and Dane Cameron worked his way into the lead, which he held for 10 laps. (This brings Team Sahlen’s laps led in 2012 to 39.)
Dane Cameron shared his thoughts after the race – “There no other way to describe the first Grand am Rolex race at Indianapolis other than crazy. The race was only 3 hrs long but it felt like 10. Our car was fantastic in the damp conditions and it was really cool to be able to lead some laps at the speedway. We lacked a bit on outright speed in the dry but we survived a wild day and now both #42 & #43 are in the top ten in team points.”
As the race continued Wayne and Dane switched back and forth in driving duties, eventually bringing the #42 home in 8th place.
Wayne Nonnamaker retained his position of 2nd in the Grand American ROLEX Series Bob Akin Sportsman Award to Emil Assentato
Additionally, Team Sahlen continues to pursue the quest of having both the #42 and #43 in the Top Ten in the GT Team Standings. #42 is in 7th place, and currently, #43 is just outside, in 11th place.
The next event for Team Sahlen will the Continental Tires 200 at Watkins Glen International on August 11th at 6 pm. The race will be televised live on SPEED TV.
The 2012 Team Sahlen campaign in the
GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series is supported by:
Mazda, Mazdaspeed, SimXperience, Alcon, Racetech, NGK, Cool Shirt, Racing Print Media, Mothers Polish, TheRaceSite.com, Western New York Flash, Grassroots Motorsports, ASC Industries, Iannetti Design Ideas, CM Racing, Quarter Master, BBS Wheels, MSI Racing Products, Endurance Karting and Akron Aeros