Strong Run for Multimatic Aston Martin at New Jersey Spoilt by Late Penalty

Saturday, May 12, 2012

A fantastic first shift, saw the #55 Multimatic Aston Martin Vantage V8 Grand Am, at the hands of Tonis Kasemets, start from P3 and lead for a significant portion of the B+ HEROES 200 at New Jersey Motorsports Park. A strategic green flag pit stop, and driver change, as the car entered its finishing window, left Scott Maxwell to battle through the GS field. Despite an incredibly competitive class, Maxwell was in familiar territory and quickly worked his way up the leader board using a mix of great driving and good strategy, as some of the cars ahead made stops for fuel. It looked like a solid finish, as the #55 Multimatic Aston Martin came to the chequered flag in P5, but to the dismay of Maxwell, Grand-Am awarded a 35 second penalty for an incident in the final laps of the race. Due to the extremely tight competition in the series, the seemingly minor penalty resulted in a loss of 14 positions, dropping the #55 Multimatic Aston Martin to P19 in GS. Highlights of the weekend were as follows:   

During practice, the #55 team focused on improving the car’s setup over long, full fuel stints, making good progress thanks to input from both drivers. Kasemets had another great qualifying run, once again earning himself a P3 start for the race, and because of the tight nature of New Jersey Motorsports Park, with few places to pass, his qualifying effort was all the more satisfying.

Despite contact in the first corner that dropped the #55 Multimatic Aston Martin three positions, Kasemets had a solid opening stint. Race Engineer Will Kerley employed an alternative race strategy and opted to keep Kasemets out for as long as possible; instead of following the leaders to the pits at an early yellow. The strategy paid off and the Aston led for a good portion of the race. The Multimatic team finally brought the #55 car to the pits during green flag racing on Lap 45, when calculations showed a full fuel load would make the end. Unfortunately, a problem during the driver change delayed the stop and Maxwell returned to the track near the back of the GS field.

At the beginning of his stint, Maxwell was on a charge, working his way up to P12 before a lengthy full course yellow on Lap 53. As competing cars cycled through the pits during the caution, needing a final fuel stop, the #55 Multimatic Aston Martin position was improved. When a final full course yellow occurred on Lap 78, Maxwell had moved up to P7. With the final restart there was only enough time for two laps, a typical green-white-checkered finish, and Maxwell battled to P5. Unfortunately, in the process, contact was made with another car, earning Maxwell a 35 second driver’s penalty. Despite the disappointing result, the #55 Multimatic team remains upbeat and is looking forward to exploiting the true potential of the Vantage V8 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on June 8th-9th.
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