Kasemets, Maxwell Battle Power Issues to Earn Multimatic’s Aston a Hard Fought Top 10

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Despite a car that was severely down on power, a combination of great driving and good strategy allowed the #55 Multimatic Aston Martin Vantage V8 to hold off competitors and earn a P10 finish in the EMCO Gears Classic at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Tonis Kasemets took the first shift, starting P11, in what was to be an extremely entertaining and crash filled race that saw 8 cautions slow the race for 33 of its 75 laps. Kasemets passed the car to Scott Maxwell in a perfect pit-stop by the crew, which was followed by one of the most exciting final hours in series history, seeing the top ten cars finishing bumper to bumper covered by less than eight seconds at the checkered. Highlights of the weekend were as follows:

The #55 team has grown accustomed to consistently running in the top five during practice sessions this season, but a marked lack of off-corner acceleration left the team struggling to set top 15 times. An initial theory was that an ECU upgrade, meant to lower RPM and preempt another engine failure, which had sidelined the car at Homestead, had also greatly hindered the cars performance. In spite of these issues, Kasemets managed to qualify the #55 P11 in the predictably competitive field; a mere second covering the top 12 cars.

Although down on power, the car handled exceptionally well, and could carry more speed through corners than the rest of the field. This advantage allowed Kasemets to hold off opposition and maintain a top 15 position for the duration of his shift. When the leaders first came to pit for fuel, tires and a driver change, the #55 team opted for just a splash of fuel in an attempt to shorten their stop and gain track position. The strategy worked, gaining Kasemets three positions, but was less effective than it could have been due to an accident at the pit exit. When handed off to Maxwell during a second stop, with little over an hour remaining in the race, the #55 was P13.

Maxwell’s stint was dominated by caution flags, which kept the field tight and helped him to maintain position. During green flag racing the top 12 cars were running in a train, jostling for position with no shortage of bumping and side-by-side racing. Despite extreme pressure from quick competitors behind, including the #97 Turner BMW of Boris Said, Maxwell held his own in the train of leaders but struggled to make passes due to the power deficit. When all was said and done he had fought his way to the finish line in P10, in what is sure to be remembered as one of the most entertaining races of the season. Although most of the championship contending cars finished well, Maxwell maintains eighth place in the points and Multimatic Motorsports is focused on solving the engine issue before returning to competition at Road America on June 21-22.

Multimatic Motorsport
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