TruSpeed Makes Strong Impression in Sebring with Entrust and Privacy Star

March 18th, 2013

Article sourced from here.

Sebring, Florida- TruSpeed Motorsports made a big impression in the opening two rounds of the 2013 IMSA GT3 Challenge by Yokohama championship at Sebring International Raceway this week. Staging a three car attack on the double-header event, TruSpeed left the fabled circuit with some solid finishes after the team continued to improve all weekend long with a strong driver line up that included Brett Sandberg (Allendale, NJ), Miles Maroney (Topanga, CA), and Phil Fogg Jr. (West Linn, OR). 

With the competition having tested previously at the track, TruSpeed Motorsports started the week on the back foot after having to play catch up. But hard work and some all-star performances from the drivers and the crew alike saw the team charging hard from the start of the week all the way to the final moments of the second race.

The efforts were rewarded with two top-five finishes for the team including a podium finish with Sandberg netting third place in round one with the Privacy Star entry. Maroney finished fourth in round two with the Entrust-sponsored machine after coming up just a few feet shy of third place. 

Despite the team effort, the weekend was unfortunately one to forget for Phil Fogg, as his strong qualifying performance, which netted him strong grid positions for both races, didn’t convert into the hoped-for result as he got a double dose of bad racing luck in both events.

“The drivers did really well,” said Team Manager Tyler Tadevic. “I feel so sorry for Phil because he’s got such talent and is such a good racer.  He’s going to be someone to be reckoned with going forward. Some great drives from Brett and Miles. Brett got punted off track, but came back really strong even though we had so many yellow laps. Miles said the Entrust car was unbelievable, so we’re going to be a force to be reckoned with. At the end of the day all three drivers did a stellar job.  Hats off to my crew too. We showed up here with 15-17th place cars and with limited sessions my guys put cars together that are able to run at the front. All I have to say is that you better watch out for us at Laguna Seca!”

Thursday’s opening round saw mixed fortunes for the team as Fogg opened the race alongside Maroney for an all-TruSpeed Motorsports fifth row, but had an off-track incident that saw him unable to complete the race. Maroney was able to get off to a quick start and continually improved his lap times as he made the most of every tour around the 3.7-mile, 17-turn circuit.

Running firmly in the top-10, a set up that looked to keep the Entrust machine strong in the late stages paid dividends as Maroney was able to move up to take fifth that the finish as the young Californian got his championship campaign off to a promising start.

Having an even better day was Brett Sandberg in the Privacy Star entry, as he ran in the top five before moving up to third in the order. A late race yellow flag kept him from having a stab at the lead, but the New Jersey native was still happy with opening the season with a view from the podium in race one.

For Friday’s race two, it was unfortunately a second dose of bad racing luck for Phil Fogg as he was caught up in another car’s accident, having no way to avoid contact and seeing an early end to his day for the second consecutive round. The normally unflappable racer, who had shown top-10 pace as well as lap times that should have converted into a very strong haul of points in the Masters standings, saw his race end early.

“It was not a good weekend, we’ll write that one off,” said Fogg. “I guess I jinxed myself. I always said I’ve finished every race, and then this happens! Today was really bad though. It was easier in some ways because there wasn’t anything to do – go sit on the sidelines and watch yellow flag laps…”

It was another story of contact for the Privacy Star car as the script was flipped considerably for Sandberg. Fighting for fifth as he looked for an encore podium result, Sandberg instead found himself dumped from the track and forced back in the pack.

“Entering Turn 1 I had a really good run and I had to check up because I didn’t want to hit Ashley (Frieberg) who was right in front of me and I checked up and that’s when he got on the inside of me,” said Sandberg, who will also compete in a Porsche in Saturday’s Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring. “We just went side by side through the braking zone entering Turn 3. I don’t know if he got loose or if he just moved over and wanted to push me over – I was right next to him. We were side by side and he just caught me at an angle and sent my car sideways and I got spun around.”

But as Radio Le Mans’ John Hindhaugh, along with Jeremy Shaw, called the race, it was the narrative surrounding Sandberg’s recovery drive that the entertaining broadcasters kept returning to enthusiastically as they followed his fight back from 32nd in the order back up to 13th at the checkered flag.

“We worked our way back up through the field,” said Sandberg. “The car was great, it was awesome. The guys did a hell of a job getting the car where it should be. We definitely had a better car than yesterday so I’m pretty frustrated we couldn’t battle for the lead but all in all I was really happy with how the guys worked and got the car dialed in.”

The highest-finishing TruSpeed entry in the second race was Maroney in the Entrust entry as he finished fourth following a hard fight for that final podium position in the closing laps. Unfortunately, several other in-race incidents meant that two extended yellow flag periods behind the safety car meant that he simply didn’t have the laps he needed to make the final move for a champagne-earning effort.

“The car was by far the best it had been all weekend,” said Maroney of the car that carries the striking Entrust livery. “The result almost shows what it was capable of, but not quite. I think we ran 30-35 minutes of that race under yellow. I have to be happy with the fourth considering how we came in and what Sebring is and it being my first time here and everything. But the expectations–from myself if nothing else– were more. I’m going into Laguna hungrier than I was showing up here, and  I didn’t think that was possible.”

Rounds three and four of the 2013 IMSA GT3 Challenge Championship will be staged at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca on May 9-11 as part of the American Le Mans race weekend. TruSpeed Motorsports will not be laying off, though, as the team will be back in action soon. Stay tuned for  an exciting team announcement next week. 

Post-event update: the No. 46 entry suffered damage during race one that saw the car measurements interpreted as out of compliance with race regulations, with the entry losing the points earned for the third place finish.

One Response to “TruSpeed Makes Strong Impression in Sebring with Entrust and Privacy Star”

  1. keith Says:
    April 2nd, 2013 at 2:00 am

    Go Tyler!

    Great to see TruSpeed off to another great start this season.

    Keith

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