Posted (06/07/2005) -
Prior to running their championship Porsches, Phoenix Promotions brought home victory in their Acuras Integras.
Now in the hands of TeamiCarp/Hancook Tires and Flatoutracing.net but still featuring the trademark black, red and yellow lightning bolt, the Phoenix Promotions Acuras are experiencing even more victories.
Team iCarp/Hankook Tires and Flatoutracing.net capture 1st place in "Kumho Tires 12 Hours at the Point"!
June 4th (Summit Point, WV) To state that winning the 12 hours is a great achievement on your first try is somewhat of an understatement. Flatoutracing's Jon Kofod, driving for the iCarp/Hankook Tires team this past weekend, pulled off an amazing feat in winning the 12-hour race on their first attempt. Kofod co-drove the 12-hour race as part of the iCarp/Team Hankook team with 2004 Honda Challenge co-champion Ian Carpenter, Honda Challenge runner up Andrew Zimmermann and SCCA vintage racer Matt Foley rounding out one of the strongest driver line ups in the race which saw nearly 60 cars take the green flag.
The iCarp/Hankook Tires team ran one of its three Nonnemaker ex-Grand Am Cup Acura Integra LS cars in its first 12-hour race and the car performed flawlessly over the grueling 12-hour race, needing nothing more than tire changes and brake servicing. The car was entered in the hotly contested ITA class. The team started second in ITA, but by the 12 hour mark had secured 1st place in its first grueling endurance race at Summit Point, a place typically unforgiving to new teams.
The race started off without incident and the pole sitting SBMS Racing #26 ITA CRX of Blaney/Case/Hofmann/Zawislak started off setting a blistering pace in the first half hour at one point opening up a 40 second lead on the #18 iCarp/Hankook Tires team. But less than an hour into the race the #26 CRX started to overheat and after a lengthy pit stop the car was pulled back into the paddock for work ending in terminal engine failure.
From this point on the #18 iCarp/Hankook Tires Acura LS did fierce battle with the Alpha Systems #06 entry of Zelones/Arzola/Randell, driving a similar Acura LS. Although the #18 iCarp/Team Hankook Tires team led for most of the first six hours the gap was never more than a few laps and the majority of the time the #06 car was on the same lap.
Up until the last two hours the two teams battled for the lead with positions changing during pit stops. Both teams experienced brake problems throughout the race, which ultimately would decide the final outcome.
With less than 2 hours to go the #06 car had to come in for a complete front brake service costing them a 6 minute pit stop. This gave the #18 iCarp/Team Hankook the lead it would need to pull out enough of a gap to be able to come in for a quick fuel splash with 45 minutes remaining in the race. The pit crew performed a flawless pit stop but was concerned with the front brakes on the car, which were badly worn. In the end the team nursed the car to victory in their first 12-hour race.
"I am just honored to be part of such a great team. To win this race is a great achievement, to win it on the first try is hard to comprehend but it's a reflection of our team's hard work" noted co-driver Kofod.
Zimmermann started the race in the #18 car followed by a 2 hour and 47 minute stint by Kofod and then another 2:45 minute stint by teammate Matthew Foley. Zimmermann returned to duty for a second stint at around 6:30 pm. The final stint turned into a fierce battle between the #06 Alpha Systems and the #18 iCarp/Hankook Tires team as Ian Carpenter put in a stunning performance in the dark. Carpenter got in the car for his first and only stint at 8:47 pm and did the remaining 3 hours and 13 minutes with flawless precision. The team placed 1st in class, 7th overall and Kofod set fastest lap for the race during his afternoon stint.
"The level of car preparation by iCarp and our team was phenomenal, it really showed in the rac