Posted (03/23/2015) -
Team Sahlen bounced back from a very difficult opening round at Daytona International Speedway with a very solid performance at Sebring International. Competing in the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge, Team Sahlen secured a 5th and 6th place in the strong 30 car ST class field.
Although the race was on Friday, the event stared on Tuesday for Team Sahlen, with a promoter test day. The team used these sessions to good use to get some much needed set up time on the bumpy airport circuit.
“Many of the teams came here during the winter to test at Sebring, so we had some catching up to do. Fortunately, we had a beautiful sunny day with clean running to fine tune our set up. This greatly assisted in getting ready for practice. Our times improved significantly in practice the next day, where we were able to secure 2nd and 3rd in the opening session.” – shared Wayne Nonnamaker
The team backed up the session 1 times with a solid 3rd and 8th in session 2. In Qualifying, Team Sahlen secured 5th and 12th on the grid. The tight ST field was evidenced by Will Nonnamaker’s 12th place time being only 1 tenth off of the 8th spot on the grid.
The start of the race was a clean get away for Team Sahlen, as both the #43 and #42 racers made it through the opening stages without any off course excursions or contact with other competitors. Several yellows in the 1st ½ of the race saw Team Sahlen drivers use their expertise to work through the pack. At the time of the pit stops at 1 hour and 15 minutes into the race, Team Sahlen had risen to 1st and 6th in the ST class.
The #43 pit stop went perfectly well, sending Wayne Nonnamaker back out onto the track. The #42 stop had a hitch when the rear air gun hose ripped, forcing an extra long stop. This unfortunate delay saw the #42 entry fall all the way back out of the top 20.
This meant that Jeff Segal, who was pulling double duty in both Team Sahlen entries have his hands full in rising back into contention.
As the race got back underway, Team Sahlen’s finishing drivers worked hard to fight back. Great pace, some attrition and good fuel strategy saw Team Sahlen persevere to a solid 5th and 6th place finish.
“After having led earlier in the race, it seems a bit disappointing to have a 5th and 6th place finish. But this is very tough competition, and some teams played a unique early pit strategy that worked out for them today. I am very happy with how the whole team performed today, and this is a good sign of things to come for the 2015 season.” – shared Will Nonnamaker
The Sebring event will be aired on FoxSports1 at 9 am – on April 5th
The solid finish by Team Sahlen saw the team rise up to 7th and 11th in the Team Championship. With 8 races to go in the season, there is still plenty of opportunity to the team to claw their way back into the hunt for the Title.
The next race for Team Sahlen will be 3rd round at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca on May 2nd.
2015 Team Sahlen Campaign Partners:
Tarett Engineering, Guard Transmission, Forgeline, Porsche of Beachwood, Pittsburgh International Race Complex, HubstandsPRO, MSI Racing Products, NGK Spark Plugs, CM Racing Products, Mothers Polishes, Grassroots Motorsports Magazine, Maxima Oil, CV Products, Design Engineering Inc., Hella, Hard Brakes, Penske Shocks, Alcon Rotors, Lamin-X, Optima Batteries and TheRaceSite.com.