Positive Showing For Irish Mike's Racing in Hyundai Debut
ORLANDO, Fla. - After months of preparation and a successful test at The Roar Before The 24, Irish Mike’s Racing made the short journey north from the base in Orlando, Florida to Daytona for its first race in the new IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge.
An all-new three-car line-up featured a mix of seasoned racecar drivers notably the pairing of David Thilenius, 2010 ST Champion and Rich Golinello in the # 94 car. Ramin Abdolvahabi and local Daytona resident Craig Conway piloted the # 91 car. With veteran MX 5 driver Todd Buras and the exceptionally talented Sebastian Landy in the # 95 car, the team were confident of a strong showing first time out for their new Hyundai Genesis Coupe 2.0l turbo’s.
Helped by the cooler Daytona weather on Wednesday, first and second practice was the ideal opportunity for the drivers to settle into the cars and familiarize themselves with the new Hyundai’s. Following a short qualifying session on Thursday the team approached Friday’s start in high spirits.
With the temperatures still on the cool side the team knew the cars would be heavy on fuel when compared to their class competition and an innovative race strategy would be needed from veteran race strategist Peter Keane, taking a break from Rolex 24 hr duties with Spirit of Daytona.
Following spirited first sessions from all 3 drivers under the watchful eye of team Owner Mike Flynn, it was left to the second stint drivers to finish the race. A number of yellow flags meant despite some hard charging from both Todd Buras and David Thilenius the team did not see either car on the podium.
A 10th place finish for the #95 car and the first non BMW or Porsche over the finish line was a positive showing. With the #91 and #94 both finishing on the lead lap in 25th and 24th place respectively clearly demonstrating the potential of these new Hyundai Genesis Coupes.
“Any time you can drive all your cars onto the trailer for the journey back is a good race weekend, especially with new cars and new drivers” said a smiling Mike Flynn as he left a cold and dark Daytona International Speedway on Friday evening.
With further testing and development planned before the next race in Sebring in March, you can be sure these new cars will return for round 2 looking to build on their Daytona results.
Follow the team at www.irishmikes.com or on Facebook Irish Mikes Racing.