Koni Challenge - 18th place in Daytona PDF Print E-mail
Written by James Gué   
Saturday, 26 January 2008 15:12

Daytona Beach, FL - The first round of the 2008 Grand-Am Koni Challenge Series was this past Friday, January 25th at Daytona Internatioal Speedway. James Gué and teammate Bret Seafuse raced the #37 JBS Motorsports FR500C Ford Mustang.

It was a 3 hour timed race with both the Grand Sport and Sport Touring running together. There were a total of 92 cars that took the green flag. The JBS team got off to a great start to the weekend posting the 6th quickest time in the first practice and 4th quickest in the second practice. As qualifying started it began to rain, meaning the out lap would be the lap that counts. Seafuse overcame those tricky conditions in qualifying to post the 5th quickest time.

However, it was during the final practice the morning of the race that things took a turn for the worse. During the final practice the #37 Mustang suffered an engine failure. This left crew only 3 hours to get the engine out and a new one back in. The whole JBS crew worked quickly to get the new engine in and make it to the grid, and with minutes to spare the crew got the job done.

Once the race got started Seafuse maintained position in the top 5. At about the hour and ten minute mark Gué took over the driving for the remainder of the 3 hour race. It was obvious right from the start that the replacement engine wasn't up to pace with the rest of the field. Once Gué got behind the wheel he did his best to keep the car near the sharp end of the grid. With 30 minutes to go Gué was in 6th place, and on a restart contact with a lapped ST car cut down the left rear tire taking them out of contention. Gue pitted for a new tire and returned to the race and managed to salvage an 18th place finish.

Gué comments: "I'm very disappointed with the weekend. To be in the top six in all the sessions leading up to the race and not be able to translate that into a good finish is very frustrating. It was difficult being down on power, and that really put us in a bad spot back in the pack with all the slower cars. That's what lead to the contact with a slower ST car and cutting a tire down. We'll look ahead to the next round in Lime Rock in about 4 month’s time; we should have our new car by then as well"

The Fresh From Florida 200 will be shown Saturday, February 2nd on SPEED Channel at 8pm Eastern time. The next event on the Koni Challenge Schedule will be in Lime Rock Park in Lakeville, CT on May 26-28