Posted (08/31/2008) -
The #25 and #26 Porsche 997s of the C-Max/Unitech Racing team arrived at the inaugural event of the Thunderbolt Raceway at the New Jersey Motorsports Park, ready to race. Some teams had previously tested at the new facility, but with a promoters test day scheduled, the C-Max team planned to get all of the experience they needed.
Unfortunately, during the early morning practice session for the Rolex DP teams Scott Pruett had a very bad accident, closing the "not ready for prime time" track for repairs and modifications. The C-Max team was left with two practice sessions on Friday before the lone qualifying session on Saturday morning.
Both practice sessions went very well, with both cars up top in the standings. The decision was made for Dave to qualify the #26 since that car was performing a little better than the #25, and for Kris to qualify the #25 as a back up.
Qualifying on Saturday was very rewarding. Kris put the #25 C-Max/Unitech Porsche on the pole by 8 thousands of a second, his first pole in the Koni Challenge Series. Dave was able to turn in a very respectable 14th place in the #26. The team spent the rest of Saturday practicing pit stops and driver changes, since Mike Bavarro of Bodymotion was going to do a few laps in the #25 when Kris brought it in.
Race day Sunday dawned with absolutely beautiful weather conditions. The race was set to go off at 8:45 am, beating the afternoon heat and humidity. The green flag dropped and Kris set off easily in the lead.
The first yellow flag occurred at lap 5 so Kris brought in the #25 and Mike was put in. Dave had a wonderful start, picking up several positions and was easily cruising his way to the front. The second of what would be five yellow flags fell and Dave was brought in on lap 16. He had moved up to 8th place and while coming in for his pit stop passed the pace car while on pit lane, leading his first lap of the season. Kris jumped in and took off after the leaders.
Unfortunately, during another yellow flag Kris incurred a penalty for jumping the start, dropping him to 36th place, well back in the field. At that point he had plenty of time to catch the leaders and was one of the fastest cars on the track. Another wreck occurred on track, this time requiring substantial guardrail repairs that took over an hour to complete. By this time there was about 20 minutes left in the race, not enough time for Kris to get up to the lead. He finished 6th, with the #25 finishing a respectable 10th.