Altamonte Springs, FL/August 12, 2013-
It was a weekend of “first” meets “best” for the #62 HeritageVT.com/OutOfTheLife.org BMW 128i of Mitchum Motorsports piloted by Cameron Lawrence and Dillon Machavern. The driver’s seat saw both “firsts” as Cameron Lawrence was making his Grand Am debut, while Dillon Machavern was making his Road America debut. The pair would be put to the test in the early-goings of the race weekend, as the test day and practice saw the team battle drive shaft issues. What could have been a negative though was turned into a solid learning experience for both young guns as each driver would take every hurdle in stride and turn them into something to build off of as they inched closer towards race day.
Machavern would qualify the car, and was on a flyer when a false alarm light came on the dash. Dillon smartly opted to play it safe and lift, calling in to the pits to make sure the car was still in good condition. This would place the qualifying effort in the 18th position, but Dillon knew his flying lap would have been much faster, and therefore went into the race itself carrying a lot of confidence.
At the start of the race, it didn’t take long for the action to ensue as the first half-lap saw multiple cars spin and wreck, many narrowly missing the #62 HeritageVT.com/OutOfTheLife.org BMW 128i. Avoiding the carnage around him, Machavern continued his steady pace and moved up to 14th place in the process. He would continue making up positions until he turned the car over to Cameron Lawrence from 6th position.
After pitting, Lawrence would restart in 15th position and immediately start clicking off quick laps until he found himself in the Top-5 in the closing stage of the race. Had it not been for more green flag laps than any time in the history of the Continental Tire Challenge Series going to Road America, Lawrence would have had enough fuel to come home in an even more incredible finish. As it stood though, he had to drop to a slightly more conservative pace in the final moments, but still got the absolute most out of the nimble BMW, finishing in a very strong 6th place, the team’s best result of the season.
Dillon recalled his view of the race: “We started in 18th position after having limited track time due to mechanical issues and qualifying being cut short for us. I picked up a few spots during a very exciting start before the first full-course yellow. After that we kept picking off cars one at a time until our fuel splash during the second yellow. The car ran very well for me and let me turn it over to Cameron in 6th position. We are very excited with the P6 result, which is the best result for the team so far this season, and I want to thank Mitchum Motorsport for preparing us a great car and P1 Groupe for putting this driver lineup together!”
Cameron was equally enthusiastic about his involvement: “Overall I couldn’t be happier with the weekend. Both Dillon and I had a great time learning the car and improving every session. We knew we had a better race car than what we were able to qualify with. Chris called an amazing strategy and we were able to stretch fuel to make it to the end and finish 6th. We did exactly what we wanted to do here. I think we made a great choice choosing to run with Chris Mitchum. He has a great crew and set up a really good race car for us to compete with. So far it has been a really fun experience running with Grand Am; it’s full of great people and great competition!”
If you want to catch the action from the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge for yourself, don’t miss the race broadcast, airing on August 17th at 3:00 PM ET on FOX Sports 2!
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