Sunday
Jun242007

TEAM NEWS: Mechanical Difficulties Strike Baas While He Was Running Third Sunday in Rolex GT Race at Mid-Ohio

Photo by John Thawley LEXINGTON, Ohio, June 24 - A possible podium finish or at least a top five

was in sight for Ian Baas of Noblesville, Ind., Sunday during the Rolex Series

GT race at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, but unfortunately those hopes

collapsed when a wheel hub broke on the At Speed Motorsports Porsche on lap 68 of

the 94-lap race while Baas was in third place.

Baas and his co-driver, Mark White of Madison, Wis., ended up 17th in the

24-car, two-and-a-half-hour race that was televised on SPEED.

It was not a fitting ending for the team that worked so hard to improve on

its 21st place starting position, and ran in the top five for many laps.

White started the race on Mid-Ohio's challenging 2.258-mile road course. He

had a nice battle with Carlos de Quesada and Mark Greenberg, and turned the

car over to Baas in good shape under the third full-course caution from laps 22

to 25 caused by Milton Grant stopping on the course.

After the round of pit stops Baas started his stint in 13th place with the

car, which is sponsored by Celette and Duraform. He got a great restart on lap

26 and he was in ninth place by lap 27 when he set the Porsche's fastest lap

of the race with a 1:27.298 for an average speed of 93.116 miles per hour.

A battle with Spencer Pumpelly followed. Although Pumpelly got around him on

lap 31, Baas was back in ninth two laps later. That's when another battle

heated up between Baas and the tenth-place car, which was de Quesada's Porsche

that White had battled with, now being driven by Jean-Francois Dumoulin.

That war waged for many laps. Dumoulin was still behind Baas when Baas moved

into eighth on lap 48. He got seventh on lap 53, and with one hour remaining

he was fifth on lap 56. A few laps later he moved into third, trailing only

the eventual winner, Andy Lally, and Dumoulin. He was still in third when the

problem occurred on lap 68.

Baas' next Rolex Series race is at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona

Beach, Fla. on July 5. Right after that he'll travel to Exhibition Place in

Toronto for a SPEED World Challenge Touring Car race July 7-8 with his STaSIS

Motorsport Audi.

Fans can keep up with Baas throughout the year on his Web site at

ianbaasracing.com. The Rolex Series' Web site is at grand-am.com, while the SPEED World

Challenge Web site is at world-challenge.com.

Baas' post-race quote follows: "A wheel hub broke. This is the second time

it's happened. We don't have the updated part. It was the left rear.

"I got some vibrations and then the brake pedal went to the floor, so I knew

something was up. I was lucky to get it back to the pits. The wheel was half

hanging off the car when I got back here.

"We spent most of the practice sessions working around a dead shock. It took

us too long to get back, so the car wasn't as good as it could be. "Race

weekend has to be just for race set-up and racing. There's no time to work on

other things. We're going to try to do some testing before Daytona. That will

help.

"But I had a great battle for 15 laps or so with Jean-Francois Dumoulin.

That was fun.

"No, there were no offs for me. A lot of people went off ahead of or behind

me though.

"The team worked really hard. We were as high as third at one point. I think

we would have stayed in third for a while and finished in the top five.

"Mid-Ohio is one of my favorite tracks, but it's not been very nice to me.

I've retired while running in the top five here three races in a row. I was

fourth in the ALMS race and fourth in the Grand-Am race here last year when I

retired, and I retired in third here today."

« TEAM NEWS: Cincinnati's RJR Racing Group Runs as High as Fourth and Finishes Ninth In Its First Rolex Series Race Ever Sunday at Mid-Ohio | Main | TEAM NEWS: Lally, Valentine Score Third Rolex Series Grand-Am GT Victory Sunday in EMCO Gears Classic at Mid-Ohio »

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.
Editor Permission Required
You must have editing permission for this entry in order to post comments.