Los Osos, Calif. (September 21, 2008) â€“ Patrick Barrett and co-driver Mike Forest finished fourth in the GT class in the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16 season finale this past Saturday September 20th at Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, Utah. The 6 Â¾ hour long event was held on the 4.486-mile, 23-turn endurance road course.
Their excellent performance in the SunRichGourmet.com 1000K was PR1 Motorsportâ€™s highest place finish in their seven race rookie season. The duo emerged literally unscathed from their longest event of the season, a race that saw plenty of contact, off track excursions and mechanical problems within the field of 16 Daytona Prototypes and 21 Grand Touring cars.
The six man crew performed flawless pit stops and consistently gained positions for the #32 Miracle Sealants/Konica Minolta/Kolliner-Long Gallery Pontiac GXP.R throughout the race. The nineteen year old Barrettâ€™s fourth Grand-Am start proved to be very productive as he improved his track position in each of his three driving stints; 11th to sixth in the opening, 16th to sixth in the middle and eighth to fourth in the final stint.
When asked to describe his feelings about the teamâ€™s fourth-place finish Barrett stated, â€œWe went through all kinds of obstacles today. We had a problem with our first pit stop/driver change when the door didnâ€™t shut, which with a return to the pits, set us back quite a few positions. Then the rain sent everyone in pit lane into a frenzy, but we came through it well in the end. We just had to keep reminding ourselves that it was a long race. Everyone on the team did a great job. Our pit stops were practically perfect and Mikeâ€™s performance on slick tires in the rain was amazing.â€
Barrett described what happened during key sessions and how that ultimately contributed to their best finish of the season. â€œA big key to todayâ€™s result was a combination of the teamâ€™s pit strategy, and Mike and I staying out of trouble. In my first 30 minutes in the car, I went from 11th to sixth because of a couple of overly aggressive drivers and by patiently working my way through the field. Our biggest break came when it rained though. We thought about coming in for rain tires but decided against it, and the track dried up pretty quickly. That kept Mike in the lead group for a long time, and when he handed the car over to me for our final driver change, I did what I needed to do to bring it home. After the final restart I took the opportunity to get by as many cars as possible and eventually got out into clean air and controlled what pace I needed to finish. Probably the best part of the race came when I got the white flag and was running by myself. I asked the team what position I was in and they said â€˜P4.â€™ I was shocked!â€
â€œPR1 supplied me with a great car all year long. We learned so much every race and continue to learn more, but more importantly weâ€™ve made ourselves known here in the sports car community, and it would be great to continue our progress in the future. After the race I received a lot of personal congrats from people in Grand-Am and the GM group. Iâ€™m just going to continue working on funding, improving my fitness level, and staying in touch with everyone Iâ€™ve met this year.â€
â€œI want to thank my personal sponsors Kolliner-Long Gallery based in Cambria, California and Alpinestars for their tremendous support. Without them, I wouldnâ€™t be where I am today doing what I love.â€
PR1â€™s road racing car is a rear wheel drive Pontiac (G6) GXP.R with a tubular space-frame steel chassis and carbon-fiber and steel body which is home to a 6.0L LS2 V-8 that produces 450 brake horsepower and is mated to a 5-speed manual sequential gearbox.
Visit www.PatrickBarrettRacing.com for more on Patrick, and his sponsors at www.KollinerLongGallery.com and www.Alpinestars.com. You can go to www.Grand-Am.com and www.PR1motorsports.com to find out more about Grand-Am and PR1.