SANTA MONICA, Calif., April 29, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- TrueCar Racing experienced success and disappointment on opposite sides of the western hemisphere this weekend as two of its drivers ended up with differing results. Shea Holbrook, competing in the Touring Car class of the Pirelli World Challenge, took home fourth-, fifth- and sixth-place finishes in three races this weekend while Katherine Legge was unable to complete her race in the IZOD IndyCar Series after contact with the wall damaged her car.
Holbrook, driving the #67 TrueCar Honda Civic Si, had what she described as the best weekend of her racing career thus far. Racing in three events over two days at Miller Motorsports Park near Tooele, Utah, Holbrook scored a sixth-place finish in the first race yesterday morning (won by Todd Lamb) and then a fourth-place finish in the second race (won by Michael Cooper,) which was held back-to-back with the first. She rounded out her weekend with a fifth-place finish today after having worked her way from the back of the field.
"I was third on grid today because I had the third-fastest time from the second race of the weekend," said Holbrook. "I was in a really good position to just stay up front and battle the entire time. On the start of the race, I'm not sure what happened. Either we had a misfire or I was in third gear... I couldn't get the car rolling. The engine took a moment to breathe because I was on the throttle but then I got full power back and it was fine. By then I was last.
"Once all that happened I thought, 'Okay, just have fun because now you will just start picking people off,'" continued Holbrook. "I had great radio communication with my coach and it was a good battle to get back up near the front."
Holbrook narrowed the gap between herself and the lead car (ultimately Tristan Herbert) from 12 seconds mid-race to less than four by the end of the race. She had a similar situation in the first race of the weekend, where she spun her car but quickly recovered and gained back the positions she had lost. The second race of the weekend was her best and it also presented the most unusual sight of the weekend, arguably – an errant stock car, competing in another series and in a different area of the complex, accidentally drove onto the track on which the SCCA Touring Cars were racing.
"They radioed in and said, 'Hey, there's a stock car on the front straight, just take notice,'" said Holbrook. "The matter-of-fact way in which they announced it over the radio was pretty funny."
Holbrook's solid finishes move her to sixth in the Touring Car standings with 364 points, just four points shy of being in the top five.
Katherine Legge, driver of the No. 6 TrueCar Lotus Dallara DW12 in the IZOD IndyCar Series, suffered a series of tough breaks leading up to and in the Itaipava Sao Paulo Indy 300. Brake problems hampered the team early in the weekend during practice. The mechanics were able to sort out the braking issues but had additional problems in today's morning practice prior to the race.
"We suffered a failure on the alternator and water pump drive," said Dragon Racing's Brandon Thomas. "And while it's just accessory components on the front of the engine, it does require the car to be split in half. It was a lot of work, so it certainly made for a rough start to our Sunday."
The team managed to repair the faulty engine components in time for the race and Legge turned 20 of 75 laps, but her race was cut short by damage sustained in contact with the wall.
"We pitted for red tires on lap 17 and everything was going fine," said Legge, who qualified 24th for the race. "I was racing with a couple of other cars when I clipped the rear on the wall of the big main straight. Normally it wouldn't have done any damage but it was the angle of which we clipped it. I thought all we had was a flat tire but when we came in and the team looked at it, the driveshaft appeared to be loose. So we had to stop."
Despite the DNF, Legge holds her position in the INDYCAR standings at 25th. She is optimistic about the progress her team is making and although the team lags behind most other teams in terms of test time, Legge and her engineers make the most of every lap turned.
"We learned a lot today but it's unfortunate that we couldn't finish the race," said Legge. "Every lap you're out there you, your engineers and mechanics all learn something. We're starting to really gel as team. I'm really happy to be working with Brandon. We're looking forward to getting that week on track at Indy. While I was hoping it would rain here (in Brazil,) I'm hoping it doesn't rain in Indy because we really need the practice and testing."
Legge now has several weeks before her team will take to the track again – the IZOD IndyCar Series is on hiatus until the start of Indy 500 qualifying in Indianapolis on May 19. Holbrook competes in the World Challenge again on May 10 and 11 in Monterey, California and joins teammate Emilee Tominovich, who will race in Playboy MX-5 Cup there the same weekend. The next event for TrueCar Racing will be run by Verena Mei, who competes in the Oregon Trail Rally race near Portland, Oregon. The Oregon Trail Rally is the third round of the Rally America series and takes place from May 4 to May 6.
Fans can win spot on Katherine's crew:
Fans can enter the 2012 TrueCar Racing VIP Sweepstakes for a chance to become an honorary pit crew member for Katherine Legge and the No. 6 TrueCar Dragon Racing car at an upcoming IZOD IndyCar Series event.
The winner will receive two honorary TrueCar pit crew team credentials for the race, hotel accommodations for two nights and round-trip airfare for the winner and a guest, an approximate retail value of $3,000.
Fans can choose to see the excitement of IZOD IndyCar Series racing from Katherine's pit at the Indianapolis 500 or races in Detroit, Fort Worth, Texas, Sonoma, Calif., Baltimore or Fontana, Calif.
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