ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, Fla., June 4 /PRNewswire/ -- GRAND-AM racing sensation Dion von Moltke continues to impress racing fans across the world with his racing prowess. This past week at GRAND-AM's Memorial Day Classic at Lime Rock Park in Lakeview, CT, von Moltke raced in the Rolex Car Series that he has already made a mark on and in the Continental Tire Challenge in which he drove the #62 Mitchum Motorsports Chevy Camaro for the first time and finished in 8th place with co-driver Joey Atterbury. This was the team's second top ten finish of the year and its best finishing position this season. In the Rolex Car Series, despite some disappointments, von Moltke driving the #77 McDonalds/South African Airways/PR Newswire Daytona Prototype of Doran Racing with team mate Memo Gidley finished in 11th place.
"This past weekend was one of highs and lows," said Dion von Moltke. "Finishing in 8th place driving the #62 Mitchum Motorsports Chevy Camaro with Joey was a season high. Having never driven the car before, I was not sure what to expect but it handled perfectly and the enthusiasm of the fans helped build the momentum. The Mitchum Motorsports team and Joey were all fantastic throughout the weekend; I was very impressed with Joey's driving so early in his career and development. Starting at the 7th position, and both Memo and I running in the top five most of the day with the #77 McDonalds/South African Airways/PR Newswire Daytona Prototype of Doran Racing in the Rolex Series was another high. Falling back in the end due to a part failure to the 11th position was unfortunate, but we will regroup and show fans what we have this coming weekend at Watkins Glen."
Dion started the weekend off in the #62 Mitchum Motorsports Chevy Camaro with co-driver Joey Atterbury for the Continental Tire Challenge. Dion had not driven in the Camaro prior to the Lime Rock race, and with a very tight schedule only was in the car for two short sessions before having to qualify the car. Dion was up to speed pretty quickly and put the car in 15th position out of the 31 car field with a qualifying time of 58.553 seconds around the 1.53 mile Lime Rock Park road course, just 0.7 seconds off the pole position time.
The Memorial Day Classic weekend started well for von Moltke in the Continental Tire Challenge, picking off the competition whenever the opportunity arose before turning the car over in 9th position to allow his team mate to make up the difference. Atterbury took over the car and was in 12th place by the time he rejoined the race. A good strategy and smart driving allowed Atterbury to move the car up to 3rd late in the race. The team was looking for a late yellow flag to avoid having to pit for a splash of fuel, but that never happened and with just a handful of laps remaining he pitted for 8 seconds of fuel to get to the end. The #62 entry rejoined the field in 8th place, and with little time remaining, this would be their finishing position. The team was ecstatic with their best finish of the season, and their second Top-10 finish in the Continental Tire Challenge.
The Continental Tire Challenge was just a warm-up for Dion as he had just one day to recoup to prepare for his second race of the weekend – the Rolex Series in the #77 McDonalds/South African Airways/PR Newswire Daytona Prototype of Doran Racing with team mate Memo Gidley. Dion was able to pick up where he left off in the Continental series as he and Gidley posted the 7th best time of the first practice session, followed up by coming in 4th in the second practice of the day and leaving everyone with high hopes for the impending Qualifying run von Moltke would be making to set the teams' starting grid position for the race.
Dion posted his best time of the day in the Qualifying session, a 49.653 second lap to put the #77 Ford/Dallara in 7th starting position for the race. The race started with drama as the Ganassi Racing entry had an off in the first corner directly in front of von Moltke, who narrowly managed to escape without any damage of his own. He would steadily pick his battles as he would get as high as forth position before turning the car over to the capable hands of Memo Gidley. The tandem drove a great race and the team had excellent strategy throughout as Gidley was looking at the teams' second Top-5 finish of the season when a rear suspension part failed sending his car head-on into the tires in the final 30-minutes of the race. The team, bitterly disappointed would come to rest in the 11th finishing position, but they knew they had a much better race then the final results showed. The silver lining for the team was setting the third fastest race lap with a 49.535 seconds, just 0.09 seconds off the fastest time set by the race winning car, which just happened to be a Dallara chassis also.
Dion von Moltke is considered one of GRAND-AM's brightest stars. Dion is currently in second place in points for GRAND-AM's Rookie of the Year and this weekend's race could catapult him into the lead. Throughout this season, von Moltke will be driving the #77 McDonalds/South African Airways/PR Newswire Ford/Dallara.
Dion will be headed to Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen at Watkins Glen, New York on June 5, 2010 which will air on Speed Channel live beginning at 2pm EDT. This is the final endurance event on the 2010 GRAND-AM Rolex Series calendar, and the team is looking to pick up on the momentum built so far this season. The Doran team has shown signs of what can be this season and is looking to put it all together this weekend with the drivers standing on the podium when the checker flag drops after 6 long hours of racing action in upstate New York this coming weekend.
Additional information on Dion von Moltke at dionvm.com or from P1 Groupe at p1groupe.com.
SOURCE P1 Groupe, Inc.