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Starworks Motorsport claimed its third successive podium with Renger van der Zande and Mirco Schultis in the #8 Martini liveried Oreca Chevrolet FLM09 in the TUDOR United Sportscar ‘Grand Prix of Kansas’. The Monterey GP winning pair take home a second placed trophy, whilst Martin Fuentes and Ryan Dalziel collected valuable points for the 7 car from a difficult P7 result last night.

The jam-packed two-day event at the Kansas Speedway commenced on Friday afternoon. After solid showings by both Starworks cars during all practice sessions, with the #7 Starworks up to P2 on the timesheets in FP3, a clutch issue hampered the Oreca Chevrolet FLM09 during the late night, 15 minutes qualifying session which meant that Martin ultimately finished in P9. The 8 car, with Mirco Schultis on hot-lap duty, set the eighth fastest time to sit just behind its sister challenger for the start of race one on Sunday afternoon.

The TUSC Grand Prix of Kansas comprised two 45 minute races for the Prototype Challenge and Prototype Lites classes only on Sunday evening. The results of race one determined the starting grid for the weekend finale later that night and all data rolled over in continuation.

With the clutch issue taken care of in the 7 car overnight, both Starworks Oreca’s then experienced motor issues affecting their straight line top speed during segment (race) one. Both Martin and Mirco also experienced spins out on track and finished the 33 laps race in P6 and P7 respectively out of the 10-cars PC field.

Ryan Dalziel, who drives the No. 1 Tequila Patrón Honda Performance Development ARX-03b (HPD) for Extreme Speed Motorsports in the TUSC Prototype class, stepped in to the #7 Starworks for the second segment, with Renger van der Zande taking over the 8 car late on Sunday night.

A solid start by both drivers was followed by a lengthy full course yellow, but a fantastic re-start ensured that Renger was immediately up to P2 with Ryan in P5 just after the flag went green. A clear issue with the #7 meant that Ryan was unable to hold on to his advantage and slipped to P6, then P7 over the next two laps. A lack of straight line speed meant that he was unable to improve on position to the chequer.

Renger drove a blistering race, fiercely attacking and defending to claim another Championship podium for the Fort Lauderdale based squad. The second placed trophy, shared with team mate Mirco Schultis, continues the #8 Starworks Oreca-Chevrolet FLM09 podium run after a third at 12 Hours of Sebring and the first overall PC win at the Monterey Grand Prix.

Renger van der Zande, #8 Starworks: “I had a good start and then waited for my moment. On the second lap after the restart I got a good tow off Tagliani and then made a move, braking on the outside and then darting down the inside of Diaz and it worked. We were slow on the straight all weekend and I had to defend a lot in the race; I think we got the maximum result we could. It’s more good points for the team, however, and a great podium streak for the 8 car, so we are very happy.”

Mirco Schultis, #8 Starworks: “It is another great podium feeling for us. The Kansas track is amazing for a European to drive on; it is extremely fast and I enjoyed every minute. Renger is nuts! He drove a superb race and the team did a great job all weekend.”

Martin Fuentes, #7 Starworks “We encountered a couple of problems with the clutch on Friday evening. It was fixed, but during both races we lacked power on the main straight and had no chance of catching the cars in front. It is good that we come away with points and the team did a really good job, but we really want to step up on to the podium and so look forward to Watkins Glen.”

Ryan Dalziel, #7 Starworks “It is not the result we were looking for obviously as in practice the car showed a lot of pace. We were confident going in to both races that we were a podium contender, but a motor issue that developed overnight on Saturday put a stop to that. We thought that we’d fixed it after segment one, but in race two we dropped off even further. Balance wise the car was great and the team did a really good job, and at least we come away with some good points for the 7 car.”

Peter Baron, Team Owner, Starworks Motorsport – “It is such a shame that the race wasn’t televised as Renger’s drive to the front was amazing. We were fighting top speed all weekend; Ryan’s car in the second race looked the worst, but both cars were experiencing power issues and couldn’t take the fight for the win. But Renger was awesome and a treat to watch. Although we have not made up points on the overall Championship lead, a podium and good points for the 8 car is great for Renger and Mirco’s position. Hopefully we’ll match the 8 car’s success with the 7 car soon and get that podium for Martin too.”

Source. Starworks Motorsport


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