Freedom Autosport VIR Weekend Recap

Freedom Autosport VIR Weekend Recap

ALTON, Va.—Freedom Autosport’s Chad McCumbee and Stevan McAleer closed in on the ST championship lead in Saturday’s IMSA Continental Tire Series race at Virginia International Raceway. The co-drivers finished seventh in the No. 25 ModSpace/Premier Building Systems/Spartan Cargo Trailers Mazda MX-5, and they are now just six points away from the ST lead.

McCumbee qualified tenth in the No. 25 Mazda. In the opening laps, he navigated some rain to his advantage until a red flag came out as the deluge worsened. When the green flag flew again with only 45 minutes left on the clock, McAleer found himself in the race lead thanks to a great pit strategy. McCumbee and McAleer went on to finish seventh.

“We got off to a really good start and were able to pick off a few positions,” said McCumbee. “The little bit of drizzle actually helped us! The guys at Freedom did an amazing job with strategy, so we pitted before the downpour came, which allowed us to get out and lead later. It’s probably some of the worst conditions I’ve ever driven in, but we were able to keep our ModSpace Mazda up front to gain some more points in the championship.”

McAleer said, “It didn’t go as well as we wanted in terms of a result, but the ST leader had a more disappointing weekend than us, so to come away from VIR with an eight-point gain on the number one car makes us really happy. We’re very strong at Circuit of the Americas and Freedom Autosport had a strong car at Road Atlanta last year, so we should be able to run near the front at the final two rounds.”

Danny Bender and Britt Casey, Jr., earned a top-ten, as well, finishing eighth in the No. 27 TRUMPF/Freedom Autosport Mazda MX-5. Bender, who qualified ninth, summed up the rain that brought out the red flag shortly into the race, saying, “The rain got harder and harder, and suddenly it was like driving into a wall of water, which was an interesting experience on slicks! The message from the pits was to get around however we had to. I had to look out the side window because I couldn’t see out the front!”

“It went by really quickly,” said Casey of his rain-shortened stint. “You have to focus so much more in the rain, and by the end of it, there were only 10 minutes left and I felt like I’d just gotten in the car. Stevan and I stuck together, and seventh and eighth is admirable in that kind of weather.”

Liam Dwyer and Andrew Carbonell finished 16th in the No. 26 Semper Fi Fund/Freedom Autosport Mazda MX-5. They also pitted prior to the red flag and were one of the first cars in the field that opted for full wet tires.

The race from Virginia International Raceway will be broadcast on FS1 on Sunday, September 4 at 7:00 a.m. EDT.

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