Posted (02/01/2014) -
After being given only a short 8 weeks to build 2 brand new Porsche Caymans, the Team Sahlen crew came through with flying colors by producing top notch racers for the drivers to compete with at the opening event at Daytona. This resulted in a fantastic 4th place finish, with a Fastest Race Lap to top it off.
The race weekend though for Team Sahlen did not start at Daytona, but instead at Sebring the week before the race, were the #42 & #43 were shaken down. Over the 2 days at Sebring, many unforeseen issues with the race cars cropped up. The crew worked hard and took notes of what still needed to be done to get the vehicles to be race cars. The 4 days off in Florida before Daytona allowed the team to regroup and figure out solutions to the problems. The solutions were found, and for the entire weekend, neither race car missed track time due to mechanical problems.
In all 3 Practice Sessions, the Team Sahlen racers found themselves in the Top 10 in the ultra competitive 36 car ST Field. This also included the Qualifying session that saw the #42 and #43 positioned 8th and 15th respectively.
At the start of the race, Will Nonnamaker utilized his many years of Continental Tire experience to pick his way through the early lap traffic to move up to 5th place, despite several early race yellow flags. A mishap on the pit stop saw the #42 drop back in the back. But Wayne Nonnamaker did not let this deter him, and he fought his way back through the pack, using the slingshot of the draft to move forward. This drafting also assisted Wayne in pacing the fastest race lap. In the end, the race ending under caution saw time run out on the run to the front and the #42 had to settle for 4th place. Still though a very nice start to the 2014 season, with race cars that are still very much new to the team
“I am so impressed by what this crew accomplished. We knew it was going to be a tall task to even make this race, let alone be competitive at the 1st event. Now we need to go home and get to work on preparing the cars for the rest of the season, and learn from this race.” – shared Wayne Nonnamaker
The #43 racer had a good start to the race until turn one braking issues put the car into the tire wall. A brief visit to the garage saw the #43 back underway, getting valuable seat time for both Joe Sahlen and Joe Nonnamaker to the finish of the race.
Joe Nonnamaker added his thoughts - “This was a lot of fun. And I can’t wait to get back out at Sebring in March. We just recently tested there, and hopefully that will pay off when we get there to race.”
The next event for Team Sahlen will be the March 14th Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge Event at Sebring International Raceway.
2014 Team Sahlen Campaign Partners:
Tarett Engineering, MOMO, Guard Transmission, Forgeline, Porsche of Beachwood, Pittsburgh International Race Complex, HubstandsPRO, MSI Racing Products, NGK Spark Plugs, TheRacingInsiders, Mothers Polishes, Grassroots Motorsports Magazine, Maxima Oil, CV Products, Design Engineering Inc., Hella, Racing Print Media, Hard Brakes, BGB Motorsports, Penske Shocks, PFC, and TheRaceSite.com.