Team Sahlen enjoyed a strong podium finish at the Montreal round for Grand AM last weekend.
The Mazda team started an excellent fourth on the grid in the GT class thanks to the efforts of Wayne Nonnamaker.
“We had been working on set up all the way up to Qualifying. So we didn’t know really what we had. I put it all on the line, and we came up with a fantastic fourth slot on the grid. It’s nice to be so far up the grid so that you don’t have so much GT traffic ahead of you at the start,” Wayne Nonnamaker said.
In the early part of the race, the team’s two cars survived the hectic pace and door banging action to settle into fifth and tenth places in class respectively for Wayne and Joe Nonnamaker. During a second full course caution, Team Sahlen used the time to change drivers, with Dane Cameron taking over the driving duties from Wayne. Meanwhile, Will Nonnamaker replaced his dad in the second car.
Cameron survived carnage in the first few corners on the restart and promptly began putting in qualifying style laps to catch the leaders in the GT class. A further pit stop helped propel Dane into third place in class, thanks to some great pit work by the Mazda team. He was able to stay in that position to the end of the race to collect Team Sahlen’s second podium of the Grand Am 2012 season.
“Finishing third in Montreal almost felt like a win for us. We had a pretty rough couple of races so it felt great to reward all of Team Sahlen’s hard work with a podium. All the Mazdas had been struggling a little bit for outright speed all weekend long so we did not expect a podium, but we never gave up, pushed like crazy and things fell our way,” a relieved Cameron explained after the race.
Meanwhile, Will Nonnamaker was able to guide the team’s second car to tenth place in class – its second consecutive top ten finish.
“I enjoy this place every time we come here. It’s amazing how long that back straightaway is, then you have to slow down for the tight chicane. Tenth place is a great finish for the #42 and hopefully we can keep that trend up for the remaining 2 events of the season.”
The next race for Team Sahlen will be at Laguna Seca on 9 September. The Mazda team will enter three cars for the race and hopes to get all three to the finish in the top ten in the ultra-competitive GT class.