martedì 5 maggio 2009

Freedom Autosport's 147 MX-5 Finishes Strong at Thunderbolt

Freedom Autosport's 147 MX-5 Finishes Strong at Thunderbolt

Drivers Maloof and White land in 7th place at the Garden State 250 KONI Challenge

ANN ARBOR, Mich., May 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Drivers Christian Maloof and Mark White drove the Freedom Autosport 147 MX-5 to a solid 7th-place finish in the Grand-Am Garden State 250 at Thunderbolt Raceway, New Jersey Motorsports Park. In mixed class rain conditions that included plenty of off-track excursions for competitors, Maloof and White drove a consistent and successful race without serious incident.

Maloof, who qualified the car 15th on Friday, said, "I felt really comfortable with the car and the track and was confident I would get a solid starting position. I turned a 1:35.5 -- good enough for P12 at the time -- and I still had some time to lay down a flyer to improve. Unfortunately, I did not manage the heat in the tires well enough, causing them to overheat."

Race morning forecasts seemed to promise rain, but the 2 hour 30 minute KONI Challenge remained dry for the most part. "We were hoping for a dry race and got our wish," smiled Maloof. Asked if the occasional sprinkles worried him whilst racing, he added, "not really; worrying about weather while we race is not good strategy. I just drove and tried to take care of the car while ignoring rain drops on the windshield."

Maloof started the race strongly, completing four passes within the first three laps of the race. During his 1 hour 15 minute stint in #147, he reached P9 before the track went to yellow caution. "I was able to bring the car up through the field but lost four positions during the first caution period," said Maloof. "I waited for the official Grand Am nod before passing the pace car, whereas the competitors behind me did not."

When the track next went yellow, Maloof came in for a pit stop and handed the car over to White in P9. Recalling the pit stop, Maloof said, "Mark and I had an awesome driver change -- 30 seconds before Mark was in and ready to go! We rejoined the race P13." Once behind the wheel, White methodically made up for lost positions, landing squarely in 10th and defending it solidly. With only a few minutes remaining in the race, some of the heavier, higher horsepower cars were forced to pit, and with one lap to go Mark fought off Georgian Bay Motorsports' Lawson Aschenbach until the checkered flag.

The Garden State 250 marked Maloof and White's second time co-piloting the Freedom Autosport 147 MX-5. "Our partnership in the car has become even more solid," said Maloof, adding, "communication between us in and out of the car is getting stronger, and we are truly familiar with each other's strategy and technique. I am looking forward to working with Mark for our remaining two races with Freedom Autosport and beyond!"

Maloof was also quick to praise his team: "Team Freedom and our chief mechanic Doug Beckett did a fantastic job, not just during the race but all weekend long. They worked hard with Mark and I to incorporate our feedback from practice, and their effort really showed in how well the car performed for us."

For more information about Freedom Autosport drivers Christian Maloof and Mark White please visit and

Valerie Roedenbeck

Source: Christian Maloof

CONTACT: Valerie Roedenbeck, +1-312-342-8222,

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