Flash news: The Homestead Miami International Fuel Challenge (March 23th-24th 2007) has finished with great success.
It was Paul LeMieux who won 1/0 class, taking TQ and winning with his NT1 every single round. A great success for Team XRAY taking 1,2,3 at Homestead Miami race.
1. Paul Lemieux – XRAY NT1
2. Barry Baker – XRAY NT1
3. Ralph Burch – XRAY NT1
4. Scotty Gray
5. Andrew Duperrouzel
6. Chris Tosolini
7. DJ Apolaro
8. Luke Whitaker
9. Art Carbonell
10. Michael “Butter” Abraira
11. Gianni Giorgio
Race report by Paul Lemieux
Race: Rc Pro Homestead International fuel champs, March 22-24th.
Location: I would like to Thank everyone involved for somehow making this race happen. this race was extra special because of the location, the race was held at the homestead Miami international speed way during a super busy week, threw the weekend on the big track they raced many different oval and road course Classes starting with the USAC Silver crown cars on the 1.5mile oval, then the Rolex sports car series took the road course, then the Indy lights and of course the Indy cars both on the oval on Sunday. Their was to be estimated well over 50thousand people viewing the various racing events.
RC race: The Rc track was located Directly out side the main grandstands and all racers pitted underneath the grandstands. the flow of traffic by the track was great because it would have been difficult to do anything their without walking by the Rc track. and people loved the racing. I saw a little girl cheering for Barry screaming his entire qualifier lol (true). the track layout
March 21st: Ralph Burch, Barry Baker, Mark Blacketter and I flew in to Miami from our various regions Wednesday the after noon of the 21st.
March 22: This day was supposed to be practice but rain got us all day so we just hung out at the track and watched it rain some of the day, then we went back to the room to further prepare out race cars.
March 23rd: This day woke up sunny so all of us were eager to try out our cars again. In practice all three of us were very happy with our cars. so from their Barry stayed the same on his set-up and Ralph and I went in our own directions, I ended up with a diff in the front of my car as opposed to a spool which we usually use in the us, I think that this made my car turn in to the corner harder but made it easier to drive coming off of the corner. I also removed the front sway bar and reduced the caster from our normal set-up. By the end of practice i felt pretty good about my car.
Qualifying started in the afternoon to allow the racers more practice time because of the rain during scheduled practice. The qualifiers were 10 minutes long so it was cool to have a pit stop during qualifying. After two rounds it was clear that our team would be strong because all three of our cars were in the top 5.
March 24th: There was one more round of qualifying and then the mains on sat, after qualifying was over the grid looked good with Ralph burch qualifing 4th, Barry Baker qualifing 3rd and my self taking the TQ by a good margin.
Finals: The finals were 15min per race and it was a triple A-main format. I was happy with this format that way you would never have to do a tire change. In the first final I was able to get a pretty good lead by the first pit stop but a couple of problems on the track would give alot of that back to Chris tosilini with barry in toe. but when A1 was done it was Me and Barry going 1 and 2 with Ralph having radio problems.
In A2 it was alot of the same with me pulling away at the beginning then running into some small problems which allowed other drivers to close in, this time it was barry who was running second and took the lead with about 5min to go, I drove hard to catch him then right as i did he had a problem that resulted in a crash and handed the race back to me. with Barry second and Ralph in third.
A3: with the Title wrapped up I decided to race the last main anyway just because of the Incredible crowd that had gathered with people 5deep in places surrounding the track, It was just cool to race in front of that many people. At the start Chris took the lead quickly as after a bump pass i got eaten up by the field and dropped all the way back to 5th or sixth while Chris Barry and Ralph ran up front, I quickly got back to 4th and set my sited on the leaders. It was after the first pit that i was able to catch and get by Chris for the lead and shortly after that it started to sprinkle so they called the race at 10 min. and after 10 it was myself barry and ralph once again finishing 123 and that is what the final results were also.
Over all the race was awesome, the track was fun and venue was great. I know that everyone had a ton of fun, and best of all i think that we proved again that the Nt1 will be hard to beat at any race.
Source : XRAY