Fast Pace and Hard Work Not Enough For BAR1 Top 1 Oil PC at Continental Tire Grand Prix Powered by Mazda
Despite running a quick pace and putting in the hard work, BAR1 Motorsports and its drivers Johnny Mowlem and Matt McMurry in the No. 20 ORECA FLM09 Prototype, sponsored by Top 1 Oil and Southwest Funding, took a hard hit finishing 6th at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. The Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix powered by Mazda (April 29 - May 1) featured a pair of two-hour races on the challenging and scenic 2.238-mile circuit.
Despite some challenges in the practice sessions, both Matt McMurry and teammate Johnny Mowlem were showing good pace through out the weekend. McMurry took the qualifying session. Showing quick times in the early going and running as high as P1, Matt did a great job qualifying the car right in the thick of things, 4th.
“Matt did outstanding in the car this weekend,” noted team owner, Brian Alder. “We lost a session due to a clutch problem, and with limited track time before qualifying, Matt did a fantastic job qualifying a very respectable 4th.”
Things continued to show movement in the right direction in Sunday’s warmup session, prior to the PC / GTD race.
“Warmup was great,” added Alder. “We got the car dialed in and Johnny Mowlem posted the fastest overall lap time for the session. We felt good going into the race. In the race we were in great shape, fighting for the lead with four other PC cars. Then, on lap 11, as the field was lapping slower GTD cars, Matt got hit from behind. The hit was hard enough to brake the exhaust header, leaving us severely down on power for the remainder of the race.”