8Star Motorsports finished tenth in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship Sahlen’s 6 Hours of The Glen – the latest instalment in the Patron North American Endurance Cup – at Watkins Glen International, after mechanical problems impeded the team’s bid for victory.

Eric Lux, who started the #25 8Star Motorsports machine from second on the grid, was having a great run when the orange ORECA FLM09 Prototype Challenge (PC) racer simultaneously developed power steering and engine problems that made driving at speed impossible and forced the New Yorker into the pits.

A superb effort from the 8Star crew saw the car and Lux return to the fray with four and a half hours to run, albeit 28 laps down on the race leaders and with no hope of fighting for the top result Lux, Tom Kimber-Smith and Sean Rayhall had been threatening to achieve all weekend long.

Briton Kimber-Smith took over from Lux and his pace was indicative of what would have been achievable, as he recorded some incredible times to lap The Glen as the second fastest Prototype Challenge contender.

Rayhall ramped up the pace from one lap to the next, passing cars that were more than 20 laps ahead, and the 8Star team stubbornly continued on its way, showing true grit and determination by charging on to the very last and finishing tenth in the final PC classification.

“We came into this race in a good position and started from the front row after a great qualifying performance from Tom (Kimber-Smith),” said Lux. “We struggled a little with understeer and then the engine belt let go, which forced us back behind the wall. The team performed really well in stressful and time-critical situations to get the car back out on track to give us a chance of taking as many points as possible from the weekend.”

Kimber-Smith said: “It wasn’t our day today. The team did a fantastic job preparing the car and it shows that it doesn’t matter how much preparation you do, sometimes it just isn’t going to work out. The guys did a fantastic job putting the car back together.”

Rayhall added: “It’s a shame we had the power steering trouble, as the car was very good. 8Star’s crew, as well Tom (Kimber-Smith) and Eric (Lux), did a great job, but these problems took us out of contention for a decent result. The car was very strong and we proved that by running consistently at a pace that was more than good enough to finish in the top three in class. Still, it’s an honour for me to drive the Rembrandt Charms, Takis USA 8star Motorsports LMPC racer and I’m very proud of the guys.”

Enzo Potolicchio, concluded: “The car had been running great all weekend and Tom (Kimber-Smith), Eric (Lux) and Sean (Rayhall) had a great chance of getting a big result in the 6 Hours of The Glen, but a problem with the power steering and engine belt ended any hope of that. It really is a shame, as the whole 8Star Motorsport team had been working hard during the lead-up to this race.”


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