8Star chips away and returns to podium at Laguna Seca

8Star Motorsports returned to the TUDOR United SportsCar Chahampionship podium, finishing second in Prototype Challenge in the 2014 Monterey Grand Prix.

8Star chips away and returns to podium at Laguna Seca

Having suffered with a lack of grip during qualifying on Saturday (3 May), the situation had improved dramatically for Sunday morning’s free practice and gave 8Star a very real chance of fighting for the LMPC win in the weekend's headlining two-hour Monterey Grand Prix.

Luis Diaz was called up for the opening stint, jumping from third to second position at the start and proceeding to challenge for the class lead.

The Mexican pushed on and, 16 minutes into the race, snatched the initiative from RSR Racing’s Duncan Ende, which he kept for the duration of his run before handing 8Star’s #25 ORECA FLM09 prototype to teammate Sean Rayhall.

After a swift driver-change, Rayhall recorded consistently strong lap times while continuing in first place, until a pit stop dropped him to fifth behind Renger van der Zande in the Starworks Motorsport entry, commencing what would become the main fight for victory.

Brazil’s Bruno Junquiera featured at the top, but an opposing strategy would play against him and his RSR Racing team, a pit stop during a long green period ultimately taking him out of contention for the top spot.

PC class podium: winners Mirco Schultis, Renger van der Zande, second place Luis Diaz, Sean Rayhall, third place Duncan Ende, Bruno Junqueira
PC class podium: winners Mirco Schultis, Renger van der Zande, second place Luis Diaz, Sean Rayhall, third place Duncan Ende, Bruno Junqueira

Photo by: James Holland

Rayhall, meanwhile, pushed hard and had incredible speed, getting within three seconds of LMPC class leader Van der Zande before spinning with only ten minutes to run.

This forced 8Star Motorsports to go defensive in a bid to preserve its second position against RSR’s Junqueira, who reduced the gap to Rayhall to less than five seconds on the final charge to the flag.

“The changes made after qualifying made the 8Star Motorsports ORECA feel much better and I knew we had a really good car going into the race,” said Diaz. “The goal was to achieve a podium finish for our new sponsor, Takis, and everyone at 8Star. Sean (Rayhall) had done a great job all weekend and we was in a position to fight for the win, if everything went well.

“In the end, I think we did everything we could. Our strategy didn’t help us and the yellow flags were definitely not beneficial to us, but the team did a great job in the pit stops, making no mistakes, and, while Sean tried to pull off a pass that didn’t work, I think that was the way to play it – he carried great momentum. I am really happy and this is a great result for 8Star Motorsports and Takis!”

Rayhall concluded: “It has been a fantastic Job by the 8Star Motorsports crew to get the Takis-backed ORECA FLM09 out in front. Contact with a GT car ultimately cost us a shot at victory, but I was able to recover and finish second. I’m really thankful to 8Star and Takis, as this was our first time at Laguna Seca and we got a great result.”

8Star

shares
comments
BMW Team RLL Finishes 2nd and 10th at Laguna Seca

Previous article

BMW Team RLL Finishes 2nd and 10th at Laguna Seca

Next article

MOMO NGT Motorsport finishes 12th at IMSA Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca

MOMO NGT Motorsport finishes 12th at IMSA Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca
Load comments
The significance of the next step in WEC/IMSA convergence Prime

The significance of the next step in WEC/IMSA convergence

Following the latest convergence connection permitting Le Mans Hypercars from the FIA World Endurance Championship to compete against LMDh entries in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship from 2023, it could open up enticing options not only to manufacturers but also for the calendar and race formats

WEC
Jul 13, 2021
Why a Mazda IMSA Prototype title would bring bitter joy Prime

Why a Mazda IMSA Prototype title would bring bitter joy

Can Mazda win this year’s IMSA Prototype championship? Undoubtedly. But it will be the culmination of an achingly hard struggle, after which the brand has decided to quit. David Malsher-Lopez tells the story of a bizarre blend of heartache and positivity.

IMSA
Apr 6, 2021
The GTE dilemma that IMSA has created for the WEC Prime

The GTE dilemma that IMSA has created for the WEC

The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s decision to scrap its GT Le Mans class for 2022 raises the question of whether the FIA World Endurance Championship should phase out GTE cars. But it's a much harder decision than it appears on the surface.

WEC
Feb 3, 2021
Nine things to watch at the 2021 Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona Prime

Nine things to watch at the 2021 Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona

After a 100-minute sprint race to whet the appetite, the 2021 IMSA SportsCar Championship gets underway properly this weekend. With plenty of significant changes during the winter, here are the key points you need to keep an eye on

IMSA
Jan 29, 2021
Why Magnussen is relishing a fresh start in sportscars Prime

Why Magnussen is relishing a fresh start in sportscars

Having gone over seven years without a race win through spells with McLaren, Renault and Haas, Kevin Magnussen's departure from Formula 1 for IMSA with big-hitters Chip Ganassi Racing could give him what he craves most - a chance of success

IMSA
Jan 29, 2021
Oliver Gavin's Corvette Racing highlights Prime

Oliver Gavin's Corvette Racing highlights

Oliver Gavin has stepped down from the full-time Corvette Racing line-up after a stellar career with the team spanning nearly 20 years. He looks back on a stint that encompassed, among other successes, five Le Mans 24 Hours victories.

Le Mans
Jan 28, 2021
How Tandy joined an exclusive club of endurance legends Prime

How Tandy joined an exclusive club of endurance legends

Victory at last year's Spa 24 Hours meant Nick Tandy had completed the unofficial sextuple crown of the world's six biggest endurance races, becoming the first Briton to do so. Ahead of his fresh start with Corvette Racing, he explains how he did it…

Le Mans
Jan 24, 2021
The 12 greatest Sebring 12 Hours ranked Prime

The 12 greatest Sebring 12 Hours ranked

The 2020 edition of the Florida sportscar classic is finally taking place this weekend, eight months after its traditional date in March. That meant there was plenty of time for Motorsport.com to pour over its previous 67 races and select the best.

IMSA
Nov 11, 2020