Photo by John Thawley Thursday, July 19, 2007 - SAMAX Motorsport headed north to Barber Motorsports Park from its South Florida base in Pompano Beach to enter this weekend's Round 10 of the 2007 Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series schedule. Kris Szekeres and Patrick Carpentier will share driving duties in the number 11 SAMAX Pontiac Riley for the fourth consecutive race at the 2.3-mile (3.7-Km) road course located near Birmingham, Alabama.
SAMAX is looking to rebound after three early retirements in the last four events. The season started on a high note with a second place in the Rolex 24 at Daytona, but the team has struggled with mechanical problems and on-track race incidents since Round 6 at Watkins Glen. Kris Szekeres of Hartland, Michigan will be making his fourth consecutive start with SAMAX Motorsport. The American driver, who is fast learning the ropes of Grand-Am Daytona Prototype competition, hopes to improve on a track that he has raced on before.
"It's a tough learning curve because all the teams are so competitive," said Szekeres about Grand-Am Rolex competition. "Fortunately this weekend, I will be racing on a track that I know and I will be able to settle in the car instead of learning both the track and how the car reacts to it. Barber is one of the nicest facilities the Grand-Am series competes on. The track is quite demanding with elevation changes, not too drastic, and a combination of fast and slow corners. This should be a fun weekend and we hope to do well here."
Carpentier was eager to learn more about Barber Motorsports Park. This will be the Canadian-born driver's third new track this year after Virginia International Raceway and Iowa Speedway last weekend.
"This is a brand new track for me, but I have heard only great comments about it," said Patrick Carpentier who lives in Las Vegas. "There will be a lot of things for me to learn but I should master the track rather quickly. I know the SAMAX team wants to break the string of DNFs we have suffered in the last races, so we hope to have a great weekend. That way, when the team comes to my hometown track in Montreal in early August for the next event, we will be running on a high note."
With four top five finishes, including a runner-up podium result in the Rolex 24 at Daytona, South Florida-based SAMAX Motorsport is currently tenth overall in the Team Standings with 177 points after nine races.