Celtic Racing Release: Brett McCormick Takes Strong Seventh Place Finish at Auto Club Speedway
NEWS March 31, 2010
The New York-based team's strategy would utilize Friday's practice and qualifying sessions getting McCormick comfortable on the Celtic Racing LeoVince powered GSX-R and allowing McCormick to learn the 21-turn 2.36 mile track. McCormick put in 27 laps during Practice 1 posting a best time of 1:28.867, good for 17th place while testing a bevy of settings on the #7 Celtic machine. The team continued to test various setup configurations during Qualifying 1 late Friday afternoon seeing a good improvement with McCormick dropping 1.5 second (1:27.275) and posting the 14th fastest time during the 13-lap session.
Confident in their ability to continue moving upwards the Celtic Racing team looked forward to Saturday morning's Qualifying 2 to set the final grid positions and better their 4th row starting position. Unfortunately for the team however fierce Santa Ana winds pummeled the Speedway Saturday morning with gusts up to 60mph forcing AMA Pro Racing to suspend Qualifying 2 due to unsafe race conditions. Race 1 was pushed back further into the afternoon to give the blustering winds a chance to die down and the riders were given a short 10-minute warm-up session immediately prior to the race to familiarize themselves with track conditions.
With only a few short laps to test new settings the team headed into Race 1 unsure of how the latest configuration of the GSX-R 1000 would play out over the course of the race. Grid positions were set based on Friday's Qualifying times and McCormick would be starting both races from the 4th row, a daunting position for any rider. As the race progressed McCormick soon found the gamble in setup wasn't paying off as the Canadian rider struggled with the 190hp Suzuki over the length of the race. Showing incredible determination however McCormick dropped another .2 seconds off his previous best lap to set a time of 1:27.088 and moved up two positions during the race to finish just outside the top 10 in 12th place.
Armed with valuable data accrued during Race 1 the Celtic Racing Orient Express team went to work Saturday night to improve the #7 Armour Bodies-clad Suzuki and make a push for the Top 10 in Race 2. With a short warmup Sunday morning to try out the latest changes McCormick entered Race 2 feeling much more comfortable on both the track and the Celtic bike and was eager to get Race 2 underway. With Saturday's winds but a distant memory Race 2 took place beneath beautiful Californian skies and McCormick was immediately challenging inside the Top 10. Rocketing from his 14th place starting position McCormick soon found himself in a battle with AMA veterans Ben Bostrom and Chris Ulrich, a battle that would extend throughout the entire contest. At races end the Fontana rookie would find himself in 7th position, his best AMA Pro Racing American Superbike finish to date. Even more impressively McCormick's best laptime during the race (1:25.427) would be less than a second off the best lap of either race (Blake Young - 1:24.428) and McCormick's closest finish to the front in his fledgling AMA Pro career.
Brett McCormick - #7 Celtic Racing
"That was certainly a wild weekend." said McCormick. "We knew coming in that it would take a bit oftime to get everything going since it was a new track and my first race with the Celtic team. We were bummed to lose out on Saturday's practice but AMA made the right call since it was pretty bad out there with the wind. Anyhow we were off on setup during Race 1 and that made for a long race. I knew we could go faster in Race 2 and after some changes Sunday morning we did just that. It felt real good to finally get down to some laptimes I knew we were capable of. I had a good battle with Ben and Chris and to come out with my best AMA Superbike finish at the line is just icing on the cake. A big thanks to the Celtic Racing team for all the hard work and the opportunity to race hard this weekend. I can't wait to get back on the racetrack."
Brett McCormick now sits in 10th place overall in the 2010 American Superbike standings with 37 points. Celtic Racing Orient Express next takes to the track April 16th for Round 3 of AMA Pro Road Racing at Road Atlanta in Braselton, Georgia. For more information on Celtic Racing please visit http://www.celticracing.com.
Celtic Racing is proud to partner with: Orient Express, K-Tech suspension, Precision Professional Detailing, Irish Bike, Rowley Racing, LeoVince, Galfer, Armour Bodies, Zero Gravity, Vortex, Alpinestars, Shoei, ESJ Graphics
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