Steven Carlile and Patrick Byrne started off week 3 with a Blancpain Sprint Series race at Motegi, during the night. Both of the drivers started from the back of the grid in 19th and 20th. “We wanted to play the strategy game and hope for some over aggressive driving from others that would allow us to pick off some easy spots, but that didn’t exactly pan out,” were Carlile’s words after the race. When the pitstops came around, Byrne was the first to jump out of the two, coming into the pits behind a slow moving car and making contact with them in the pit entrance, leaving him with some front end damage for the rest of the race. Steven Carliles race was uneventful, finishing 14th after lacking straight line speed to stay with the top 10. Byrne finished two places back in 16th.

Once again Carlile was out for two races in his Vivo Sport Ford Fiesta Rally Cross car, but this time at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis. He qualified in 7th place for heat 1 and had a clean race to get into 4th place and going straight through to the main. Where he started in 7th again and making his way up to 2nd, but when he took the joker lap two cars had crashed on the exit blocking the track and then had a tight battle for fourth until the end with the number 10 (Jorge Tocuyo) coming over the line and beating him by just .022 of a second.

In the second race Steve started second in heat 2 and finished second after four of the six cars crashed heavily on the first lap. In the main he had another clean race, with tight battles all race long resulting in another second place finish after setting the fastest lap on the last lap, but missing out on the win, after he said “This was our best showing of the season thus far. I really love this track configuration and it always leads to close racing. We are still behind in the setup department and lacking that grip coming off the exit of the dirt sections, but we have been making progress. Looking forward to next week heading back to Daytona, and hopefully we can grab a win.”

 

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