Anyone that had, has, or will have a Mustang, at some point fantasizes about driving the schnitzel out of it. It's a dream that comes as standard equipment with every one that's ever been manufactured. K&N sponsored driver, Paul Brown, is living that dream and then some. At the Pirelli World Challenge event contested at Mosport International Raceway, the Covina, California racer decisively won in the GTS class on Sunday at the Pirelli Grand Prix of Mosport Victoria Day Speedfest.
The K&N sponsored driver also said he couldn't be more proud or amazed by how his team has pulled together this year in such short time.
Paul Brown says this is his most competitive race season ever, he's already won the Grand Prix of Long Beach and now two Pirelli World Challenge events.
Commented Brown, "It should have been two, but some freak mechanical issue happened while leading the first race (Saturday) and I blew all the oil. We lost the championship lead with the DNF, but then got it back with the win. This was a very disappointing, and then rewarding weekend in one. We are now half way through the season."
On Sunday Brown started on pole and never looked back, driving his No. 50 K&N Filters Lucas Oil/Ford Mustang Boss 302S to his second GTS win of the season and the second of his career.
Explaining the DNF in the first race, which Brown also started on pole, he said, "The guys did a great job with the car, we had a good launch for the start, and by lap five I had a four second lead, when all of a sudden the windshield went gray and oil completely covered my view. Not to mention this happened at 140 mph, at the fastest spot in the track, and at 7600 rpm. I managed to get the car slowed enough not to hit anything and spin in my own oil. It was a freak mechanical issue that caused us to blow oil out. It didn't hurt the car, but it made a hell of a mess."
Brown confessed that he was absolutely gutted after that race, as the team's plans for the weekend were simply to play it safe, stay out of trouble, and get some points.
"We managed to get the bonus points for the pole, leading and running the fastest race lap. So it wasn't a total failure, but still hurt. As a result in qualifying for Sunday's race I knew we needed those points again and went for it," Brown said.
"We managed to stay second with the start, and I had a killer drive off turn five, where Ben Crosland had a little wheel spin. I was able to get through the corner cleaner, used the draft, and made a pass on the outside for lead," continued Brown. "After that, I just put my head down and worked on laps trying not to think about it. I was able to run consistently faster laps then the guys behind me, and built up a eight second lead when the caution came and I was thinking â€“ no, not again. In St. Pete I was leading each race when the caution came out and I lost the lead, and then got hit and put out of the race on the restart. But, once I saw it was a major three car wreck, luckily without injuries, I knew there was a chance it would finish under yellow, which it did, and we had win number two in the bag!"
Brown feels that 2011 is by far his most competitive season in the Pro Series, now that the team finally has the better equipment to work with. Making Tiger Racing's accomplishment even more impressive is that they are doing it with limited resources.
"The biggest problem we have is lack of budget, and knowing what we are going to need, and the issues we will run into. Even though I've been running Mustangs for 25 years, this is a brand new car and combination, and we are a very young team working together. It's been Adam Cox, my crew chief and head tech, Chris Filias, a young intern, and me. We are not only learning the car, but also each other, and having to gel in a very short amount of time. I couldn't be more proud of what we've accomplished in such a short time and with very limited resources. It's pretty amazing."
"The first half of the season has been great, but it's been more of a defensive play. Since getting crashed out in St. Petersburg we have been playing catch-up. So the two month break comes at just the right time, now we can catch our breath and plan for the last half of the season, and hopefully work on getting some additional support. We'd like to come out swinging on offense for the second half of the season. As long as we keep working together and put in our best effort, I think we will come out on top, no matter where we end up in the championship. However, the championship is the goal!"
Next on the to-do list for Tiger Racing is getting their car ready for testing and a few media events, such as the Mid America Ford Meet in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Adds Brown, "We have some more upgrades planned for the car, and some additional testing before the Mid Ohio event in August, and by then we should be full steam ahead."
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