Johnny Kanavas _ professional driver

NEWS _ Kanavas & Pumpelly charge forward at Mid Ohio

Mid-Ohio Proves Challenging for Mitchum Motorsports
- Kanavas & Pumpelly charge forward at Mid Ohio

Lexington, OH (June 9, 2012) – The GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge race at Mid-Ohio was a difficult weekend for the Mitchum Motorsports entries. The #6 Chevrolet Camaro driven by George Richardson and Tim Bell finished 12th after suffering damage from contact from behind while the #62 Camaro driven by Joey Atterbury and Gunter Schaldach managed 15th. The #62 ran as high as 2nd before falling back a few spots while conserving fuel. The risky one stop strategy came up just two corners short when the car ran out fuel on the last lap.

The team’s pair of 1-Series BMWs also were challenged at Mid-Ohio as the #63 car co-driven by Spencer Pumpelly and Johnny Kanavas started from the rear of the large field having missed qualifying, and finished 12th in class. The #60 sister BMW suffered an engine issue in the morning warm-up session, necessitating an engine swap before the start of the race at 11am. The crew worked feverishly to get the swap completed in near record time only to watch the car retire from the race on lap two when that engine failed as well.

“To call this a difficult weekend would be the understatement of the year. We worked and worked on all four cars during the promoter test day and the practice sessions on Friday, even swapped a motor out Saturday morning, “ said team principal Chris Mitchum. “Our results certainly don’t reflect the amount of effort put into these four cars.”

“To see the guys get the engine swap done so quickly was amazing to watch. They worked like a well oiled machine. It was truly heartbreaking when the #60 car retired so early in the race,” continued Mitchum. “The #63 car made a solid run from the back but with so many caution laps (33 of 75 laps) there just wasn’t enough time to race to the front.”

“It was a bittersweet weekend for the #63 BMW. Spencer (Pumpelly) and I worked hard on chassis setup despite having some engine power issues – we missed qualifying due to the electrical gremlins,” said Kanavas. “We had our work cut out for us starting from the back of the field, but the Mitchum crew gave us a great car to race with, allowing us to work up through the field to 12th from last – which is our best finish so far this season. The car is the best it’s been and we are really focused on Road America.”

“The #6 Camaro was running strong until it was hit and forced to pit so we could remove the damaged rear bumper. That obviously cost us time so we switched fuel strategies mid-race in order to stay on the lead lap. The damaged car was a handful for George the rest of the race – so a 12th place finish is a decent accomplishment given the circumstances. We took a gamble on the #62 and tried to make a one stopper out of it. We were so close, just a two corners, from finishing in the top 5. We rolled the dice and almost came up smiling – just one more lap under caution during the race would have gotten us to the finish line.”

See the full race on Speed TV June 17th at noon. Mitchum’s next race is in two weeks at Road America where they will share the paddock with NASCAR’s Nationwide Series teams.

source: Mitchum Motorsports