Starworks Sheds Bad Luck, Posts First PC Victory Of 2015
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Starworks Sheds Bad Luck


"I'm not looking for good luck, I just don't want any more bad luck like we've had in the last three races," Starworks Motorsport owner Peter Baron said before Saturday's debut of the Prototype Challenge (PC) class in the Chevrolet Sports Car Classic Presented by Metro Detroit Chevy Dealers at the Raceway at Belle Isle Park.

He got his wish. Mirco Schultis and Renger van der Zande drove a flawless race to score their first victory of the season in the No. 8 Martini ORECA FLM09, while misfortune struck the top three contenders in the championship.

Schultis and van der Zande won three races in 2014, with van der Zande finishing second in the championship. Saturday's victory enabled the pair to move up to sixth in the standings.

"Bruno (Junqueira) slipped in Turn 1 when we were coming up on a GTD car, and I went around him on the outside and I passed him in Turn 2," van der Zande said. "Then I ran down (James) Vance, and from there on it was a matter of managing the race. We knew from Mazda Raceway that we were lighting fast, but we didn't win that one. We were finally able to win here today, but it wasn't that easy."

Starworks spoiled a strong showing by Performance Tech Motorsports, with James French winning his first TOTAL Pole Award in the No. 38 Ric-Man Detroit ORECA FLM09, and new co-driver James Vance leading the opening 55 laps before van der Zande took the lead. Five laps later, Stephen Simpson took second in the No. 85 JDC/Miller Motorsports Marines ORECA. Vance held on for third.

PC points leader Jon Bennett had contact with runner-up Mike Guasch on the opening lap, with the No. 54 CORE autosport Flex-Box ORECA losing four laps for repairs. While Guasch was able to continue, his No. 52 PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports ORECA was damaged midway through the event when co-driver Tom Kimber-Smith tagged the spinning No. 11 RSR Racing AutoMax USA ORECA of Bruno Junqueira, a car started by Chris Cumming. Colin Braun was able to take over for Bennett, eventually finishing fourth.

Jon Bennett and Colin Braun's fourth-place finish unofficially allows them to retain the lead in the PC standings, five points ahead of Mike Guasch and Tom Kimber-Smith (128-123).