Shea Racing ended the Pirelli World Challenge at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park May 16 – 17th with podium finishes, a Sunoco Hard Charger and Optima Battery Best Standing Start Award.
Shea Holbrook, of Groveland, FL, pressured the pole sitter during race one, which served as the makeup race from Barber Motorsports Park making several passing attempts, most notably on Lap 15 into Turn 1 as the Holbrook dove to the inside as the two went door-to-door. Holbrook in her No. 67 TrueCar/Lucas Oil/Radium/Hendrick Honda Civic Si ultimately finished second securing the fast lap of the race with a 1:35.597 putting her on pole for race two. Holbrook led the majority of the race but found herself wide on the outside of Turn 2 losing two positions. She clinched a 3rd place finish. The final race of the weekend Holbrook charged from the back after an incident with the tire wall in Turn 2. Fighting back and turning extremely impressive lap times Holbrook captured another 3rd place finish.
“I don’t think I’ve ever driven like that before. After my wreck I guess I drove like a mad woman. My crew chief, Nick Chorley, kept me focused and made a perfect calculation informing me if I continued to run as fast as we were I’d catch the field with three laps to go. On the final lap I regained two positions to secure third place,” said Holbrook.
Canadian native, P.J. Groenke, in the No. 66 Verax.ca/Tundra/Mulligan Gold Honda Fit began the weekend facing struggles but it was his track experience at CTMP and fierce determination that paid dividends clinching his first podium finish of the season and a Sunoco Hard Charger Award for gaining three positions during the Race 3.
“My home race weekend could not have been filled with more ups and downs…The test and practice sessions went as planned and I managed to qualify 3rd. Unfortunately in my search for the illusive pole position I got extremely loose in Turn 2 and the Verax.ca, Tundra, Mulligan Gold Honda Fit ended up meeting the inside wall at corner exit very hard. Thanks to the hard work of the Shea Racing team, my good friend Sean Asselin, and Chase Pelletier for loaning me the rear axle out of his team’s personal Honda Fit, we managed to start the first race of the weekend from pit lane and secure valuable championship points with an 8th place finish. Regrouped and ready to move forward through the field I had a great start to the second race and only made it to Turn 2 before I had to park the Verax.ca, Tundra, Mulligan Gold Honda Fit due to a broken motor mount retiring the car for the remainder of the weekend. Luckily I was able to secure a ride in the No. 24 4R Motorsports MINI Cooper for Sunday’s race through the much appreciated help from Scott Kuhne. Starting from 7th place I utilized much of my home track experience to move up to 3rd place and secure my first podium finish of the 2014 season. It was amazing to race at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park for the first time in over a year and cannot thank everyone enough for helping me achieve my first podium finish in 2014!.”
Paul Holton, rookie from Tallahassee, FL, in the No. 65 Radium/TrueCar/Lucas Oil Honda Fit ran quickest during Thursday’s wet practice sessions with a 1:53.975. Holton’s continued improvement earned a 6th and 7th place finish in the first two races, respectively. Holton’s was awarded the Optima Battery Best Standing Start Award. After an intense three-way battle throughout the race Holton ultimately scored a 5th place finish, his best finish of the season.
“This weekend was a great learning experience for me. While battling for third in the second race I made contact with a competitor causing a flat. I was able to back into the pits where the team did a stellar job of getting me back out on the lead lap finishing 8th. The start of the third race I managed to pick up three positions earning the Optima Batteries Best Standing Start Award! Overall, I’m pleased with my progress and look forward to New Jersey Motorsports Park,” Holton said.
The team currently ranks third in the TCA championship with Shea Holbrook’s 346 points, Paul Holton with 304 points sits in fifth in the TCB championship and P.J. Groenke sixth with 240 points.
Watch on TV
MAVTV Special One-hour TC, TCA, TCB Broadcast from Canadian Tire Motorsport Park! Date TBA in June.
About Shea Racing:
Shea Racing is a three-driver, three-car professional auto racing team in the Pirelli World Challenge dedicated to achieving paramount success by providing extraordinary racecars and trackside service, incredible branding and marketing efforts and developing a strong foundation to support talented drivers and to elevate our partners. The 2014 season marks the team’s fifth year racing in the series.