MBD SPORTSCARS IN TOP TEN AT MID-OHIO
July 3, 2002 Ontario, Canada The MBD Sportcars Team once again placed in the top ten overall with their 8th place finish at last weekend’s Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio at the Mid-Ohio Sportscar Course in Lexington, Ohio.
The team’s 8th place finish gives the hard-working crew their second American Le Mans Series top ten finish in a row with their first being a 9th place finish in May’s Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sears Point.
While the 8th place finish overall is something to be very happy with, the team is most proud of their 6th place in class result in the LMP 900 category.
Milka Duno qualified the Duno/Maxwell #17 Panoz LMP07/Mugen 12th overall on Saturday and the race began on Sunday with co-pilot Scott Maxwell in the cockpit. Maxwell quickly moved the car into the top ten never to leave for the entire race. After 55 minutes in the seat, Maxwell turned the car over to Duno for her 56 minute stint behind the wheel. Maxwell finished the remaining 54 minutes of the race bringing the team car home after 104 laps 8th overall and 6th in class.
“It was a very good race,” said a smiling Milka Duno. “It was great finishing this race the times just keep getting better and better. There were no problems with the car for the entire race. The car was perfect all the time!”
“Everything was great we did as best as we could as a privateer team against the factories,” said Maxwell. “We made the car progressively better all throughout the week and weekend. We’ll go back to the shop and keep plugging trying to narrow the gap between us and our competitors. We need to keep working on our grip levels - we need to find out just what our grip level is and whether it’s tires or mechanicals that we need to work on to improve the grip level. When we solve that we can really move forward. The car ran really good there were no mechanical issues during the entire race it ran like a train.”
The team’s #18 entry was qualified by Corona Extra driver Didier de Radigues and started by John Graham. After 58 minutes on the circuit John turned over driving duties to Didier, who brought the car into the pits a short 4 minutes later with an electrical problem that was unfortunately to affect their position for the remainder of the race requiring the car to be brought into the pits another two times to repair an electrical connection and again to replace the battery. There are a million things that can go wrong with a car during a race, and if you think about it it’s amazing that all in all very little usually happens too many of the cars under race conditions a true testament to the team’s preparations. It’s unfortunate that a great race effort with two very qualified and talented drivers behind the wheel can be affected due to a minor electrical problem. Not a driver error, or a blown engine but a minor electrical problem. Due to this, the #18 MBD LMP 900 took the final flag 18th overall.
“Both of the team cars are a lot more competitive here at Mid-Ohio,” said John Graham. “I think this shows that coming back to North America and running on 2.5 mile or 3 mile circuits we can be a top privateer team. My teammates in the #17 car did very well today. With the #18 car we’ve just have to sort out some of the silly little things that put us out of the top.”
It’s too bad that we had the electrical problems,” said Corona Extra driver Didier de Radigues. “Maybe we didn’t pay the electrical bill” laughed Didier. ȁI thought I paid the electrical bill in Le Mans already! Without these problems we would have placed the car 6th overall that would have been very nice for the team, so…hopefully next time.”
Contents ©® 2001/2002 Milka
Duno - All Photographs Courtesy of Octavio Estrada