Collins & Edwards finish LRPG Pontiac GXP 2nd at VIR
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Alton Virginia (Saturday, April 25, 2009): Kelly Collins and Paul Edwards over came two minor problems and survived the Bosch Engineering 250 at VIRginia International Raceway in Alton Virginia to finish their #07 Leighton Reese Performance Group Pontiac GXP.R in second place in GT.

"We finished our Pontiac GXPs one-two and Pontiac won the Daytona Prototype class as well so all in all it was a great day for Pontiac here at VIR," said Kelly Collins.

Round 2 of the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16 at VIR was won by the #57 Pontiac GXP.R of Andrew Davis and Robin Liddell and the #99 GAINSCO Pontiac Riley Daytona Prototype won the race overall.

Collins, of Newport Beach California, started the race from his 4th place qualifying position and right at the start Kelly started applying heavy pressure on the #87 Porsche of Leh Keen for 3rd. It took Collins a couple of laps to slip past and set out after the two leading Mazdas.

"I think the tires start getting a little hot on the Porsches and I could get off Turn 17 better and I could get a run on him," Collins said of the pass. "The first time he blocked me but the second time he thought better of it and I got by him. When I got by him I went after the two Mazdas and we were pulling away until the first yellow came out."

The first caution period of the race came out when the #69 Mazda spun and got center punched by the championship leading #67 Porsche of Justin Marks. Most of the leading cars pitted for fuel and tires but Collins remained on track and assumed the GT lead.

When the course went green again on lap 13 Collins held the lead until the pole sitting #70 Mazda slipped past down the straight on lap 17. Collins pitted about 45 minutes into the race and Paul Edwards took over the car. Since the stop was under green the #07 Pontiac dropped to 10th.

The first issue Edwards had to deal with was a sway bar problem caused when a small part broke on the adjustment mechanism for the rear sway bar. While the problem wasn't necessarily major the drivers had to set the rear bar to full soft to balance out the car. The issue first arose while Kelly Collins was driving his opening stint.

"The car still handles pretty because we just set the rear bar to full soft to balance out the car," said Collins. "But the car really rolls over particularly on transition turns."
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