Watkins Glen NY (3 June, 2011)-- Adam Burrows and Trevor Hopwood broke through for their debut GRAND-AM win together at Watkins Glen in 2008 and the duo had been hoping to once again celebrate a big day at the legendary finger lakes facility with a strong result in Friday's Continental Tire 150. Despite running six laps of the race up front with the No. 12 Infinity Audio Kia Forte Koup for Kinetic Motorsports, the day didn't end in champagne as the duo came home fifteenth at the finish on Friday night.
Burrows opened the race from behind the wheel, and with the GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge staging its first combined-class race since VIR, it was a busy stretch of 3.4-mile track as the large field raced hard right out of the gate.
"It was definitely an interesting start to the race," said Burrows, who on multiple occasions had to make lightning moves to miss multi-car accidents. "I think I spent more time just dodging people that had been hit by someone else or going sideways. It was not pretty to begin with - more of it was just trying to keep out of trouble."
He did exactly that, and stayed out of trouble to work his way to the front, leading six laps before peeling into the pits on lap 33 to turn the car over to Hopwood during one of the race's 5 caution periods.
"All in all, I thought the car was pretty good but still weak in a straight line compared to the turbo cars," said Burrows. "I was around probably every different car in the field... and every car pulled us going up through the esses and down the back straightaway. That didn't make it easy. The Kinetic guys had solid pit stop - I think it was one of our better pit stops of the year for sure."
Hopwood returned to the fray deep in the pack as others had elected to pit earlier in the race. But looking to make the most of the fresher tires and even fresher driver, he began to pick his spots and move up the order. But there was a lot of track position to make up, so a lap 51 caution was well welcomed to bunch the field.
"The strategy was tough-everyone had pitted before we did so we had a lot of ground to make up after the driver change, I did my best to pick up as many spots as I could," said Hopwood. "It's tough here with not having the motor that some of the other cars do. I had to really make a lot of moves where I could. I tried to catch up to Nic to try to help him out at the end. The last yellow helped us, getting everyone back in the pack. But the second yellow didn't because it shortened the amount of time we had to race and move up. Maybe we could have grabbed a few more spots at the end, but it wasn't meant to be."