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< Back to News Home Mark White Earns a 7th Place Finish at the Garden State 250 with Maloof and Freedom Autosport

Posted (05/05/2009) - MADISON, WI - In a race weekend where rain clouds threatened to add an extra challenge to the Garden State 250, Mark White piloted the Freedom Autosport/Team Janica/Prairie Hills #147 MX-5 to a solid 7th-place finish. Along with co-driver Christian Maloof, White ran a consistent and exciting mixed-class race that included plenty of off-track excursions and mechanical issues for competitors.

"We made steady progress every session and continued to dial things in right up to the start of the race. The team did a fantastic job of giving Christian and I the car we were looking for" said White, adding, "by the time the green flag fell, I was confident we had a set up that would serve us well in these dicey conditions."

Maloof, who qualified the car 15th, drove the first 75 minutes of the 2.5 hour race and handed the car over to White in the top ten. White rejoined the race in P13, and quickly returned to P10. "Things were a bit 'interesting' at the beginning of my stint," commented White, adding, "The left mirror was askew (from prior contact) and made managing the GS traffic difficult. Luckily everybody worked together and we kept all the fenders on the car!"

As the race progressed, White fought to P8, and his aggressiveness kept him moving forward. "I really thought a top-5 was in the cards but I got tangled up with a back marker that had a little more horsepower than our MX-5's. Consequently, I ran the rear tires off fighting with him so when I did get by, I switched to conservation mode and focused on protecting our position." said White.

With a little over twenty minutes to go, White was informed by car chief Doug Beckett that Georgian Bay Motorsports' Lawson Aschenbach was closing in. "I was aware Lawson was really coming but I just couldn't find the grip to defend. I knew my only chance was utilizing traffic and luckily the opportunity presented itself. I was able to use one of the GS Mustangs as a pick to hold the Cobalt off and grab 7th at the checker. Thanks to the driver of that Mustang for the help. Couldn't have done it with out you!"

For White, the finish was a sweet ending to a hard fought race. "I was very pleased with everyone's performance this weekend. The whole team worked seamlessly to get us into the top 10. I think it's a solid result for the limited time Christian and I have in these cars and I can't thank Freedom enough for their efforts. Doug (Beckett) and 'Fast' Freddy (engineer Fred Huscher) put up with a lot of questions and offered great solutions to make this happen." Added White, "I'm really proud of Christian for getting up to speed quickly. I would also like to thank my personal sponsors, Team Janica Racing, Prairie Hills Motorsports Club, 2BKool, Chin Motorsports and Performance Drink for their continued support. I can't wait to get after it again in Laguna!"

The KONI Challenge Series Garden State 250 will air this Saturday, May 9 at 11 am CST on SPEED.

Mark returns to the Grand-Am KONI Challenge Series with Freedom and teammate Sarah Cattaneo during the Verizon Festival of Speed, May 15-16 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, CA.

Photo credit: Sideline Sports Photography 2009
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Mark White

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