John's heat training paid off as The SpeedSource team claimed the first-ever Rolex GT podium sweep during this weekend's New Jersey Motorsports Park 250 presented by Crown Royal. Leading the pack and earning the GT-Class win were co-drivers Jonathan Bomarito and Sylvain Tremblay in the #70 Castrol Syntec Mazda RX-8. Following close behind and securing second were John and Adam in the #68 Mazdaspeed Motorsports Development Mazda RX-8 and third was the SpeedSource #69 FXDD Mazda RX-8.
Position: Driver/Driver, Car Make Model, Laps.
Winner: RJ Valentine/Andy Lally, Porsche GT3, 79.
2. Bill Auberlen/Paul Dalla Lana/Joey Hand, BMW M6, 79.
3. Robin Liddell/Andrew Davis, Camaro GT.R, 78.
4. Emil Assentato/Jeff Segal, Mazda RX-8, 78.
5. John Edwards/Adam Christodoulou, Mazda RX-8, 78.
6. Sylvain Tremblay/Jonathan Bomarito, Mazda RX-8, 78.
7. James Gue/Leh Keen, Mazda RX-8, 78.
8. Todd Lamb/Jordan Taylor, Mazda RX-8, 78.
The Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course was home to Round Seven of the GRAND-Am Rolex Sports Car Series as John and the SpeedSource team traveled to the historic track. Saturday’s Emco Gears Classic at Mid-Ohio was was a great showing by the SpeedSource team as John and the team captured a second place finish.
The SpeedSource team had to regroup quickly after the Memorial Day Classic at Lime Rock Park. Just five days later the team headed to the historic Watkins Glen International circuit for the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen. The crew had just three days to prepare their cars for Saturday’s race. John and Adam, his teammate, made their first appearance in an extended endurance format race. The two were paired with the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge veteran Tom Long. Christodoulou qualified the car in the 5th starting position.
Racing drivers must be fit. Physical endurance, baseline strength, and cardiovascular performance, and the right state of mind are all prerequisite to quick lap times. Training is required every day. Even the day after a hard fought win the training goes on. And most times it is not that fun. But cycling with the driver coach Mike Zimicki in Vermont is about as good as it gets. For those of you outside the racing world, "who is Mike Zimicki?"
John and his team score their first Grand Am GT victory in the No. 68 SpeedSource Mazda RX-8. Jordan Taylor won his second consecutive pole in GT qualifying, and led the opening five laps. He was involved in a tight battle with Andy Lally and John's teammate Adam Christodoulou during the early stages of the race, with the lead changing hands five times in the opening 45 laps. Christodoulou led three times for 34 laps before turning the car over to John, who led the final 87 circuits.
MAZDASPEED driver John Edwards files his first blog entry for SPEEDtv.com on his debut Rolex Series weekend driving for SpeedSource/Newman Wachs.
John had a good race start and a strong first stint. He ran P3 for most of the session falling to P4 just before the first pit stop. Adam took over but early in his stint, as he said, "suddenly, three-quarters of the way through the corner, I heard a bit of a bang and the steering wheel went an extra few degrees on me and realized something wasn’t right. All of a sudden, it started drifting towards the wall. I luckily managed to keep it off the wall and going down the next stretch, I had confirmation that it was a blow out.
"After four months without racing, I finally got a chance to make up for the lack of driving with double duty during the opening race of the season in Grand-am. I got to drive both a Mazdaspeed3 in the ST class of the Continental Tire Challenge series, as well as a Mazda RX-8 in the GT class of the Rolex Grand-am series. It was a rare treat to be bouncing between series, always busy during every session of the practice and race days. However, the races did not go as planned.
Mayor Mark Mallory wished John the best in his pursuit of great results with his two upcoming races at Daytona International Speedway. His first race is the Continental Tire Sportscar Challenge where he will be teamed with racer and actor Patrick Dempsey. His second race is the Rolex 24 hours of Daytona. In this race his team qualified 2nd in the GT class and has shown the pace to compete for the win. John is excited to represent Cincinnati this weekend.