This was without question the most important race of the season, every lap on the track and every decision in the pit would be meaningful. With their usual efficiency the crew unloaded #08 Rebel Rock / MBRP Porsche and it was well prepped and ready to go.
Driver Kyle Marcelli posted the third fastest time during practice one. By next morning's practice two the other teams had figured out the right set up and #08 dropped to 10th position. Martin Barkey qualified the car P16 on the starting grid. Not a choice start but certainly one that they were able to work from.
With a damp track surface and uncertain weather conditions, the team engineer opted to go with dry slick tires. As it turned out that was the right choice as the weather stayed dry for the race.
Martin Barkey took the first stint behind the wheel and in the difficult conditions, he maintain position. After the mandatory forty-five minutes he pitted. With their usual flawless execution the crew had driver Kyle Marcelli on the track in no time.
Shortly after the change-over the first yellow caution of the race came into play but soon after Kyle was able to steadily advance. With championship standings on the line, it was by any definition an aggressive race with no quarter being asked or given.
By the drop of the checkered flag Rebel Rock Racing / MBRP crossed the line in sixth place almost side by side with fourth and fifth. This sixth place finish gave the team a thirteenth place finish overall for the series. Not bad for a rookie team taking on many seasoned veteran teams.
In spite having to battle through some massive technical and mechanical setbacks the team only had two DNFs through the season. Every member of the team, drivers and crew proved their commitment and determination even when things looked hopeless.
Driver Martin Barkey had this to say about the race. "Road Atlanta is such a great track, I really enjoyed my time here. This would rate right up there in my top three race tracks in North America. With the wet track I started off with less pace than I had hoped for, after four or five laps I was running the lap times we needed and was able to run a clean stint. Kyle really likes this track, he ran a great race once again and brought us in at P6. This was another good race weekend for our team, I feel very fortunate to be co driving with Kyle Marcelli along with being part of the Rebel Rock Racing team."
From driver Kyle Marcelli, "I'm pleased with our sixth place result, our team worked hard and our car was working quite well. Driving a Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge spec GS car fast around Road Atlanta is no easy task; you are working hard and balancing the limit multiple times per lap. It is a rush and certainly requires maximum concentration. The race was challenging in many ways. The changing weather conditions made the start of the race quite interesting. The track was wet but drying slowly and most cars including us opted to start on slick, dry weather tires. Martin drove well and made no mistakes in the difficult conditions. The level of aggression from the drivers was high and more risks were taken. It was an absolute dog fight every lap until the final corner of the final lap."
With the 2014 Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge completed Martin Barkey Racing is already hard at work planning for another adrenaline pumping, edge of the seat season for 2015.
One thing is certain: with all the lessons learned Rebel Rock / MBRP Racing will be in the thick of things.
From Rebel Rock / MBRP Racing