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Apr 22, 2013 / reports


Atlanta, GA -- Hopes were high as the GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge made a debut run at the fabled Road Atlanta circuit this weekend for round four of the 2013 championship. Former champion Adam Burrows teamed with veteran racer Ray Mason for Compass360 Racing, as the duo looked to generate some positive momentum for their 2013 GRAND-AM campaign with a strong run in Saturday’s Price Waterhouse Cooper 250.

With a significant stretch of time having elapsed since Burrows last had run on the 2.54-mile undulating circuit, he and Mason were both understandably looking forward to getting familiar with the tricky track. Fortunately, Thursday’s test day featured ideal running conditions to greet the teams. After getting a few laps in, the effort was dealt a setback as a motor issue ended the day early for the duo.

The team hustled to make a motor change and had the car ready to go again on Friday. Unfortunately, the conditions were less than cooperative as a heavy rain drenched the track for much of the day. The conditions were so bad during the afternoon that GRAND-AM canceled the qualifying session and the field was set by championship points.

So with not too much track time and a Civic that hadn’t had many practice laps to work on the handling, Mason and Burrows knew they had some work to do on race day.

Mason took the green flag from 49th overall and was able to move up through the field  as a range of pit strategies were playing out. But the strong start was not to be converted to the results the duo were hoping for after Mason was handed a double dose of bad news.

Mason had contact with a BMW, sending them both spinning. After losing precious track position and time, insult was added to injury as he was called into the pits for a stop and hold penalty. But there was yet one more hand of bad racing luck yet to be drawn as Mason subsequently got a penalty for exceeding the pit speed limit on the way out.  The bad news formed a triumvirate as the car also suffered damage and just didn’t handle the same for the remainder of the race.

Mason turned the car over to Burrows to take to the finish. Despite the lost track position and damage to the car, Burrows took the No. 76 Compass360 Columbus Truck, HPD Honda Civic to the checkered flag for a 21st place finish.

"We really haven’t had the strongest start to 2013," said Burrows, after what was a very tough day. "Ray was running really well at the start. And I hoped that this would be a sign of a possible turnaround. But, in the end, it wasn’t to be. It was great to be back at Road Atlanta. This is truly one of the best courses in the United States. We’ve got a little break here before Mid-Ohio, Ray’s home track, and hopefully we can come back strong there."

Courtesy Sunday Group Management. Originally published on