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Aug 7, 2012 / reports


Ray Mason joins Pirelli World Challenge squad and finishes 5th in Home Race.

Todd Lamb used his local track knowledge to excel in treacherous conditions on the Sunday race at Mid-Ohio, taking advantage of first-lap melee to move into the lead, running up front in his #71 National Kart News / HPD Honda Civic Si from flag-to-flag. Ryan Winchester in the #72 Ligon Industries / HPD car was Lamb's rear gunner, protecting his team-mate's lead, finshing second with a nose-to tail formation finish. This allowed Lamb to make up some ground up on championship leader Michael Cooper, narrowing the difference to just 101 points, with three races remaining in the season. Winchester solidified his third place in the standings, extending his lead (to 73 points) over team-mate Shea Holbrook in her #67 TrueCar / Virgin Honda, who finished 11th. Ray Mason joined the squad for his home race, and finished fifth after a solid battle running in third place.

The weekend started roughly for Ryan Winchester's #72 car when his engine let go on the very first lap of the first test session. "It's really unusual," noted Crew Chief Enrico Diano. "That motor was new at Mosport, so it's only got a couple of hours on it. We're pushing the little two-litre Type R motors pretty hard, but they've been really reliable so far."


A race weekend just wouldn't be the same without at least one engine change. Here, Ivan Ceccato (left) and Marc Warren put the finishing touches on the engine swap for #72.


Winchester signs autographs for the large number of fans that attended the driver meet-and-greet on Sunday.


Ray Mason drove the #70 car, a new-built 2012 Honda Civic Si, which he normally runs as the #75 in Grand-Am's Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge. Mason lives in Columbus, Ohio, so Mid-O is home for him, and announcers certainly gave him a lot of air time, especially as he battled for third place. Interestingly, he was fighting with Peter Shwartzott, also in a 2012 Civic. In the end, our young buck Mason (who is 65 years old) bested Uncle Peter, who is 70.


In the dry for the Saturday race, Lamb couldn't match the pace of the forced-induction MazdaSpeed3 and the Volkswagens, and finished 5th. However, two of those cars ahead didn't pass post-race tech and Lamb moved up to third. Unfortunately, this also moved Lamb's main competitor for the championship, Michael Cooper in the Mazda, up to first place.