Next Level European Post-Mazda Raceway Report

Friday, May 6, 2016

The 2.24-mile Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca circuit was not as kind to Next Level European (NLE) Racing as the team had hoped for the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge on Saturday, April 30. The ultra competitive Street Tuner (ST) class provided tough opposition, but both cars drove to solid race finishes.


The No. 83 Red Line Oil Porsche Cayman of Greg Liefooghe and Ari Balough rebounded from ABS issues on Friday to finish 17th in class, just one lap down from the class winners in the two hour and thirty minute race, Round 3 of the 2016 Continental Challenge series.


Seth Thomas and Dan Rogers, drivers of the No. 38 Porsche Cayman, felt they were chasing the setup a bit on the Cayman package during the 34-car field race and finished 24th in class.


Although not the results the Dublin, Virginia-based NLE team had sought for either of the Porsche Caymans, the European car specialists feel their recent test last week at Watkins Glen International will be beneficial for the next stop, Round 4 of the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge, on Saturday, July 2 at The Glen.

Ari Balogh, driver No. 83 Red Line Oil Porsche Cayman:
"We had some car setup problems today, so going into the first part of the race the car kind of pushed on the way out. The middle of the race, the car was okay, then it got really loose and burned up the rear tires. Keeping on the track and keeping the pace was a challenge, but we brought it in. I think our car setup was our issue. The (Porsche) Caymans are very sensitive. When the rear tires start to go, the car gets real sloppy. We just didn't have enough time to set up the car because we had some problems with the ABS yesterday. But, we're out there, we're racing at gorgeous Laguna Seca on a great track, and we have great sponsors, so we're happy."

Greg Liefooghe, driver, No. 83 Red Line Oil Porsche Cayman:
"I think it was a pretty rough race. It didn't seem like we had the pace today. Competition was really good, obviously. There were a lot of fast cars around us, but we didn't have the pace we needed today."

Seth Thomas, driver, No. 38 Next Level European Porsche Cayman:
"I believe we struggled this weekend. The track changed on us on race day with more rubber down and higher temps than we've seen. Our setup was a little off on that one. We broke a ball joint early on, so we got it fixed and went back out and tried to gather points. That's all it was for us. We'll come back next time and see if we can do this again. This seems to be our luck at Laguna."