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September 11, 2013
SALINAS, CA - Peter Portante did not have the weekend he was expecting during the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda Allied Building Products Grand Prix at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Although the #41 Belardi Auto Racing (MAZDASPEED Motorsports Development/Intercity Lines, Inc./California Scents/Beurre & Sel/B&R Electrical Contractors/Randy's Wooster Street Pizza/Northern Construction/Velez Computer Systems/Pagliacci's) had a good setup track conditions and other racing incidents would prevent optimal results. Testing took place the first day with three sessions. Portante would post his quickest lap time of 1:27.893 (P14) in session three. That wasn't quite what the team nor Portante were looking for and they spent the evening going over data to see what improvements could be made.
When practice came about the next day they were ready for almost anything. While the session itself was hindered by red flag conditions, Portante was able to grab the eighth spot with a fast time of 1:27.336. During the 30-minute qualifying session, Portante was P13 with a fast lap time of 1:27.500.
Race one was next on the schedule and an unfortunate affair for Portante. While he was making his way through the field, he was hit by a competitor going into Turn 5 which ended his day. He would end up finishing in P23.
Portante would start P13 for race two which, after an hour-long delay due to fog, would result in a 12th-place finish.
The next race on the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda schedule is at Reliant Park in Houston, Texas, on October 5-6. This is the season finale for the USF2000 Championship.
"We ended up 13th in qualifying so it's not really the result we were looking for. Obviously this weekend has been hard on the whole team. The pace hasn't really been there so we've been doing a couple of things with the setup and we've found a little bit more in our car. Hopefully, we can put it all together for the race and see if we can move up a couple of positions."
"It's unfortunate to have our race end so quickly. Making our way up through the field was good the first lap and a half, but I got hit by another competitor who didn't see me. He just drove straight into us and ended our day early. We'll see what happens tomorrow. We'll be pretty far back in the pack but hopefully we can go up through the field cleanly and get a good result."
For More Information on Peter Portante, visit http://www.peterportante.com, follow him on Twitter @portante24 and like him on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Peter-Portante-Racing.
Category: Team News
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