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PDG & RSRT from Last to First in US Touring Car Championship Race
3/5 15:40

PDGFrameAugust2017.jpgPDG & RSRT from Last to First in US Touring Car Championship Race

SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA (August 23, 2017) – Prototype Development Group continued its highly successful summer in both the NASA Western Endurance Championship (WERC) and the United States Touring Car Championship (USTCC), capped by a worst-to-first victory at Thunderhill last Sunday.  The team has seen its performance spike since partnering with Ridetech and Ron Sutton Race Technology to improve the handling on their Factory Five GTM car.

With primary driver Carl Rydquist unavailable due to the birth of a child, Mike Holland took over the controls for the USTCC and promptly grabbed fast time in qualifying.  The lap of 1:54.652 was 2.5 seconds better the rest of the pack and also the quickest time in the GT division.

The USTCC routinely places the fastest GT cars at the rear of the mutli-class field to enhance the excitement for the television broadcasts.  Holland and the PDG team chose to "lay back" for the first couple of corners, running laps above two minutes for the first two circuits in the 20 minute sprint race. 

"Our competitor has a lighter weight car but on tracks with momentum (like Thunderhill) we rule the day," crew chief True Tourtillott said.  "From a points standpoint we strategically wanted to just finish the race.  We also wanted to stay out of the way as the other divisions are having battles.  Mike laid back for the first 3/4 of the first lap before he started passing in "fun" place because of what this car can now do."

Holland then kicked it up a notch and charged forward, climbing to third by lap seven with his best lap of 1:55.897.  The charge continued when he took over the lead on the tenth and final lap to take a .625 second overall victory and more than 12 seconds ahead of the second highest GT entrant.  The victory nearly clinches the USTCC championship for the team with still two races to go.

"On the start I could have passed (several cars) going into turn one," Holland said.  "When we race from the back it usually makes for an exciting turn one.  Lap times weren't all that fast but I could pass on the outside of the turn or the inside of the turn because of the balance of the car."

PDGMediumAugust2017.jpgRon Sutton offered, “These guys on the PDG team are top notch.  We all know the Ridetech shocks with my Race-Star valving has made them quicker.  But they got their act together as a race team.  When Mike “the back-up driver” Holland drives the car from the back to the front in a 20 minute race, you know their stuff is dialed in.  It was cool to see them in victory circle again!”

The victory came just one week after the team competed in the WERC 6 Hours at Utah Motorsports Campus in Tooele, UT.  Holland used the same set of tires that were used for the second half of the Utah race to pick up the Thunderhill victory.  He noted that the Ron Sutton Race Technology set up allows him to manage the tires and "if we can get 4 1/2 to 5 hours out of a set of tires, that helps our budget immensely."

"The car is now so well-balanced it is a huge difference in the control in the middle of the corner," Holland said.

The 6 Hours at Utah was an evening race that went green at 6 p.m. and ran until midnight, spending more than 3 1/2 hrs under darkness on the 3.05 mile outer course.

Just after the first pit stop, the team lost all gears in the transmission except for third gear.  They maintained a solid pace to run fourth overall and second in their class.  Winning the class was in reach as the leader suffered a complete electrical failure with seven minutes to go, but the three lap deficit was too large to overcome at the sprawling motorsports complex.  Had the failure occurred a minute or so later, the team would have likely taken over the class lead.  

PDG trailed WERC class points leader TruSpeed by 1.7 second in qualifying, with both laps above 2 minutes with PDG recording a 2:03.037.  They were unable to crack below 2 minutes in race conditions, although they ran as high as third overall for much of the first third of the event.  The event attracted a rather substantial nine entrants for the ES division that they competed in.

Balance was the key at Utah Motorsports Campus with long straightaways and technical, high grip corners.  The combination of aero grip and mechanical grip was key to take advantage of both conditions at the facility.

The second place finish keeps them within arms length of the WERC ES championship with one round remaining at Sonoma Raceway for a 3.5 hour race in October.

The busy two-week stretch also served as a tuneup for the team's primary target: victory at the 25 Hours of Thunderhill in December.

 For more information on Ridetech, visit them online at http://ridetech.com/ or call 812-482-2932

For more information on Ron Sutton Race Technology products, visit their 400 page online at http://www.ronsuttonracetechnology.com/catalog/ or call  844-722-3832

ABOUT RIDETECH

RideTech is celebrating its 20th anniversary by continuing to invent and manufacture innovative suspension and shock absorber solutions for a wide variety of vehicles ranging from street rods,  musclecars, and racecars… to advanced air suspensions for military and OEM projects. All products are designed and manufactured in their Jasper, Indiana facility

ABOUT RON SUTTON RACE TECHNOLOGY

Ron Sutton Race Technology is a one stop, turn & go fast resource center for winning car building or improving performance for Autocross, Road Course Track Days & Pro Touring Cars. Ron offers suspension, brake & aerodynamic optimization services, complete chassis/suspension designs, cutting edge suspension packages, consulting services, books, workshops & a400 page catalog online. 

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