For Freedom Autosport’s Mat and Mark Pombo, celebrating the Fourth started a little early this year: the brothers finished fourth in the ST class of Saturday’s IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge race at Watkins Glen, driving the No. 25 Mazda MX-5.
The finish is the best of the season to date for the Pombo brothers, although they have certainly proved that they were capable of a top-five finish prior to last weekend’s race. They ran in fourth at Lime Rock before transmissions problems resulted in 11th.
But at Watkins Glen, there was nothing to keep the Pombos from getting a top finish. Mark started the race after qualifying tenth, and the MX-5 was still in top form when Mat took over behind the wheel. Mat crossed the finish line in fifth, and the car was moved up to fourth after technical inspections.
Both brothers are quick to note that the result was more than simply driving skill. The fuel conservation strategy helped move them up the order, and the crew was as flawless in the pits as the Pombos were on the track. In fact, their pit stop was so fast that the car moved from seventh to second, and led the race for a while.
“Mark drove an awesome first stint to turn over a great car for me to finish the race,” Mat says. Our Freedom Autosport Mazda MX-5 was on rails, and the team nailed our strategy.”
Mat notes that fan support is also an important part of the equation. He says, “Thanks to all the fans, especially the military servicemen and women, that stopped by to say hi this weekend in Watkins Glen as we appreciate all you do and hope you enjoyed the show. We can’t wait to get on track in Canada in two weeks to see if we can keep some momentum going.”
Mark has a special connection with the military members who stopped by Freedom Autosport: he served in the Army Reserve and was among the first troops deployed to Iraq in 2003.
Fans can expect to see the Pombos capitalize on their momentum when Freedom Autosport heads to Canadian Tire Motorsports Park in Ontario, Canada, the weekend of July 10-12. In the meantime, the Watkins Glen race will be broadcast on Fox Sports 1, beginning at 10:00 a.m. on Sunday, July 6.
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