Freedom Autosport’s Pobst, Carbonell on Podium Again in Ontario

Andrew Carbonell and Randy Pobst returned to the ST podium on Saturday, finishing third in the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge race at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. It is their third podium of 2014 in the No. 25 Freedom Autosport Mazda MX-5. 
Pobst qualified fifth and started the 2.5-hour race. He worked his way up to second before pitting to hand the Mazda to Carbonell. Pobst had noticed a small handling difference as the race progressed, so the Freedom Autosport crew made an adjustment. It was a quick stop, and Carbonell re-entered the race in fourth.
“I was so pleased with the car in qualifying. Andrew and I were excited for the race and thought we had a good shot at a win, even though we weren’t the fastest car,” said Pobst. “Andrew did a terrific job. He was in the hunt right until the finish. I feel like we’re back where we should be and where we will be every race from now on.”
Carbonell found himself in a four-way battle for the lead in the final 45 minutes of the race. The long straights were a disadvantage for the Mazda, but Carbonell made up ground in the corners and crossed the finish line in third.
“Randy handed me a clean car, and that can be hard to do in the Continental Tire Series, where there is always a lot of attrition,” said Carbonell. “If you can make it to the checkered flag and stay competitive, you can get a good finish. We were able to do that: keep it clean, stay out of trouble and bring home a solid result.”
Mark and Mat Pombo gave Freedom Autosport a finish of 14th in the No. 26 Mazda MX-5, collecting valuable points for the team.
Next week, Freedom Autosport heads to Indianapolis Motor Speedway for round eight. The team had a disappointing race there last year, but it is a track that has been good to Pobst. 
Pobst’s history with Indy actually dates back to 1960: his dad took him to the track on qualifying day for the Indianapolis 500 when Pobst was just a baby. Much more recently, he raced there during the Formula One event in 2000 as a guest driver in the Porsche SuperCup double-header. He started 10th and 11th in the races, and finished fifth in both. 
“I was very comfortable on the track and enjoyed racing there. It’s a tight track, so it should suit me and the MX-5 very well,” Pobst said.
The Freedom Autosport Mazda MX-5s will take the green flag at 2:35 p.m. ET on Friday, July 25 at Indianapolis, and the race will air on Fox Sports 1 at noon on August 3. In the meantime, fans can watch Pobst and Carbonell earn their podium in Canada during the race broadcast at 10:00 a.m. ET on July 20.


Adam Sinclair