Victory for Conway at 6 Hours of Sao Paulo—
Mike Conway had his first victory in the LMP2 category of the World Endurance Championship, when he started on pole for the 6 Hours of Sao Paulo today.
After a 10-week summer break, the No. 26 G-Drive Oreca-Nissan returned to action with the improvements the team had made over the summer being very evident as Conway topped the timing sheets during second practice in the LMP2 class.
The 30-year-old, with his teammates John Martin and Roman Rusinov then continued showing their dominance during qualifying with Conway setting the fastest time in his second lap to capture the pole by 0.5 seconds, which by class standard, is a significant gap over the runner-ups.
When the green flag was shown at the Interlagos circuit, it was Conway who was behind the wheel at the start, maintaining his position for his entire stint. Rusinov and Martin then continued to lead the LMP2 class crossing the finish line in fourth overall and bring home the team’s first victory this season and Conway’s first win in sportscar racing.
“I am obviously very happy with the result we had this weekend,” said Conway. “It has been a long time coming. We have been very strong in the first couple of races, leading nearly every one and showing we were very fast. To get the pole, fastest lap and win this weekend is very cool. Great job by all the team and my teammates, it’s a great result. The trophy will be proudly displayed on my mantelpiece at home. I’m looking forward to the rest of the year now because we have had this pace all year and to finally convert it into a result is great. We now know that we just need to continue pushing to get the same result every time.”
The fifth round of the FIA World Endurance will be the 6 Hours of Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas from September 20-22, 2013.
London, UK – June 1, 2013 – Mike Conway wins the first race of the Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit presented by Quicken Loans. This is his second IZOD IndyCar Series win, with his previous being in Long Beach in 2011.
Conway, driving the No. 18 Sonny’s BBQ – Dale Coyne Racing machine, for the first time this weekend, showed his skill by qualifying third on the 2.346-mile, 13-turn Belle Isle street course. He then started on the front row, due to Franchitti’s 10 spot grid penalty and took advantage from the drop of the green flag. By the end of the first lap, Conway was leading the field and only dropped as low as second for a short period of time. Leading a total of 47 out of 70 laps, Conway showed his dominance by re-gaining the lead from Hunter-Reay on lap 44 and taking the checkered flag almost 13 seconds ahead of him. His teammate Justin Wilson finished third.
Commenting on his win today, Conway said, “My manager said my flight was booked on Tuesday at lunch time so I was like, ‘Ok, I best pack up my bag and get ready for the airport’. But you know I cannot thank Dale [Coyne] enough for making it possible and they’ve just given me a great car all weekend. I just really dialed myself into this track and it kept getting better and better. The car was amazing on the blacks, even on the reds. It just kind of kept a steady pace towards the end there, didn’t want to burn out too bad because if there were any restarts I wanted to have tires left. A big thank you to all the crew guys, they did a great job all weekend.”
By winning today’s race, Conway has now set himself up for a $50,000 bonus if he can also win the second of the inaugural IZOD IndyCar Series double header weekends tomorrow.
Earlier today, Conway took pole for Race 2 tomorrow. His previous best qualifying result was second at Barber Motorsports Park in 2010 and Baltimore in 2012. In 55 previous starts, he has had 14 top-10 finishes including four top-fives, three podiums and two wins.
The second race of the Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit presented by Quicken Loans will be at 3:50pm ET tomorrow, live on ABC.