Rolex 24 at Daytona RecapAlliance Autosport
Scott Rettich, the 2010 SCCA Formula Enterprises National Champion and SCCA Pro Racing Spec Racer Ford Champion’s Rolex Sports Car Series debut weekend didn’t start out as planned as the Racers Edge Mazda was unable to make qualifying due to an electronic issue. The team quickly resolved those issues and the Mazda RX-8 ran the remaining 4 hours of practice without incident and with Scott running the team’s fastest lap (1:52.7), over a second faster than the preseason testing best lap. With such a long race ahead and qualifying at the back the team decided to use a conservative engine rpm strategy which resulted in a lower top speed, but would help ensure that the engine would last all 24 hours.
Due to Scott’s speed in practice and his experience in other high pressure races he was chosen to be the starting driver. “It was a huge honor to be chosen as the starting driver” stated Rettich. “I knew I had a huge responsibility to the team, but I was confident that I would deliver. During the pre race ceremonies and on the starting grid so many fans came up for pictures, autographs, and to wish us good luck, it was great!”
During the first hour of the race, Scott moved up multiple positions from the 29th starting position and by the end of the second driver’s stint the Racers Edge Mazda was up to 15th place.
Unfortunately, during the 4th hour, one of Scott’s co-drivers had an off while passing a slower GT car resulting in substantial front end damage. The team didn’t give up and after 35 minutes of repairing the suspension, radiator, nose, and lights the car was back on track. Scott got back in the car in the 9th hour and moved the car back up to its highest position, 14th, after a double stint. “Running at night was very enjoyable and I was able to keep my nose clean and even match the team’s fastest race laps that I ran during the first hour despite the damage repairs and the double stint on the tires,” stated Rettich.
Scott returned to the cockpit a few hours later during the caution for fog and ran 2.5 hours before the Mazda RX-8 overheated from the radiator damage suffered earlier in the race. The team was running 29th overall and 14th in class when they were forced to retire in the 18th hour of the race.
“I was amazed that after 18 hours the car continued to handle extremely well despite suspension damage and no hood. I really would have liked to have been there at the end, but I was able to get about 5.5 hours of seat time. Each time I got behind the wheel I learned more and more. I am confident that I will take everything that I learned from my debut race and continue to improve next time I am behind the wheel,” stated Rettich.
Team Manager Jon Mirachi was extremely impressed with Scott’s performance. “Choosing Scott to start was easy. With his speed and his experience starting high pressure races, I knew he would excel with that responsibility. He did not disappoint us throughout the race, showing great speed and doing a great job managing traffic. I hope to work with him again in the future.”
“I would like to thank Racers Edge Motorsports for giving me the opportunity to compete in such a big race against so many great drivers. I would also like to thank my parents and my sponsors, PDI Communication Systems and Springboro Car Wash, for supporting me,” stated Rettich.
More information about Scott including a link to his post race radio interview can be found at www.scottrettich.com, while more information on Racers Edge Motorsports can be found at www.racersedgemotorsports.com.