The Sunshine State Fails to Deliver for Richard
The Homestead Miami Speedway circuit in Florida took on more than a passing resemblance to a wet Bank Holiday meeting at the UK’s own Snetterton last weekend, for round 3 of the 2012 Rolex Grand-Am Sports Car Series for the Grand Prix of Miami.
The race weekend build-up had seen Richard and the Spirit of Daytona Racing team build on experience gained from their fantastic debut win for the Corvette Daytona Prototype at the previous round held at Barber Motorsports Park, Alabama a month earlier.
However, the writing was on the wall for the race weekend proper, when Saturday’s qualifying session was abandoned due to the wet conditions, meaning the cars started Sunday’s race in Championship order, with Richard lying third for the rolling start.
Straight away, Richard swooped to take second position and set off in pursuit of race leader, Enzo Potolicchio, who subsequently succumbed to a wonderfully opportunistic overtake by Richard to head the field.
Sometime later, Richard had his mirrors full of Potolicchio, but the Italian driver missed his breaking point into turn 2, ploughing into the rear of Richard’s car, and neatly turning him into a spin which placed him firmly in the mud at the side of the circuit. Somehow, Richard managed to get the No. 90 car back on track with a deft piece of rallycross driving to settle back into the race, with Potolicchio taking a penalty for his actions.
With Richard recovering nicely, the race was now back on for the SDR car, but again the weather intervened, and with worsening conditions, the stewards called an early end to the race with 55 minutes still remaining, leaving Richard in 5th position. He now heads to New Jersey Motorsports Park for Round 4 in a strong joint 2nd position in the Drivers Championship standings.