~Debut of Mobil 1 Pontiac Solstice promises many good things to come~
HOWELL, NJ(April 15, 2010) – On his 26th birthday Ryan Tuerck was hoping to earn the best birthday present, a win, while competing at Formula Drift’s Round 1: Streets of Long Beach on Saturday. Unfortunately that didn’t happen, but he did leave with a fifth place finish as he debuted the Gardella Racing Mobil 1 Pontiac Solstice.
Tuerck nearly took out the eventual event winner Vaughn Gittin Jr. in the Great Eight round. He had a nearly flawless first run while being the chase car where he mirrored every move of Gittin Jr.’s and almost outdid him with what everyone
thought was perfection. In the second run against Gittin, Tuerck knew that he just needed a good run to move on to the Final Four. He came around the first turn smoothly, but as he was moving the car into position for the first clipping point he kissed the wall with the right rear Maxxis tire. While the damage to the car was minimal, the damage in the judges’ eyes was overwhelming. The team thought they would earn a ruling of “One More Round,” but it was unanimous for Gittin Jr.
“It was great out there this weekend,” said Tuerck. “I was feeling so good on that first run. I went up in the bar too high and knew that the line was close (to the wall), but I didn’t think it was that close.”
Tuerck’s run to the Great Eight was quite simple.
To start the weekend he qualified sixth. It wasn’t the position he hoped for, but there were some issues with the transmission that the Gardella Racing team had to overcome. Plus, for whatever reason Tuerck always has a way of holding back on qualifying day.
The Round of 32 was simple enough for Tuerck. His opponent, Jeff Abbott spun out as Tuerck was the following car. He professionally continued the run smoothly. On the second run, Abbott was right on Tuerck’s tail but it was too little too late, and Tuerck continued on.
Ryugi Mikki was Tuerck’s next victim in the Round of 16. With Tuerck leading in the first run Miki followed closely, but Tuerck ran a beautiful line around the course. On the second run Tuerck was the follower. He had a little too much of
a gap which he closed as Mikki had problems towards the end of the run. The judges ruled that it should be decided with ruling of “One More Run.” On the third run Tuerck was the leader and Mkki hit the wall coming into the infamous exclamation turn in at the end of the Long Beach course. That sealed his fate. Tuerck chased Miki in the fourth run and held on to advance to face Gittin in Great 8.
While he didn’t get the win, Tuerck did leave Long Beach enroute to Round 2: Road to Championship at Road Atlanta in fifth place in the Formula Drift driver standings.
“We are going to work hard getting ready for Road Atlanta,” Tuerck said. “I love that course. It is my favorite track. I have finished third there the past two years.”
This was the initial appearance of Mobil 1 as title sponsor on the Solstice. Mobil 1 had a tremendous presence at the race. They were passing out many fine freebies to fans. The overwhelming favorite was giant Mobil 1 foam fingers. Fans everywhere were wearing them. And they came in handy when the fans wanted to let the Formula Drift judges that they wanted the drivers to run “One More Time!”
Stay tuned for upcoming information as Tuerck, Gardella Racing and the Mobil 1 Pontiac Solstice prepare to go to Road Atlanta, May 7-8.
This Saturday, April 18th the team will be headed to New Jersey Motorsports Park with their road race Solstice to run some licensing laps with the NASA series. Tuerck will be looking to get his competition license to compete as Gardella Racing is looking to get more involved with road racing in the SCCA and possibly in the Grand Am series this season.