LEXINGTON, OHIO (June 20, 2009) - Ken Wilden took another step towards the 2009 Grand-Am KONI Sports Car Challenge Grand Sport championship Saturday, scoring a dominating victory at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course with co-driver Dean Martin in the No. 59 Rehagen Racing Ford Mustang GT.
Martin led the opening 41 circuits, pressured the entire time by pole winner Matt Bell and Bret Seafuse. The lead recycled back to Wilden five laps after his pit stop on Lap 46, and he maintained a comfortable advantage the rest of the way.
Wilden made a final pit stop with 18 minutes remaining, but managed to retain the lead. His margin of victory, 34.439 seconds, was the largest of the season.
He and Martin averaged 85.589 mph in the caution-free two-and-a-half hour race. It marked their second consecutive Grand Sport victory at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, winning the last appearance by the division in 2007.
James Gue finished second in the No. 37 JBS Motorsport Trumansburg ShurSave Ford Mustang GT started by Seafuse. Spencer Pumpelly and Duncan Ende finished third in the No. 39 TRG Porsche 997, which battled back after pitting in the opening laps with a cut tire and fell back to 16th.
Joey Hand pitted for a splash of fuel in the No. 97 Turner Motorsport BMW M3 started by Chris Gleason with only two minutes remaining while running third. They held on to take fourth, the last car on the lead lap.
The victory opened Wilden's lead in the championship to 21 points over Seafuse and Gue (204-183). Martin, who missed a race earlier in the season, moved up to third in the standings with 174 points, five better than Ende.
The Ford Racing Mustang Challenge was the first series to hit the track Saturday, officially kicking off the racing season at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Pole sitter Andrew Caddell backed up his track record-setting performance on Friday by dominating the field on Saturday, defeating runner-up Ted Anthony, Jr. by 6.311 seconds to take the win. It was the Mustangs’ last race before their July 16 date at Autobahn Country Club in Joliet, Ill.
A comprehensive motorsports facility, Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course features a permanent road-racing circuit with two primary configurations: a 2.4-mile, 15-turn, and a 2.25-mile, 13-turn circuit. The park-like, 330-acre complex in Lexington, Ohio also features an amateur motocross venue. Located 60 miles north of Columbus and 75 miles south of Cleveland near Mansfield, the track has been called the most competitive in the U.S. and annually hosts a diversity of locally, regionally and nationally sanctioned racing events for amateur, club and professional drivers and riders. Tickets are available online at www.midohio.com or by phone 1-800-MID-OHIO.