SEBRING, Florida (November 20, 2021) – Atlanta Speedwerks capped a tough IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge week at Sebring International Raceway by leading the most laps but walked away with just a seventh-place finish to show for it after being bitten by the notorious Sebring bumps.
Despite starting near the rear of the field after early-week challenges, the No. 94 Dinner With Racers/Lemons of Love Honda Civic TCR of Ryan Eversley and Greg Strelzoff managed a seventh-place finish on a difficult Sebring International Raceway. The No. 84 Sabelt/Pagid Honda Civic TCR began the two-hour Alan Jay Automotive Network 120 from the Motul Pole with Brian Henderson behind wheel and led the opening 19 laps before a hard-luck mechanical issue ended Henderson and Noaker’s day an hour early.
Strelzoff started the race 14th in the TCR class after limited practice time through the week. The No. 94 began the week with a thermostat issue, eliminating the first practice session and leaving just an hour of time for Strelzoff to get up to speed. He turned his quickest lap of the race on his final lap of his stint before passing the car to Eversley under a full course caution with just over an hour remaining. Eversley made up several positions in the second stint and, coupled with a runner-up in the season opener at Daytona, the seventh-place finish leaves the pair and the team just one position behind early in the championship.
Henderson and Noaker were the class of the field early, with Henderson starting from his first career IMSA pole position and charging away from the field. Henderson led the opening 47 minutes before his brakes began to uncharacteristically fade and he dropped to second. He made his pit stop under the full course caution and the team went to work, but the issue turned out to be a broken brake line and forced a retirement from the race and an unfortunate 15th-place finish.
The No. 94 Dinner With Racers/Lemons of Love Honda Civic TCR and the No. 84 Sabelt/Pagid Honda Civic TCR return to action at the Acura Sports Car Challenge at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, May 14-16. Atlanta Speedwerks is also continues to search for drivers to fill the third proven Honda Civic TCR available for Mid-Ohio and beyond.
Ryan Eversley, No. 94 Honda Civic TCR: “We had a tough weekend because we had an issue with the thermostat and only got two laps. We had some issues in qualifying with the dash, so Greg started from the back and did his fastest lap in the race. I knew we were going to come from behind, but by the time I got to a couple of the other cars we had lapped traffic playing a role and helping their teammates out so I couldn’t get any more. We had good points, the car that beat us at the last race didn’t finish, our teammates unfortunately didn’t finish and they should have won the race. So we’re getting points on guys, we just have to get a little higher up the stick. But thanks to Honda and HPD, the car is fast and we’ll keep working on it.”
Greg Strelzoff, No. 94 Honda Civic TCR: “I really appreciate Ryan coaching me, it really made a difference. I appreciate the team getting me the support and I set my fastest lap of the week in the last lap of the race so I was definitely finding more and more time. The car is good and I just wasn’t able to get all of it today.”
Brian Henderson, No. 84 Honda Civic TCR: “We obviously have a ton of speed in the car and all of our drivers are doing really well, we just have to get to the end of the race. That’s the biggest hurdle we’re facing. Similar to Daytona, we had a great opening run and a fluke took us out of the race. I think we would have been there at the end and battling. I had a great time during my stint and it sucks, but we’re not going to let that take our momentum away. We’re going to bring that speed to Mid-Ohio and hopefully have a better result.”
Robert Noaker, No. 84 Honda Civic TCR: “In practice I was able to get the fastest lap, but I didn’t really get a whole lot of track time. That’s just racing, things happen and it’s just unfortunate. The car is fast, we were able to get pole, and we showed people that we are able to run up front. We just now need to try to get some results here.”