DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Victory lane was a sight for sore eyes last weekend at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park for Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge driver Jeff Mosing.
It also happened to be a great distraction from an incredibly sore back, which Mosing had been dealing with after being caught up in a Porsche GT3 Cup pile-up at Watkins Glen Int’l the week prior.
Less than 24 hours after the incident, Mosing was cleared by doctors to compete in the Continental Tire Challenge race the next day, and the team miraculously came away with a third-place result.
It was the race at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park, however, that dealt Mosing the most pain.
“I feel like my pace fell off a little bit at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park,” Mosing said. “I didn’t get a great start and was trying to get far enough up that Eric Foss didn’t have too much work to do. I felt like my back and the heat and some other things were just getting to me and I couldn’t drive as well as I did during qualifying or when I just have to do short stints.”
For the Austin, Texas-based driver, the aftermath of the Porsche GT3 Cup incident seemed like a nightmare all over again. In 2014, Mosing was forced to withdraw from the Continental Tire Challenge race at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca due to back pain.
The decision ultimately cost Mosing the Street Tuner class championship. Mosing was broken-hearted, while co-driver Foss stood as the lone champion at the end of the season.
“Certainly, to be honest, I think a lot of that may have motivated me, even more, to try and get in the car,” Mosing said. “Broken-hearted sitting in the hospital knowing that it was quite possible that another chance at a championship was going to slip away due to not something directly race related, that it was something with my back. Yes, it was race-related because of the wreck in GT3 cup, but I just never considered it a possibility that one series would prevent me from finishing in another.”
Another motivation for Mosing is the No. 56 Murillo Racing team. Mosing and Foss have landed on the podium in each of the five races this year in the Continental Tire Challenge.
They hold a 21-point lead over the No. 73 MINI JCW of Derek Jones and Mat Pombo, a duo that has captured victories in two races this season. A championship lead that significant over a competitor with two victories exemplifies one thing about the No. 56, consistency.
“The more we get these good finishes, the harder we become on ourselves,” said Mosing. “Eric probably would’ve been fine with a second or third place, but the racer that he is and I feel like more and more for the team, second place isn’t good enough. When you have it in your heart and you know the belief of the team is that if everything goes even 90 percent right, we have a good chance of winning.”
Mosing is quick to acknowledge that the competition this year in ST is strong, knowing that several upcoming tracks on the schedule may favor other cars besides his and Foss’ Porsche Cayman.
“The Mini Coopers have really picked it up this year on pace and statistically they’re finishing more races without mechanical problems,” he acknowledged. “The Nissan is always a big contender and we can never rule out the Mazdas, those things are going to be really good at the short tracks.”
“We’ll just keep executing and hopefully the results will come to us,” he added. “That’s about all we can do at this point, but it certainly does feel good that we’ve executed the first half of the season with really doggone near perfection. I don’t see why Ken Murillo and the team wouldn’t be able to continue that mentality throughout the rest of the year. There will be curves thrown at us, but they’re always ready for them.”
CREDIT: IMSA Communications