Autosport Designs Aston Martin DBRS9s at St. Petersburg 2006

St. Petersburg, Florida, April 1st. On their first visit to the street circuit of St. Petersburg, Autosport Designs Racings two Aston Martin DBRS9s again had a mixed result.

What should have been an ideal circuit for these cars proved that you can never assume anything. Trying to set the cars up proved an arduous task leading to many hours of suspension and damper modifications that went on long into the night, but the tremendous understeer affecting both cars was finally cured.

The hard work was well worth it as both drivers; Johnny Mowlem #44 and Tom Papadopoulos #43 turned their fastest laps of the weekend during qualifying. Johnny qualified on the seventh row in the top half of the field and Tom qualified on the tenth row.

During the race Johnny experienced a flash fire on the warm up lap but was thankfully unhurt. Tom managed a great start and after ten laps was running 14th only to have someone turn in on him in the long 180 degree right hander leading onto the main straightaway, causing his car go airborne with the subsequent landing forcing him into retirement.

So, onwards and upwards, this race again represented more of a sorting session for the cars as this was only the cars second race. Barry Wagner crew chief said "We have decided to miss the next round of the series in Long Beach and instead run some testing and shake-down sessions to be prepared for the Mid Ohio race at the end of April. We thought that the car would be more competitive out of the box, this is evidently not the case and we need to do some non-race sorting".

Both drivers agree with this strategy.

2006 Speed GT World Challenge Calendar -

Apr. 7-9 - Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach
May 19-21 - American LeMans at Mid Ohio
Jun. 23-25 - Dodge Save Mart 350
Jul. 13-15 - Utah Grand Prix
Aug. 11-13 - CENTRIX Financial Grand Prix of Denver
Aug. 18-20 - Generac 500 at Road America
Sep. 1-3 - The Labour Day Weekend Grand Prix of Mosport
Sept. 27-31 - Petit Le Mans
Oct. 19-22 - Monterey Sports Car Championship

For the latest news please visit and of course Autosport Designs homepage: where you can also view Tom and Barry's extensive inventory of automobiles.

Story: Classic Driver
Photos: Autosport Designs/Richard Prince - Strictly Copyright

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