Jones Fastest Mazda in Daytona SCC Qualifying

by Devin Jones Racing
on 25 January, 2015

Strong Start to First IMSA Continental Tire Race

Devin Jones made his inaugural start in the IMSA Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge during the Rolex 24 weekend at Daytona International Speedway. Racing the ALARA Racing #34 alongside lead driver Christian Szymczak in the Street Tuner (ST) class, Jones marked a weekend to remember.

Jones had limited practice in the #34 due to a failed motor during day one of the Roar before the 24 practice weekend earlier in the month. Racing for the first time in a ST car, Jones was ready to take on the challenge of getting up to speed quickly.

“I was excited to make the most of my first IMSA event,” said Jones. “With the ALARA Racing team behind me and Christian at my side, I was able to learn a lot very fast.”

Jones proved he’s a quick study by piloting the #34 to the 18th spot in qualifying – the fastest Mazda on the historic fast oval where motor often wins out over car agility.

“I was thrilled with our qualifying effort,” said Jones. “We knew we’d show well, but to be the fastest Mazda among a number of very experienced veterans shows we have what it takes.”

With qualifying out of the way, Jones and Szymczak were able to put their focus on the race. Jones would start the day with plans for a driver change half way through for Szymczak to bring it home. In the first 30 minutes of the two-and-a-half hour race, everything was going as planned as Jones maintained position. But, a few laps later mechanical challenges impacted Jones’ ability to shift the car into 6th gear.

“It turned out that an inexpensive piece that holds the transmission up was broken,” said Jones. “It was especially a problem on the high-banking in Daytona’s turn one, two and four. I held onto it as best I could so that Christian would be able to drive.”

After getting the first hour of the race under their belt, the ALARA Racing team brought the #34 back behind the pit wall and got it repaired quickly. Szymczak jumped in the car and valiantly drove it to maintain position for the finish.

“All in all it was a very amazing weekend,” said Jones. “It was a thrill to mark my first IMSA race at Daytona. I want to thank Christian, everyone at ALARA Racing and VeriStor for this incredible opportunity.”

Jones will race next in Rounds 1 and 2 of the SCCA Pro Racing Battery Tender Mazda MX-5 Cup Presented by BFGoodrich Tires at Sebring International Raceway during the 63rd Annual Mobile a Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh from Florida on March 18 – 20, 2015.