LEXINGTON, Ohio (July 31, 2017) – After nearly a month away from the Mazda Road to Indy circuit, Bobby Eberle finished the sole tripleheader event of 2017 with ninth, 11th and seventh-place finishes in Rounds seven, eight, and nine of the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course this weekend.
Prior to the Mid-Ohio event, Eberle was granted an Indy Lights license, something the Texan has worked tirelessly for this season. The 49-year-old is determined to become the oldest rookie in history at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval and is aiming at taking part in the 2018 Freedom 100.
With that news in hand and his improved pace and finishing positions, Eberle arrived at Mid-Ohio filled with confidence. However, the event turned out to be one of the most challenging of his career. Eberle’s weekend got off to a rough start as he battled an ill-handling racecar, resulting in a ninth-place qualifying result for race one. The Houston, TX resident remained in ninth position for the entirety of the first race.
The second race of the tripleheader weekend was a better affair for the series veteran after qualifying seventh. Eberle was moving up to challenge for sixth-place when his throttle stuck in a turn, causing him to go off track and lose valuable positions. Toward the end of the 35-minute contest, Eberle was fighting for eighth position but made contact with a competitor while fighting for position, relegating him 11th position where he would eventually cross the finish-line.
In the final race of the weekend, Eberle’s seventh-place qualifying effort would position the World Speed Motorsports driver for a successful 30-minute race. After a clean start and consistent race pace, his battle to hold on for seventh displayed Eberle’s tenacity and race craft. Eberle would finish the 23-lap contest in seventh, setting his fastest race lap on the final lap.
Up next, Eberle will compete in Round 10 of the 2017 Pro Mazda Championship season at Gateway Motorsports Park, August 25 – 26. The sole oval race of the season kicks off with practice on August 25, and culminates with a same-day qualifying and race on August 26.
Bobby Eberle, Post-Weekend Quote: “Mid-Ohio is one of my favorite tracks, so we really just had high hopes for the weekend. We’ve come close this season, closer than I’ve ever been, and our target from the get-go was a top-five finish. The track was in great shape, but we really struggled with the set-up. We made so many changes, and yet the car felt so far out of balance. We were closer in Race 2, but then had the throttle stick in the corner, and it really ruined our race. Finally, on the last race of the weekend, we found a set-up that worked. So, to qualify up higher, to finish seventh, and finally show some speed in the weekend was a good way to end it. We could have had a better weekend, had we found that from the beginning with all the sessions and all the races that we had in Ohio, but to at least know that we’ve got the pace to continue moving up is good. Hopefully we will get out the box a little faster with our upcoming races at Gateway and Watkins Glen.”