(Braselton, GA Oct. 1-3, 2014)
The Mazda MX-5 Cup presented by BF Goodrich would see action for the final time of the 2014 season at Road Atlanta during the infamous Petit Lemans weekend. Robby was very much looking forward to the opportunity to fight for second in the championship in the final rounds at one of his favorite tracks. The race week began with the traditional promoter’s test day where the cars would be shaken down and equalized. Unfortunately the first car Robby was assigned to by Skip Barber was not up to the specifications of the others so Robby was forced to miss the first session and was reassigned to another car. Despite the setback Robby found himself right on pace in the first practice posting the leading time of a 1:41.70 3 tenths clear of the field. In practice 2 Robby again posted a quick time only running limited laps, but sat on his practice 1 time which set him P2 headed into qualifying.
Qualifying was set for the end of the day Wednesday and Robby was confident in the car, feeling good about the setup with the track conditions at the end of the day. Robby’s plan was to do his fast laps as early in the session as possible in order to save his tires for the race. Robby went out and did a few laps to get a feel for the car and then once the tires came in he pushed hard for 2 good ones. Fortunately he was able to put one together for pole position by just 1 tenth of a second. Foley was delighted with the result in the final qualifying session of the season. “It feels good to grab the final pole of the year,” explained Foley. “I was happy with the car setup and was able to string together a lap.”
Race 1 saw Robby dominating the majority of the race leading the most laps until he was punted off the track into 10a in the last third of the race. This put Robby back into 6th position leaving him a lot of work to do to get back to the podium. In the ensuing laps with the help of a caution Foley was able to make a few passes to finish the race in third place. “Very disappointing race for me considering the speed I had in the car,” explained Foley. “I was extremely displeased to be punted off out of the lead, but sometimes that’s racing, and I’m happy to salvage a podium and look forward to racing tomorrow.”
Race 2 was set for Friday morning and was a definite rain race making the final round of the championship interesting. Robby would start form third and had a good few opening laps in trying conditions getting himself into the lead. In the ensuing laps Foley would trade the lead on and off with Ben Albano, but eventually the two settled into a pace with Foley leading. The fight continued later in the race as the two would swap positions numerous times. On the last lap Albano held the advantage through turn 7 as Foley was setting up to draft by on the back straight, but as Foley exited turn 7 he dropped a wheel into a rut at the end of the curb, so Robby was unable to fight for the win and had to settle for second.
Overall Robby was pleased with the weekend securing pole position and leading the most laps between the two races, but was disappointed he couldn’t come up with a win.
“It was a great end to a difficult season,” explained Foley. “Overall it felt like nothing went my way this year but that’s racing and I really look forward to what next year brings.
Robby would like to personally thank everyone that made this year possible especially his parents, Mazda, BF Goodrich and Skip Barber for their support.