Birmingham, Ala. – Rains Racing traveled to Austin, Texas and Circuit of the America’s March 4th – 6th for the opening rounds of the Pirelli World Challenge to debut the team’s brand new Touring Car class Honda Accord Coupe!
“I must say, two top ten finishes sure exceeded my expectations!” said Team Manager/Driver Andrew Rains. “We really did not know where we would stack up, we knew we had a strong, reliable car, but we were competing against drivers and teams that have been doing this for much longer than we have; we’re still learning everything! I’m just excited for our team members and partners. This has always been about our supporters. Rains Racing belongs to the people that collectively help make it happen, these results are for our friends and partners that invest their time and resources into Rains Racing. I’m thrilled to come back to Alabama with an undamaged car, and knowledge of how to make the car and myself faster!
Rains drove two clean races, bringing home a VP Fuels Hard Charger award in Round 1 driving from 21st to 8th in the 40-minute race. The team’s newly built Honda Performance Development/ Honda Accord Coupe V6 ran well all weekend, a testament to Honda reliability. Due to a transponder issue on Friday, Rains was unable to set a time in qualifying relegating his Accord to the back of the field for the start of Round 1. Starting the race next to teammate Paul Street in the Honda Motorsports Alabama Accord gave both Rains Racing Team HMA Accords’ the opportunity to work through the field. Street who had experienced a rear hub failure on Thursday, had a strong car to drive to the front. Unfortunately Street’s day would end early with a mechanical failure after showing promising pace. Rains set consistent lap times for the remainder of the race, passing competitors every lap until the final 5 laps or so. Rains worked his way past 13 cars in Round 1, earning the Hard Charger award, and a starting position of 13th for Saturday’s Round 2. After making some adjustments to the car with hopes of improving the car’s handling, the team managed another 8th place finish on Saturday!
Paul Street from Honda Motorsports Alabama was pleased with the performance from Rains Racing and the Accord platform overall: “4 Accords in the top 10 in Saturday’s race was amazing to see. It’s quite a testament to the Accord Coupe V6 platform that HPD has worked hard to position for the TC class. Unfortunately our weekend did not go as planned in the Team HMA #93 car, but Andrew and Rains Racing did a great job for our team managing a known mechanical issue and bringing home two top ten finishes in their debut weekend with the Accord!”
Look for Rains Racing and Team HMA to be back in action in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, at Road America with Pirelli World Challenge in June! Also stay tuned for more partnership announcements in the coming weeks!
Thank you to our teammates and partners that have made this all possible!
Rains Racing Crew: Robert Odom and Evan Maynard
Honda Motorsports Alabama
Honda Performance Development
National Bank of Commerce
PLK Investment Partners
Garage 56 Inc