Darren Manning's remarkable top ten finishing streak came to an end in Miami on Sunday when he was forced to retire his Walker Racing Reynard-Ford from the Grand Prix Americas Presented by Sportsbook.com with gearbox problems.

Despite an ill-handling car, the loss of third gear and an alternative pit stop strategy, Manning was able to lead several laps under caution around the 1.15-mile Bayfront Park circuit but was forced to give best to eventual winner Mario Dominguez when racing resumed on lap 106.

However after dropping to eighth position following his final pit stop Manning brought the #15 RAC/Sportsbook.com backed machine back onto pit road without any gears, leaving him contemplating his first non-finish since Laguna Seca.

Even with his failure to finish, Manning still earned two championship points for his efforts due to an overall high attrition rate that saw just ten of the 19 starters running at the end.

"It was a tough race right from the start," said the Englishman. "After the first pit stop which was under yellow I was trying to catch back up to the pack on full tanks and cold tires and I had a massive moment coming onto the pit straight. I thought a touched the wall and had knocked the tow out. Since I was at the back of the pack, we made a couple of pit stops to check it over. We changed our sequence, which put us out in the lead.

"My tires were really bad, so I moved backwards. I knocked third gear out trying to maintain my position and it just progressively got worse. I couldn't even double shift, so we had to stop."

The result means Manning stays in tenth place in the points table and second in the Jim Trueman Rookie of the Year points standings.

 

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