1st and 3rd in GTS for Prodrive Ferrari and Care Racing at Road America.
The scarlet Ferraris and yellow Corvettes provided another grandstand finish for the American Le Mans Series at Road America today, and it was Jan Magnussen's heroic pass on the final lap of the race which took he and his team-mate David Brabham to the top step of the GTS podium and the team's second class win.
They were joined by Tomas Enge and Peter Kox who fought through to 3rd in class from a delayed pitstop which subsequently dropped them down the field from the position they'd been holding at the head of the GTS class.
In only its 10th American Le Mans Series start, the Prodrive Ferrari team had been keen to avenge the close defeat it suffered at Mosport last weekend. The pooled knowledge of Brabham and Magnussen's track experience and Enge and Kox's many hours in the Ferrari 550 Maranello were all put to good use, and the conservative Michelin tyre choice selected by both cars proved to be the right one.
The only technical glitch for the team happened at the first round of pit stops when the failure of a bolt holding the wheel into the hub lost the #88 car valuable time. Czech driver Tomas Enge was suitably 'fired up' when he took to the track and made up substantial time and places, bringing the Ferrari back into contention for a podium placing by the time Kox re- took the wheel for the final stint of the race.
David Brabham (AUS), car 80, on his middle stint of the race: "It was hard to push when Johnny [O'Connell] was so close behind. I didn't want to make any mistakes. There are places where we are faster and places where they are but I managed to stay in the lead during the whole stint so I'm pleased with that. The team was new to the track, and we went through a learning stage, making lots of changes to the car and, by the time we got to qualifying, we knew we were in for good race. Jan pushed hard all race and did a great job and on the last lap he did what he does best and got past the competition. It was a really great pass."
Jan Magnussen (DK), car 80, on his last few laps of the race: "I had two other attempts to pass Johnny but he shut the door on me and I was on the grass a couple of times. On the white flag lap I got a good tow but knew he was going to try and block me but I thought this is my last chance so I was going to have to have a big go. It worked. I don't think Johnny's as thrilled about the pass as I am.! I braked about 100 metres later than I have all weekend. I also want to thank Andy Wallace in the Dyson 675 for realising what was happening, that there was a race going on in front of him, and hanging back a bit and letting us get on with it. It was a really great race and I almost didn't hit anybody either!!"
Tomas Enge (CZ), car 88 after his middle stint: "It was pretty hot out there. It was unfortunate that what happened in the pits happened - luck did not go our way today. I was trying to catch some cars ahead to make up some time and was pleased we could still get a podium finish. Peter did a really good first stint and brought us in for our stop in the [class] lead so it was even more irritating to have the problem with the wheel hub."
Peter Kox (NL), car 88: "In a way my race was fine. I think I did a good solid job today and I was happy with my performance. I'm really happy for the Prodrive Ferrari team and Care Racing because it's two months now since we last won a race and it's been too long!"