Grand-Am Champion To Return in 2005
CB Motorsports / DLGL to debut new Lexus-Riley Daytona Prototype
Former two-time Grand-American Road Racing Association GTS class driver's Champion Chris Bingham has just announced that a new team will enter the Daytona Prototype class in early 2005. C.B. Motorsports will field a brand new Riley MKXI Daytona Prototype, powered by a Lexus (TRD) 4.3L V8 engine.
Car and Team Owner Bingham is looking forward to returning to the series that first brought him significant success and he expects the proven Lexus- Riley combination will give his team a competitive edge right out of the box.
"I thoroughly enjoyed my time racing in the Grand-Am series (with Park Place Racing, 2-time GTS team champion) and, with the explosive growth of the Daytona Prototype class, I fully expect the challenges ahead will be equally as rewarding. While we have no preconceived notions of moving to the front of the pack in our first race, we aren't going racing just to watch brake lights flashing in front of us! While we are a small team we hope to be the underdog that comes out ahead."
Delivery of the new Riley chassis (Chassis #015) is expected in March of 2005. The team plans to compete in the entire 2005 season beginning with the April Grand-American 400 at California Speedway in Fontana, California. "We expect to take delivery of the car in mid-March. If we have enough time before the California race we will do some testing."
Primary sponsor for the Lexus-Riley is DLGL, an HRIS database services provider based in Canada. DLGL offers integrated database software solutions for human resources management ,management,issues bringing Payroll, Pension, Time Capture and Employee data elements together in a seamless operating environment. DLGL provides 100% web-based HRIS solutions for large employersbusinesses both large and small across Nnortorth Aamerica. Clients include such names as the Canadian Pacific Railway, Chevron Texaco, and theCAE, Celestica, Avon, University Health Network, Tim Horton' s, as well as a number of major financial institutions and banks, among others. DLGL will be using the racing program for both internal and external promotions, giving a few lucky employees of DLGL - and its clients - an opportunity to participate with a top notch racing effort, an experience none of them will ever forget.
Bingham will be joined by two Canadian drivers, Hugo Guénette and his father Jacques Sr. Hugo has raced in motocross and supersports motorcycles in the AMA and in Canada, stock cars, karting, and snowmobile endurance racing. Father and son have been driving together in the Grand-Am GTS class the last 3 years, as well as in a number of HSR events in a 935 Porsche. Hugo ran 4 events in the DP class in 2004 in both the Picchio and Chase cars. His best finish was seventh in the DP class at the Daytona 24 Hours.
Depending on business commitments at the end of the season, elder brother Jacques Guénette Jr - a former professional superbike rider for Kawasaki USA and driver in Grand-Am cup, with Lexus - may join them in select races.
Bingham selected the Lexus-Riley engine and chassis combination for several reasons. "We chose the Riley because it has shown itself to be a very competitive chassis, and because we ran a Riley & Scott MKIII in the ALMS and Grand-Am in 1999 and 2000. We also had a1999 Riley & Scott IRL car that I completed my rookie test in at Texas motor speedway. We just knew the Lexus-Riley combination would serve us well as we enter into a series where the level of competition continues to climb with each passing race.
"We also knew that Bill Riley is willing to share information with all his customers and that open-minded approach helps us tremendously in the area of development of the car and our level of familiarity with it. We know we can go to tracks and have information already at hand about setting up the car. That kind of support and information will put us that much further ahead of the development game.
"And I have always been a fan of the Lexus power plant. I felt comfortable going with a proven product and the TRD built motor has definitely proven itself in this series so far. We hope to add to the success story this motor has shown itself to be time and again."
Many of the members of the CB Motorsports team come from the ranks of the former Park Place Racing Team that helped Bingham win two championships in the Saleen SR7. "Most of the same personnel that were with us in Park Place Racing will be back for this effort. Most of the people who helped us succeed last time are coming back to work with us in 2005."
CB Motorsports will operate out of both a west coast and an east coast location. "We will be working out of a California shop for part of the season and a Florida location for the balance of the races on the schedule. Our primary base however, is in the Northwest area of the United States."
Bingham is happy to be back in Grand-Am. "I had a feeling from the very beginning that the Grand-Am Daytona Prototype formula was one with serious potential for significant growth. And we have seen that happen over the last 18 months or so. I have known (Grand-Am President) Roger Edmondson and Mark Raffauf (Director of Competition) for many years. I started with them when they first started up Grand-Am, missing only 2003 when I went racing in NASCAR until my injury. I am excited to be coming back to them and to this exciting class of sportscar racing. I thoroughly enjoyed my one-off experience of driving the Chase DP at Virginia in October. I was hooked and anxious to put an effective deal together to finally get involved full time. Now that the pieces have all come together, I expect us to make the best of this opportunity."
Team website: www.cb-motorsports.com
DLGL website: www.dlgl.com