Daytona 24: CGR No. 01 race report

CompUSA with 7th place finish at Rolex 24 at Daytona DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (February 6, 2005) -- After marching to the pole position for the second time in as many years at the Rolex 24 At Daytona, the no.01 CompUSA Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix...

CompUSA with 7th place finish at Rolex 24 at Daytona

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (February 6, 2005) -- After marching to the pole position for the second time in as many years at the Rolex 24 At Daytona, the no.01 CompUSA Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates was primed for a spectacular 24-hour run with defending Rolex Sports Car Series Champion Scott Pruett, Luis Diaz and Ganassi Racing IndyCar pilot Ryan Briscoe. Unfortunately, the trouble started early for the CompUSA trio when Diaz encountered heavy right rear damage just past the three-hour mark of the twice-round-the-clock challenge.

The ensuing mechanical gremlins snowballed for the no.01 Daytona Prototype entry, and when the smoke cleared, the team found itself relegated to 48th overall, with a mountain of machines lying in its path back to the top of the scoring chart. Thanks to an experienced CompUSA Chip Ganassi Racing squad behind its star-studded driver lineup, the team fought though dusk and dawn to make up time and bring home a team-best Rolex 24 Hour finish of seventh (10th in 2004).

"I just can't say enough about the whole CompUSA crew and Chip Ganassi Racing as a three-car effort this weekend," said Pruett, who piloted the no.01 CompUSA Lexus-Riley to the pole for the 43rd annual enduro classic at Daytona International Speedway. "And to Chip especially, he had all of our guys prepared to handle each and every situation that arose throughout the 24 hours. That says a lot to me. I guess the lesson learned here is that no matter what the odds, you just have to keep digging. As a result of that, we were able to push hard and come back to salvage a solid finish. I'm just so proud of everyone involved this weekend."

Diaz made his debut in the 24 hour test of man and his Lexus-powered machine, and came away with added experience that will propel the team's quest for repeat driver and team championships.

"A race like this with Scott and Ryan gives me a lot of confidence," said the Mexican native who will pair with Pruett to contest the Grand American championship this year. "Just knowing we did a good job, and that we kept fighting the whole race even with the bad luck we were dealt in the beginning, is enough for me. This race will give me even more motivation to keep pushing myself to the top, and hopefully to the championship."

Another Rolex 24 rookie proved he could turn times with the series' top talent, as Briscoe can't wait to strap into a 500hp Daytona Prototype again next February.

"This was just a huge race for me overall from a career standpoint," said Briscoe, who will join 2003 Champion Scott Dixon and Darren Manning in Chip Ganassi Racing's open wheel assault when the 2005 IndyCar season opens next month. "I really enjoyed the camaraderie and look forward to getting another shot at it again next year."

Fans of CompUSA Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates can catch the no.01 CompUSA Lexus-Riley all season long by logging onto the Rolex Sports Car Series website at www.grandamerican.com for free live timing, and the team's official website at www.chipganassiracing.com for news, features, photos and much more.

-cgr-

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Darren Manning , Scott Dixon , Scott Pruett , Luis Diaz , Ryan Briscoe , Chip Ganassi , Felix Sabates
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing , Chip Ganassi Racing