Rx.com Daytona Prototype Knocked Out In Late-Race Accident At Daytona
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (July 2, 2004) -- Rx.com drivers Cort Wagner (Los Angeles, Calif.) and Brent Martini (Laguna Beach, Calif.) hoped to give G&W Motorsports their first win of the season with the team's 100th entry into the Rolex Sports Car Series. However, bad luck struck the Rx.com No. 81 BMW Doran only seven laps into the Paul Revere 250 and again with 16 laps remaining in the race, resulting in a disappointing 16th-place finish in the Daytona Prototype class.
Martini took the first stint in the Rx.com car and was at the wheel when a tire blew while going through the chicane on lap seven. Although the Rx.com G&W Motorsports team was able to get Martini back out on the lead lap after his pit stop for fresh tires, the heavy slower traffic in front of him allowed the leaders to catch up and put the No. 81 BMW a lap down.
"We got off a difficult start with getting the flat tire," Martini said. "We stayed on the lead lap for a while, but falling back to the back of the field is never easy to come back from in a two-hour and 45-minute race. My stint was up and down. Once I got settled in, I was able to run with the fourth-, fifth- and sixth-place cars, but it would have been nice to run there not a lap down."
Wagner took control of the Rx.com car just after the midway point of the race and immediately started setting blistering lap times, more than a second quicker than the leader. He had the car up to 10th place when he began to do battle with Terry Borcheller in the Bell Motorsports No. 54 Pontiac Doran.
With 16 laps left in the race, both cars went diving into turn one. Wagner was looking to make a pass on the outside when Borcheller's car came up the track into the No. 81 BMW, spinning both cars out. After spinning up the track, the No. 54 Pontiac then slid back down, resulting in a head-on collision between the two and substantial damage to both race cars.
"It's a disappointing finish," Wagner said after being cleared by the infield medical center. "The car was really handling very nicely. We found a new setup. We tried a new setup between yesterday's qualifying and practice and today's race. We took a gamble, and this race car was pretty much able to chase down anybody, except maybe the SunTrust car.
"I was really enjoying the race," he continued. "Terry and I were having some really great racing. I just don't think he saw me and moved over under the breaking zone and smacked the left front of mine with his right rear. And it was game over. It's unfortunate. It did a lot of damage to both cars. I'm just glad we are both okay. That's what really counts. The Rx.com G&W Motorsports team is doing a great job. It was a really good race car."
G&W Motorsports also picked up a seventh-place finish in the Super Grand Sport (SGS) class with its No. 86 Porsche GT3 Cup sponsored by Quaker State, Autobysite.com and Texas Children's Hospital. Mae Van Wijk (Kingwood, Texas) started the Porsche in the eighth position in class, and Skip Barber Racing School, LLC Chairman Michael Culver (Westport, Conn.) brought it home to the checkered flag.
"I am really happy with my performance tonight," Van Wijk said. "I think this was my best race yet. The changes we made to the car after last night worked great. I'm still around six seconds off the pace, but that's a lot better than being 10 seconds off like I was before."
"This was a lot of fun," Culver said. "It was fun driving with Mae. She kept her head down, and her lap times kept getting better. I was saying to her father that its unusual to go two seconds faster in the race than you do in qualifying. I think hats off to her; she did a great job. And this G&W team is fantastic. I was quite pleased. We came along way with the car from yesterday. It's a whole lot better than it was yesterday."
The SunTrust Racing No. 10 Pontiac Riley took top honors in the late-nigh race, while ended around 2 a.m. ET.
G&W Motorsports, based outside of Danville, Va., at Virginia International Raceway, is the most successful team in the Rolex Sports Car Series, capturing the inaugural GT championship in 2000, both the GT and GTS championships in 2001 and the SRP II championship in 2003. G&W Motorsports is the only team to compete in every Rolex Series race since the series' inception, accumulating 15 class wins and 45 podium finishes in class. For additional information on G&W Motorsports, visit www.gandwmotorsports.com.
More information on the Rolex Sports Car Series is available at www.grandamerican.com.