DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (August 2, 2002) -- With two driver championships and three team championships to its credit in the first two years of Grand American Road Racing competition, G&W Motorsports knows how it feels to be riding high on a string of...
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (August 2, 2002) -- With two driver championships and three team championships to its credit in the first two years of Grand American Road Racing competition, G&W Motorsports knows how it feels to be riding high on a string of good fortune. So when the team's luck took a dramatic turn for the worse this year, drivers and crew were left scratching their heads, wondering what to do.
In an act of near desperation, it was decided to forego the team's traditional number 07 on the side of the BMW-powered Picchio prototype and replace it with number 70 prior to last month's Rolex Sports Car Series race at Daytona. And, whether it had anything to do with this superstitious reaction or not, the team did record its best finish of the season, a second place in the SportsRacing Prototype II class and seventh place overall.
"It was our best race," admitted G&W driver Darren Law, who had appeared skeptical of the number change prior to the race. "Race times were fairly close, and best of all, we finished the race, which was an accomplishment in itself. We have been battling all year to just finish a weekend."
Hoping they have put the bad luck behind them, including a very frustrating race earlier this year at Watkins Glen that saw the car stuck in the garage with an engine that refused to start, the team's biggest challenge as they return to The Glen for the Bully Hill Vineyards 250 will come from the pair of Rand Racing Nissan Lolas that have dominated the SRP II class thus far this season.
But the team remains optimistic as development of the Picchio, which they debuted this season, continues to progress. "We are there motor wise. We are there driver wise. If we can further develop the handling of the car, I think we will be there (on the winner's podium)," said Law.
With a change of luck at hand and the speeds of its Picchio race car improving with each outing, G&W Motorsports is ready to return to Victory Lane. "It's just been a long year compared to the last few years where we have been at the top of the game for every race. It's been tough for me," confesses Law, who won the 2001 GT driver championship with G&W.
While the G&W team continues to develop the SRP II Picchio, the drivers and crew are also looking ahead to 2003 and the team's Picchio-designed Daytona Prototype BMW. "There are going to be a lot of similarities (between the SRP II and Daytona Prototype). The basic geometry and design is staying the same. On top of that, we've (G&W Motorsports) been a Porsche program since the mid-90s. So, this is has been a learning experience for the entire crew as far as what works on these BMW engines and that will help us next season," explained Law.
The Bully Hill Vineyards 250 will run as part of the NASCAR Winston Cup Sirius Satellite Radio at The Glen weekend, August 8-11. Tickets are currently on sale for the event and may be purchased online at www.theglen.com or by calling The Glen's ticket office at 607-535-2481. Additional information on the Rolex Sports Car Series is available online at www.grand-am.com.