Homestead II: G&W Motorsports race report

Rx.com G&W Motorsports Takes Eighth in Miami Team's SGS Entry Earns Seventh in SGS MIAMI, Fla. (September 19, 2004) -- The Rx.com G&W Motorsports No. 81 BMW Doran JE4 of Cort Wagner (Los Angeles, Calif.) and Brent Martini...

Rx.com G&W Motorsports Takes Eighth in Miami
Team's SGS Entry Earns Seventh in SGS

MIAMI, Fla. (September 19, 2004) -- The Rx.com G&W Motorsports No. 81 BMW Doran JE4 of Cort Wagner (Los Angeles, Calif.) and Brent Martini (Laguna Beach, Calif.) finished eighth overall in the Rolex Sports Car Series Miami 250 at Homestead-Miami Speedway today. Mae Van Wijk (Kingwood, Texas) and Danny Marshall (Danville, Va.) piloted G&W Motorsports' No. 86 Porsche GT3 Cup, sponsored by pipeservicestt.com and autobysite.com, to a seventh-place finish in the Super Grand Sport (SGS) class.

Delayed by one week due to hurricane activity in Florida, the Miami 250 was condensed to a two-day event, which eliminated qualifying and had competitors grid based upon team owner point standings.

Wagner started the Rx.com No. 81 Daytona Prototype in the seventh position but quickly worked his way up into the top four at the start of the race. He was running in the lead pack when he pitted during the first full-course caution on lap 19 and handed the BMW-powered car over to Martini.

Martini returned the Rx.com machine back to the racetrack in the 13th position and made his way back up to seventh place during his stint at the wheel.

"My stint was clean, and that was really the key for me," Martini said. "There were some cautions and a couple of restarts, and that's when things tend to get a little bit crazy. I was glad I could hold our position and give the car back to Cort in a good position.

"The heat was atrocious," he added. "It was the hottest conditions I've ever been in. Its one of those times that after 50 minutes you're like, 'I'm glad to get out. Thank you very much, I've had my fun.'"

Wagner returned to the wheel of the Rx.com No. 81 Daytona Prototype on lap 54 during an extended full-course caution, which was brought out by a horrific crash between the No. 58 and No. 39 Daytona Prototypes that left debris wide spread on the oval in turn four.

When the fourth double yellow of the race came out on lap 75 of the 104-lap race, the leaders ducked into the pits for fresh tires and fuel. However, with the team confident the Rx.com Daytona Prototype could go the distance on its fuel and tires, Wagner remained on track and claimed the lead.

But Wagner could not hold off the strong contingent nipping at his heels on the restart, dropping to fifth on the first lap back under green.

"They were all on sticker tires," Wagner said. "I was the only guy in the front group that wasn't on fresh tires. I had maybe 20 laps on my tires. I just didn't have that initial two or three lap grip to hold them off."

Team Manager Price Cobb felt that even fresh tires could not have helped Wagner on the restart, as the Rx.com Daytona Prototype seemed to be lacking during the race.

"I don't know what to tell you but it missed something," Cobb said. "As strong as it was before (at the Grand Prix of Miami), we missed something. I think part of it was the fact that we ran on four (hard compound) tires (mandated by Goodyear), which we had never done. My guess is that other people have, but I don't know that. We just weren't fast."

Wagner was running in sixth place overall when he took the white flag but then spun in turn two on the final lap, dropping him to eighth place.

"I knew we weren't going to be on the podium, so I spun to get Rx.com some more coverage," Wagner joked after the race, which was won by Howard-Boss Motorsports No. 2 Pontiac Crawford.

Twenty-one-year old rookie Van Wijk started G&W Motorsports' SGS entry in the Miami 250, the No. 86 Porsche sponsored by pipeservicestt.com and autobysite.com, in the eighth position in its class. After a consistent, but hot, opening stint, she handed the Porsche over to Marshall.

"It was a really tough race," said Van Wijk, the only female racer in the SGS class. "It got really hot in the car. I actually had to get out for a little while, but I was able to get back in and finish it up. It was a pretty good race."

After returning to the wheel for the final stint, Van Wijk spun off on lap 98 and lost some time while trying to return to the track.

"(It was caused by) a mistake I made," she explained. "I lost control of the car, and I was having problems with the clutch. I had to pop it several times in order to reverse. Whenever I got it in gear, more traffic was coming. So, I had to play it safe or I could have gotten back out there faster."

Van Wijk was able to take the checkered flag in seventh place in the SGS class, a vast improvement from her 13th-place finish at the track in February.

"I was really pleased with Mae and Danny," Cobb said. "Mae is now on average about three seconds a lap off of the fastest guy. I couldn't be more proud, and she really should be proud of herself. She hadn't driven a race car of any sort in her life until about a year ago. You have to think about that and really say she's doing a great job."

"I have definitely improved on my time," Van Wijk admitted. "I beat my time from the last time we were here and constantly stayed there. It was really good. I was satisfied with that."

G&W Motorsports' Rolex Series and Grand-Am Cup teams get one week off before hitting the track in their backyard - literally. The next round will be held at Virginia International Raceway, home to G&W Motorsports, Oct. 1-3. Ticket information for the event is available online at www.virclub.com.

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 more than 50 podium finishes in class. For additional information on G&W Motorsports, visit www.gandwmotorsports.com.

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Price Cobb , Brent Martini , Danny Marshall , Mae Van Wijk , Cort Wagner