James Gué - Successful Daytona 24hr race, First Podium finish for Dempsey Racing in Homestead, Continental Tire Sportscar Challenge 2010 Daytona 24hr Poster Daytona Beach, FL
Rolex Series Dempsey Racing/ Team Seattle News:
Race #1 Daytona 24 Hours:
After a grueling 24 hours of racing, co-drivers James Gué, Leh Keen, Dave Lacey and Don Kitch Jr. came away from the 48th Rolex 24 At Daytona with a 14th place finish in the No. 41 Global Diving & Salvage Dempsey Racing/Team Seattle Mazda RX-8 GT.
In qualifying Leh Keen posted the 9th quickest time, and in the race wasted no time moving the #41 car in to the top 5. Once the race settled down and the track began to dry, the four Team Seattle drivers kept the car in the top 10 for the first 10 hours of the race. It was around midnight when the team faced their first and only major problem; a piece of debris went through the radiator which forced the car to the garage for a lengthy 1 1/2 hour fix which was immediately followed by a broken alternator which left Gué stranded on track. Once those two problems were resolved the car ran smoothly to the end. The time lost replacing the radiator was too much to over come and the team ended up 14th in GT and 22nd overall.
It was another successful outing for Team Seattle, which completed its 13th Rolex 24 At Daytona overall and its first as part of Dempsey Racing. The team's mission is to raise funds for Seattle Children's Hospital through lap donations, and the No. 41 foursome produced an eye-popping total in excess of $400,000. "I think it went great," said John Graham, owner of Global Diving & Salvage, which is a major supporter of the No. 41 team. "We've got a great team with Dempsey Racing. That's worked out really well. We've obviously got a great technical crew. We've got a great set of drivers and a wonderful car with the Mazda. More importantly, we're going to raise $400,000 for Children's Hospital in Seattle. The most important key there is the Children's Hospital is part of the Circle of Care, which is an international organization of hospitals, so that technology we're helping develop is spread throughout the world. It's not just a regional thing. Some people don't know about the hospital and the Circle of Care, but I think it's very important they do know. What we're doing is not just for Seattle. It's for all over." The Children's Circle of Care was founded in 1995 and benefits 25 children's hospitals throughout North America.
Race #2 Homestead: First podium Finish for Dempsey Racing
#41 - Team Seattle/Dempsey Racing
No. 41 Team Seattle/Dempsey Racing Mazda RX-8 GT drivers James Gué and Leh Keen gave Dempsey Racing its first top-three podium finish in team history Saturday at the Grand Prix of Miami.
With backing from Global Diving and Salvage and JG Sport, the No. 41 Team Seattle/Dempsey Racing Mazda only needed two races to score its first podium finish after the new team debuted at the Rolex 24 At Daytona in January. Gué ran as high as fifth in the No. 41's opening stint before handing the car over to Keen who moved to third just two laps from the finish.
Dempsey was delighted with his team's overall performance this weekend.
"I am thrilled for the team," said Dempsey. "It was great. This is our first podium and to have our two car team just coming out of the box and to get that result in just our second race was really wonderful. The morale and everybody's confidence just lifted and it is great for Mazda as well and it is really great for the overall championship for them. It was also good for us today, Joe and I finished seventh and that's something to build on. We are finishing consistently in the top 10 and getting points."
Gué drove a double stint in the No. 41 to start the race in entirely green-flag conditions.
"I am absolutely thrilled with the podium," Gué said. "We fully expected that the first third of the year would be sort of working out problems and we thought we would be in this sort of position a little bit later in the year. So it is a little bit of surprise to be on the podium but we know all of the ingredients are here. Everything just came together a little sooner than we anticipated and I am just thrilled for John and Jeri Graham of JG Sport and Team Seattle. It is great to do this with Dempsey Racing and with such a good teammate like Leh."
Continental Tire Sportscar Challenge News:
Daytona Race: 4th Place with new 2010 BOSS 302R Mustang
The Grand-American Road Racing Series Continental Tire Sportscar Challenge had it's first round of the championship the same weekend as the 24hr Rolex race in Daytona Beach, FL at Daytona International Speedway.
The first round of the series was a 2.5 hour combined Grand Sport and Sport Touring race. James Gué and teammate Bret Seafuse are starting there 4th season together as teammates, and they also had a brand new 2010 Boss 302R Mustang, which the team just took delivery of last week.
After running the 2005 Mustang for 5 seasons, Gué and Seafuse had a steep learning curve trying to figure out the setup on a new car in just two 45 minute sessions. The team did the best they could with the time, and Bret posted the 8th quickest time in qualifying out of 39 GS cars. In the race Seafuse ran a strong 7th place until a restart where the officials ruled that he jumped the start and forced the Seafuse to the pits for a stop and go penalty. After serving a penalty Seafuse returned to the track in 37th place in GS and slowly worked his way back the front, before handing off the car to Gué in 17th place. From there Gué worked his way through the field and used pit strategy to get the #37 car back into contention. In the end Gué made it back to 4th place.
Gué commented: "I'm very happy with the result I certainly didn't think we would be this high up as well as being the highest finishing Ford. There were alot of things that we needed to learn about the car, and we just focused on strategy and making the car as comfortable as possible for the race and it all worked out."
Homestead Race: 11th Place
The second round of the series was a 2.5 hour combined Grand Sport and Sport Touring race. James Gué and teammate Bret Seafuse had just come off a 4th place finish in Daytona. The team continued to run the brand new 2010 Boss 302R Mustang.
In qualifying Bret posted the 4th quickest time in qualifying out of 37 GS cars, and was moved to 2nd place following post-qualifying tech. In the race Seafuse ran a strong 4th place and eventually moved up to the 1st position once pits stops started. At the one hour mark Seafuse pitted from the 1st position handing the car over to Gué, but an issue with the seat sliders made for a slow pitstop and ultimately Gué returned to the track in 23rd place. From that point on the team decided to try and gamble on different strategy trying to get the #37 back to the front. Unfortunately a lengthy yellow at the end of the race resulted in erasing any advantage and Gué ended up in the 11th position.
Gué commented: "It was very frustrating race, Bret did such a good job in qualifying and the first hour of the race. The team certainly deserved a better finish than 11th. The slow pitstop really put us out in a bad position on track and ended up getting stuck in traffic. There is still a long way to go with the new car, we are slowly learning it but we are still fighting a lot of new car issues. Hopefully we can rebound from this at Barber, where we won last year."