HOMECOMING RACE FOR SAMAX MOTORSPORT AT HOMESTEAD-MIAMI SPEEDWAY Wednesday, March 21, 2007 - SAMAX Motorsport driver Milka Duno will be visiting her favorite racetrack this weekend as the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series heads into...
HOMECOMING RACE FOR SAMAX MOTORSPORT AT HOMESTEAD-MIAMI SPEEDWAY
Wednesday, March 21, 2007 - SAMAX Motorsport driver Milka Duno will be visiting her favorite racetrack this weekend as the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series heads into Homestead-Miami Speedway. The 400-kilometer Grand Prix of Miami, Round 3 of the 14-race 2007 season, is scheduled to start Saturday March 24 at 2:00 p.m. Duno, who shares the No. 11 CITGO Racing Pontiac Riley Daytona Prototype with Las Vegas resident Patrick Carpentier, has scored two of her three Rolex overall wins at the 2.3-mile 11-turn South Florida road course. When she won the Grand Prix of Miami in February 2004 with co-driver Andy Wallace, Duno became the first woman to win a major North American sports car race. She repeated the feat later that year in the second race of the season at Homestead in late September to sweep both events.
"I'm always very excited to race at Homestead-Miami Speedway - and for many reasons," said Mika Duno. "Miami is my hometown and the speedway is where I've enjoyed earning a couple of wins. But it is also the home track for SAMAX, which means the families and friends of all the crew have an opportunity to race with us - which makes it all the more special. Many friends and supporters from CITGO will be here as well, so I think we'll have a lot of people cheering us on!"
Carpentier is also no stranger to Homestead, even though his five-race experience is restricted to the oval portion of the speedway. During his open-wheel days, he finished four times in the top nine with a fifth place as his best result. Duno and Carpentier are currently tied in third in the driver standings with 52 points each, only 11 points from Scott Pruett in first place.
"Even though my racing experience at Homestead is limited to the oval track, I have tested often on the road racing section as each year we used Homestead for road course simulation and preparation during the pre-season," said Carpentier. "I always felt at ease on that track configuration, so naturally I feel quite confident for the race. The track has no secrets for me, so there will be no learning curve. The car was very competitive during the Rolex Series test days last December. I think we finished fourth, right up there with the leaders."
SAMAX Motorsport sits in third place in the Team Standings with 52 points, 11 points from first place. The team finished second at the season opener Rolex 24 at Daytona in late January and missed a Top-10 finish in the caution-free Mexico City race earlier this month. After a 20-day layoff, the team feels it is ready for the upcoming 400-kilometer race on Saturday. Once again, the team strategy will have Milka Duno qualifying the car and taking the green flag while Patrick Carpentier will follow up for the second portion of the race.
"At the winter test, the car was incredibly fast," said team owner Peter Baron. "We opted not to run stickers for a fast lap at the end of the final day and dropped to fourth. We have made a few refinements on the car since then, but we are simply placing the set-up on from the end of the last test aiming to capture the same performance. Milka and Pat have great track knowledge. We'll have about 30 CITGO VIPs at the race so we hope to perform at our best for them."