CITGO/SAMAX Motorsport COMES BACK TO FINISH FOURTH AT GRAND PRIX OF MIAMI Saturday March 24, 2007. - Patrick Carpentier and Milka Duno brought the ...
CITGO/SAMAX Motorsport COMES BACK TO FINISH FOURTH AT GRAND PRIX OF MIAMI
Saturday March 24, 2007. - Patrick Carpentier and Milka Duno brought the #11 CITGO/SAMAX Pontiac Riley home in fourth place in the Grand Prix of Miami, Round 3 of the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series held Saturday at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Starting 16th overall, Venezuela-born Milka Duno had the car up to 11th place before running into some trouble. However, the Miami resident survived an off-track excursion to bring her Daytona Prototype into the pits on the lead lap before handing the car over to teammate Patrick Carpentier.
Sitting 18th overall following a quick front-nose change by the SAMAX crew, Carpentier started his comeback. By lap 51, the Las Vegas resident was already in 10th place. He then carved his way up to fourth by lap 69 where he chased the Lexus Riley of Scott Pruett to the finish. Bill Auberlen and Matthew Alhedeff won their first race of the season. Auberlen led the final 11 laps of the race after a nifty move on Max Angelelli. The California duo claimed the checkered flag on lap 91, only 1.759 seconds ahead of Max Angelelli and Jan Magnussen. Third place went to Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas. Carpentier crossed the finish line just 2.193 seconds behind the race winner and less then three tenths back from Pruett.
"That was a great race and it was a lot of fun," said Carpentier. "The car was running well for most of the race, except at the end when it started to overheat a little bit. I think there must have been some debris left in the radiators and that caused the problem. The engine lost a bit of power then but Scott (Pruett) made no mistakes even when I was pressuring him. Overall, the SAMAX crew came up with a great fuel strategy and their efforts during the pit stop was flawless. Fourth place was great today as we had to charge the field throughout the race, and I think it pleased the CITGO VIPs who enjoyed the team's efforts."
"It was a great finish - Patrick was awesome as he fought hard for position and it was outstanding that we finished 4th, said Duno. Knowing this would be my last scheduled sports car race in 2007 and at my home track on the weekend of our big Indy Racing League announcement - it was very special to me, the team and all our friends and supporters from CITGO. The team worked so incredibly hard as always - and as this track is their home track as well - it was great to have all their family and friends here also. I can't imagine a more perfect scenario to begin the new challenges while at the same time having such a great result in our Rolex race."
The race was a door banger in the DP class resulting in seven full course caution periods for 36 laps. With his third place finish, Pruett still leads the standing with 93 points, only one ahead of Angelelli and Magnussen. The SAMAX duo of Duno and Carpentier take sole position of third place with Round four of the 2007 14-race Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series schedule will be held at Virginia International Raceway from Friday, April 27 to Sunday April 29, 2007.