Ruby Tuesday Championship Racing Team Has Tough Outing at Laguna Monterey, California -- The Ruby Tuesday Championship Racing Team had their first tough outing of the Daytona Prototype season with a 24th place finish today in round six of the...
Ruby Tuesday Championship Racing Team Has Tough Outing at Laguna
Monterey, California -- The Ruby Tuesday Championship Racing Team had their first tough outing of the Daytona Prototype season with a 24th place finish today in round six of the Grand American Rolex Series presented by Crown Royal Reserve U.S. Sportscar Invitational at Laguna Seca.
Mike Rockenfeller started the two-hour-and-forty-five minute race from pole position on the strength of Patrick Long's qualifying race win yesterday. Rockenfeller was able to lead to the second yellow, some 21 laps into the race. The young German pitted and turned the Alex Job Racing Porsche powered Crawford over to Long, who went to exit the pit box and was hemmed in causing the crew to pull him back, losing valuable time as top competitors were able to beat him out of the pits.
When Long returned to the fight he was 17th. Over the course of 26 laps the Californian was able to move the number 23 car back up to sixth place. On lap 50 coming through the Cork Screw turn he reported trouble with the shift lever and pitted. The crew set about repairing the shift linkage returning Long to the fray some seven laps down.
Patrick Long was disappointed with the finish. "The car was good when I took over from Mike. We got caught in the pits and the guys had to back me up, but we were making up time on the track and the race was coming back to us. I was going through the Cork Screw and without warning was just not able to shift gears. I went a lap stuck in fourth and had to pit. It was a tough day, but with our season so far and the results we have posted, we cannot be too disappointed."
Mike Rockenfeller was able to lead the first hour of the race. "I had a good start at the beginning and prior to the first yellow was able to lead by almost four seconds. The car was running and handling great with no issues. I turned the car over to Pat and he was making up ground after the pit stop and we were heading to another top finish when we had the shift linkage problem. We will be ready to go again at Phoenix in less than a week."
"It was a tough day," said Alex Job. "We looked good early and had a small issue in the pits, but we were coming back and the cars in front of us were still cycling through their stops. Patrick had the shift linkage problem and that set us back. We have had an incredible run these last four races, but Phoenix is only six days away so we will be looking to make up ground under the lights."
As a result of the finish, Long and Rockenfeller drop in the points to second, two points out of the lead in the Daytona Prototype driver's championship.
Round seven of the Grand American Rolex series will be run at Phoenix International raceway under the lights on in six days, on May 13th.