Laguna Seca: SAMAX Motorsport qualifying report

SAMAX Motorsport will start Sunday's Rolex Sports Car Series race at Laguna Seca Raceway from fourth and 10th on the GT grid, based on the team's performance in a 30-minute qualifying race on Saturday. Ryan Hunter-Reay switched gears from ...

SAMAX Motorsport will start Sunday's Rolex Sports Car Series race at Laguna Seca Raceway from fourth and 10th on the GT grid, based on the team's performance in a 30-minute qualifying race on Saturday.

Ryan Hunter-Reay switched gears from open-wheel racing for his first sports-car race. He started the No. 17 SAMAX Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car fourth on the grid, slipped back at the start, but quickly regained the position. He was poised to take third place, but ran short of fuel on his final lap. His co-driver, Ian James, will drive the first stint on Sunday.

Greg Wilkins qualified the No. 71 Porsche he shares with Dave Lacey. Wilkins started 11th, avoided first-turn contact and gained a position in the first six minutes of the race. He maintained pace to finish 10th. Lacey will drive first on Sunday, followed by Wilkins.

Ryan Hunter-Reay: "The race started off a little slow for us, which I'm pretty bummed about. After I got a couple of laps under my belt, it started going great. I was passing cars and moved up two or three positions. I was having a ball! On the last lap, I went down the inside of the 72 car, the tank sloshed around and we just ran out of fuel, so I didn't get the pass done. We would have finished third had that not happened."

[on sports-car racing] "Everything is different. For the first couple of sessions, I felt like I was drivng on the roof of the car. Now I think I'm getting the hang of it. I'm having a great time! The guys on this team are great people. It's refreshing to get back into a team and into racing where people are actually having fun doing it. Big thanks to Peter [Baron, team owner] for having me in this weekend."

Greg Wilkins: "We had a good start to the race. It was a bit crowded in the beginning, a little bumping and bruising going on in turn one, but I think everybody got out of there pretty well. I got into a routine, very consistent pace with a couple of the cars in front. I made one mistake in the Corkscrew, which allowed the BMW to close in and overtake us near the end of the race. The car was comfortable to drive and we've got a couple of ideas to make it quicker for tomorrow's race."

DP plans

Greg Wilkins has enjoyed driving with his son Mark in the Rolex 24 At Daytona. Now Mark is moving up to the Daytona Prototype class in a car purchased from Chip Ganassi Racing. SAMAX owner Peter Baron helped link the parties and 2004 Rolex Series champion Scott Pruett gave Mark a hand in setting up the car.

"We're going to do a bunch of testing this year and try to campaign three events with the AIM Autosport guys. I don't intend to be an owner ultimately, I'm just helping to start get the program going. I'm a driver!" Greg Wilkins confirmed.

-samax-

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Scott Pruett , Ian James , Peter Baron , Ryan Hunter-Reay , Dave Lacey , Greg Wilkins , Chip Ganassi
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing