Mexico City: Howard-Boss Motorsports race report

THE BOSS Earns Hard-Fought Fourth in Mexico City 250 Wallace and Leitzinger post top Pontiac finish Mexico City, Mexico (March 4, 2006) ... Andy Wallace and Butch Leitzinger piloted THE BOSS Snowplow ...

THE BOSS Earns Hard-Fought Fourth in Mexico City 250
Wallace and Leitzinger post top Pontiac finish

Mexico City, Mexico (March 4, 2006) ... Andy Wallace and Butch Leitzinger piloted THE BOSS Snowplow #4 Pontiac Crawford to a fourth-place finish in the Mexico City 250 on Saturday afternoon. The veteran duo had to overcome several major issues during the weekend to post the highest finish for Pontiac in the second event of the 2006 Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series season.

After a disappointing 15th-place Daytona Prototype Class finish in the season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona in January, THE BOSS Snowplow Team entered the Mexico City 250 with a determined focus to battle back from their adversity. However, electrical problems plagued the team on Thursday when the 2.5-mile Autodromo Hermanos Rodriquez course opened for practice. Wallace and Leitzinger were able to resume practice in the afternoon and begin to "dial in" THE BOSS Snowplow Pontiac Crawford for the 250 mile event.

Butch Leitzinger was chosen to qualify THE BOSS #4 on Friday and responded with a fast lap of 1 minute 23.612 seconds to earn the ninth starting position. Ironically, it was the second consecutive year that THE BOSS qualified ninth for the Mexico City 250.

With an enthusiastic crowd in attendance, the Mexico City 250 went to green shortly after 3 PM ET. Leitzinger quickly advanced to the fifth position by lap 11, and reported to Crew Chief Catherine Wallace that their Pontiac Crawford was "much better" than earlier in the weekend. On lap 17, Leitzinger climbed to fourth and continued his march toward the leader.

By lap 25, the veteran racer had moved into the third position and had his sights on the #19 Crawford for second. Working his way through lapped traffic and charging for position, Leitzinger captured the second position on lap 40. When caution waved on lap 46, Leitzinger trailed the leader by 21.9 seconds.

Leitzinger came to pit road on lap 47 for a driver change, tires, and fuel. Andy Wallace took the controls of THE BOSS Snowplow Pontiac Crawford and rejoined the race in third position. It was during this driver change that the left door problem started. The door would not latch properly and stay closed; therefore, the crew taped the door shut and sent Wallace back on course.

Three laps after the restart of the event, the door began "flapping" and created a handling problem in the high-speed turns. However, Wallace showed why he is considered one of the top sports car racers in the world by controlling THE BOSS Pontiac Crawford and maintaining a competitive pace. Wallace was able to hold off Paul Tracy in the #6 car until lap 90. Then, after a caution on lap 92, Wallace had to battle a determined effort from the #77 Doran in the final four laps to finish in the fourth position, the top finish for Pontiac in the Mexico City 250.

"The car was really, really good," Wallace said. "The setup worked great, but with the door flapping in the high speed corners, that really hurt us. The whole BOSS Snowplow Team did a great job and nobody in the crew panicked. We had a terrible start to our weekend with electrical problems on the first day, but the team kept working hard. I'm very happy to be up there (4th) for Pontiac as well."

"It's a fourth place, but it's almost like a win," Leitzinger added. "We got in a huge hole the first day here with problems, but every member of this team kept digging and got us out of the ditch. I really can't say enough about their efforts. With the door problem at the end, Andy (Wallace) drove like crazy to keep his position. The handling of the car had to be just terrible, but he (Andy) put in a monstrous stint."

The Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series next travels to the Homestead-Miami Speedway for the Grand Prix of Miami on March 25th. Howard-Boss Motorsports has certainly enjoyed success with two Rolex Series victories at the Florida track in 2004. And, with Wallace, Leitzinger, and THE BOSS Snowplow Team "back on track", expect to see the #4 Pontiac Crawford battle for their first win of the 2006 season.

-hbm-

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Andy Wallace , Butch Leitzinger , Paul Tracy , Catherine Wallace