Mid-Ohio: Grease Monkey Racing race report

Grease Monkey Racing Finishes Fifth in SGS Class at the Mid Ohio Sports Car Classic on Saturday. Los Angeles, Ca., August 10, 2004---Grease Monkey Racing overcame an incredible amount of adversity to finish a season best fifth in the SGS class...

Grease Monkey Racing Finishes Fifth in SGS Class at the Mid Ohio Sports Car Classic on Saturday.

Los Angeles, Ca., August 10, 2004---Grease Monkey Racing overcame an incredible amount of adversity to finish a season best fifth in the SGS class of the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series at Mid Ohio this past Saturday. Things got off to a dreadful start on Thursday, when after only three laps during the open test session, the team's 2004 Porsche broke a hydraulic steering line and caught fire. The damage was extensive enough to put the primary car out of commission for the next few races.

"Luckily we had a back up car in the trailer, but it wasn't prepped to Grand-Am spec yet. We just took delivery of the car two days before the truck left L.A. The team had to work all night Thursday and all day Friday to get the 2004 Porsche Cup car to SGS specs. They did a week's worth a work in less then 24 Hours, amazing! We missed both practice sessions on Friday, but got the car out in time for qualifying," said lead driver, Gene Sigal.

With a practice session after qualifying, which would allow the rookie team to properly dial-in the new car for the race, team manager, Jean Marchioni was still optimistic for a good result in the race. Unfortunately, the clutch blew out after the third lap of the final practice session. Which meant that by the 10th lap in the race, Grease Monkey would have doubled their experience at Mid Ohio. Not the way you want a race weekend to go.

"That's unbelievable, if it's not one thing it's another. All we have to do is change the clutch before the race, put everything together the right way, which we now have plenty of experience doing, and hope for the best," said an exhausted Jean Marchioni.

Rookie Harrison Brix started the race and promptly started working his way up the field. After about an hour and a half, he turned the car over to Gene Sigal. By the time Sigal got in the car, Brix had brought the car up to fourth, but a long pit stop because of a problem with the refueling rig, dropped them back to seventh. Sigal used his time in the car to reel the guys in front of him in and brought the car home in a fantastic fifth place.

"After everything we've gone through, this is brilliant. The whole team did an awesome job and I can't wait till Watkins Glen on Friday," said an enthusiastic Sigal after the race.

Brix and Sigal will again share the car for Friday night's Sahlen's 200 at Watkins Glen. This is the second visit to Watkins Glen this season, and the first track on the schedule that Grease Monkey Racing has experience at. With a sixth place finish at the 6-hours at the Glen in June, Grease Monkey Racing is excited at the prospects of improving that on Friday. Make sure to tune into SpeedTV on Friday night for coverage of the race. Grease Monkey Racing is backed by; Sirius Satellite Radio, Nextel, Deutsche Post, RPM Aceleracion, Car Graphic, Sparco, Motul, JM Racing, AvantiKart.com and RacerStation.com.

-gmr-

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Gene Sigal , Harrison Brix