"Yes, it was a good race!" Those are the words of CB Motorsports owner and driver Chris Bingham commenting on the team's top 10 finish at Phoenix International Raceway (PIR) in the Daytona Prototype class of the Grand American Rolex Sports ...
"Yes, it was a good race!"
Those are the words of CB Motorsports owner and driver Chris Bingham commenting on the team's top 10 finish at Phoenix International Raceway (PIR) in the Daytona Prototype class of the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series. While the podium still awaits their arrival, Bingham and co-driver Hugo Guénette are starting to see themselves - and the team - moving closer to a finish in the top three.
"We probably should have finished in 4th or 5th place (the #15 Pontiac- Riley Daytona Prototype finished 7th after running in 4th place) but we made a bad call by bringing Hugo in before he caught back up to the leaders on that caution before our driver change."
Team Manager John Petherbridge: "We narrowly missed out in completing our driver change before the pace car came around again by mere seconds, and that frustratingly set us a lap back and in 11th position. Now that CB Motorsports has joined the fray at the front of the field, such tactical decisions can have an immense bearing on the final result. Hopefully with more time up front we will perfect some of these details and take home the top 5 placing that narrowly escaped us this weekend. Chris dragged the car back from 11th - after the driver change - to 7th, and stayed there for the last quarter of the race maintaining a strong average pace that held off all competition."
The team also suffered a 10 second penalty imposed by race control for passing the pace car prior to a restart. And there were many restarts as the race was, at times, not unlike a demolition derby with cars making contact with one another starting with the very first turn of the very first lap.
A brief recap of the big hits from Phoenix - by the numbers: #6 hit #54 (first strike), then #67 hit #2, then #02 hit the #54 (second strike), then #8 hit #66 causing #8 to spin only to be clipped by car #3, followed by cars #99 and #67 erupting into flames at about the same time, on different parts of the race track. But the race - and the wrecks - were not finished yet. #19 nailed the race leading #01 car, effectively knocking it out of the championship. And it seemed the #54 car wasn't about to abdicate the title of "most likely to be hit" and sure enough, the #3 car gave the Kodak- Bell Motorsports car a good whack, putting the battle scarred Daytona Prototype into the paddock hospital once and for all (Third strike and it was out!)
Petherbridge: "As has been clearly shown this season, the podium place finishers of each race are typically those without missing fenders and paintwork. Hugo and Chris have done an impressive job this year of driving with aggressive caution, not placing the car in danger for a pass that could wait another half lap. It is that level of professional driving that allowed us to stay in the running and move from 10th on the grid to 4th for much of the first half of the race."
Throughout the hot Arizona night it seemed the only way to the front was through the cars in front. Fortunately, the CB Motorsports / DLGL Software Pontiac-Riley steered clear of the "car"nage throughout the race.
Petherbridge: "We know we have two top quality drivers when they can bring a car through multiple wrecks this weekend unscathed. Both Hugo and Chris vied for quickest lap of the race with both drivers posting times just hundreds of a second apart from each other. And the healthy competition between these two drivers is great to witness."
Driver Hugo Guénette: "We have worked hard all year to get where we are and the pieces of the puzzle are starting to fall together. We have made many changes and our good decisions are starting to pay off. It feels very good to get a good result but it also feels better to know that we ran a very competitive pace throughout the race. We are definitely excited about the remaining races of 2005."
Petherbridge: "Our 7th place finish was a terrific result that really complements our efforts this season. In just our third outing with the Pontiac engine our mid season switch has begun to validate itself. We had a consistently strong weekend running within a second of the pole car through all qualifying and testing. It is a testament to the caliber of the crew now assembled at CB Motorsports that we found ourselves having to make only minor adjustments throughout the weekend."
Bingham will miss the Watkins Glen race due to business commitments and so it will be the father-son duo of Jacques and Hugo Guénette who will be sharing the driving chores. Bingham is expected to return for the VIR round, with the elder Guénette getting in a second run in place of his son Hugo.
Petherbridge: "Jacques Guénette will be making a welcome return to the car this upcoming race at Watkins Gen as we have not had the benefit of his skills behind the wheel since the rain-soaked outing at Mt Tremblant. Due to his many commitments at DLGL, Canada's leading HRIS Software firm, Jacques has not driven as often as hoped. His participation at the next two venues is eagerly anticipated by the whole team as he is adept at finding improvements in the cars set up. Jacques is currently testing with the team in Virginia and is looking forward to racing on some dry pavement." . Bingham: "I'm very happy with the whole effort we put out there tonight. We stayed out of trouble and that was the main focus this weekend. And the team seems to really be coming together now. We have some relatively new members and it takes time to blend talents and personalities into a winning combination. But things are moving forward and we expect our next race (at Watkins Glen) will find us once again avoiding traffic and moving even closer to the podium.
"We are also looking forward to getting our V2 model suspension upgrade and installing it. And we have to find a way to get the Pontiac motor sitting a bit lower in the chassis, as the other Pontiac-Riley teams have done. We are not sure we can do that with the Emco gearbox but we are going to take a hard look at the problem and see if we can't come up with an answer."
Fans of the Daytona Prototypes are advised to stay alert to what promises to be an exciting season-ending three races. While a championship is at stake for some, many teams are definitely in this for a win. The #15 CB Motorsports / DLGL Software Pontiac-Riley team has now served notice that they fully intend to be up among the leaders from here on out.
CB Motorsports, Bingham Family Foundation, and DLGL Software Announce "Race To Recovery" Campaign Winners will be the American Gulf Coast victims of Hurricane Katrina
CB Motorsports, the Bingham Family Foundation, and DLGL Software are today announcing they each will contribute $10,000 to the American Red Cross to kick off the "Race To Recovery" campaign to benefit the victims of Hurricane Katrina. While the flood waters are just now stating to recede, and inroads are being made to rescue all of the victims, the tragedy continues for the people of that region. And the need to lend financial support continues as well.
In announcing this campaign to raise funds for the American Red Cross, the CB Motorsports / DLGL Software partners are also announcing a challenge to every other team running in the Grand Am series to show their support by donating to the campaign. The campaign is open to participation by everyone in the Grand Am racing community - including the many great fans that follow sportscar racing with so much passion.
Team Owner Chris Bingham" "Everyone is encouraged to participate in this extremely worthy "Race To Recovery". And with every contribution the real winners are the good people who lived along the Gulf Coast and who have had their entire lives wrenched away from them overnight. With every 'competitive contribution' the racing community takes the lead in this race to resurrect this devastated region of the United States."
On the Grand American Road Racing Association website it was recently announced that, "Synergy Racing and its sponsors have partnered with the Virginia-based, disaster-relief charity God's Pit Crew to help bring supplies to the devastated gulf coast region."
CB Motorsports Driver and DLGL R&D Director Hugo Guénette: "Synergy and God's Pit Crew are to be commended for taking a lead role in this extremely important recovery effort. We salute them and we hope to find that the other teams in Grand Am - as well as the fans - will show their support as well by joining us in this campaign. The people of the American Gulf Coast are counting on us for help and we will make sure that they get it."
And, since every racer likes to have an edge when 'competing', CB Motorsports and DLGL Software will also donate any and all prize money they win for the balance of the racing season.
CB Motorsports, the Bingham Family Foundation and DLGL Software are hoping to find that there is a full field for this race! So ladies and gentlemen, let the green (as in dollars!) flag wave!