Sheehan among GS front-runners in Grand-Am Cup debut
Mont Tremblant, Quebec, Canada -- Former U.S. Touring Car Championship driver and Grand-Am Cup newcomer Gary Sheehan is among the fastest in today's GS practice sessions, posting a fastest lap of 1:48.784 in the second session to break into the top five times of the day. Driving an Audi S4 Quattro prepared by Istook-Aines Motorsports, Sheehan held third-fastest time earlier in the session, which was contested by 30 GS-class cars. Sheehan is also one of seven drivers today to break the previous track record for the class, also smashing last year's pole time in the process. He is in with some very fast company, with standout veteran names like Borcheller, Stanton, and Collins also in the top 10.
"I'm excited about the progress we made today", Sheehan said. "We struggled with an oversteer problem in the morning, but the team worked hard on the suspension setup between sessions, and we were much better in the afternoon. The team is really meshing and communicating well; I think we will find even more speed in the first practice session tomorrow morning before qualifying." When asked to comment on breaking into the top 5 times on his series-debut practice, Sheehan stated, "I'm thrilled. It's already more than I could expect--so far so good. But we still have a long way to go this weekend. We want to stay focused, get the car dialed in the final practice, and put in a good qualifying time. Then we'll start thinking about the race itself."
Gary Sheehan is making his Grand-Am Cup debut appearance this weekend in the Mont-Tremblant 250 race at Le Circuit de Mont-Tremblant. Although this is Sheehan's first race in Grand-Am Cup, it is not his first time at Le Circuit de Mont-Tremblant. This is the track where Sheehan began his racing career by attending his first professional racing school back in 1992. For more on Gary, visit www.teamsmr.com
The all-wheel-drive, twin-turbo Audi S4 has consistently been a front running car in the series and is a great match for Sheehan: Gary has been competing and winning in a Subaru Impreza WRX in the U.S. Touring Car Championship over the past three years with great success, most recently finishing second in championship points in 2003. The two cars have similar AWD drive trains, use turbocharged engines, and are set-up with Stoptech^Ù brakes.
The Grand-Am Cup is the premier production car-based endurance racing series in North America. The field is made up of two classes: Sport Touring (ST) and Grand Sport (GS). GS is the more powerful class of the two and is filled with ultra-performance cars such as the BMW M3, Cadillac CTS-V, Nissan 350Z, Ford Mustang Cobra, Porsche 996 and Acura NSX.
The 95-lap race is scheduled to start at 2:00pm eastern time, Saturday May 22, 2004. Spectators will be treated to a full day of Grand-Am cup and Rolex Series practice and qualifying prior to the race start. The race will be broadcast by Speed Channel on Sunday, May 30th at 12:00pm. For more information regarding the race schedule and Grand-Am, visit the Grand American Road Racing website at www.grand-am.com