SCC: Santo Domingo: Multimatic Motorsports preview

Mustang FR500C Grand-Am Cup assault continues in Santo Domingo Multimatic Motorsports is looking to build upon the stunning Daytona race debut of the Ford Racing Mustang FR500C when the 2005 Grand-Am Cup Championship travels to the Dominican ...

Mustang FR500C Grand-Am Cup assault continues in Santo Domingo

Multimatic Motorsports is looking to build upon the stunning Daytona race debut of the Ford Racing Mustang FR500C when the 2005 Grand-Am Cup Championship travels to the Dominican Republic for the first time this weekend.

Thirty-Six Grand Sport class entries will do battle at the Las Americas Autodromo for the Miller Grand-Am Cup 200 - the first ever race for the class on the Caribean island.

Explored and claimed by Columbus on his first voyage in 1492, the Dominican Replublic accounts for the eastern two-thirds of the island of Hispaniola, between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, east of Haiti.

Scott Maxwell and David Empringham finished 2nd on debut at Daytona for the Ford factory-backed Multimatic Motorsports squad while the customer entry of Ian James and Tom Nastasi taking the race win for the Mustang FR500C.

The Canadian duo will again be joined this week by team-mates Gunnar Jeannette and James Gue who finished 9th in the opening round after being delayed by a long pit stop.

"Our target this weekend is to grab a solid points finish. Of all the tracks we are going to run at this year, Santo Domingo is probably the one which will be the biggest challenge for us because it is very tight," Multimatic Vice President and team Technincal Director, Larry Holt said.

"The car was great at Daytona and I am sure the Mustang FR500C will excel at places like Mosport, Watkins Glen and Laguna Seca. With continued development over the course of the year we are certainly aiming to challenge very strongly for the championship."

Ford Racing Technology embarked on this program to return the Mustang to the race track, and unveiled the new Mustang FR500C racer at the Specialty Equipment Manufacturer's Association Show in Las Vegas in November last year. Ford Racing worked closely with Multimatic on the design, development, and build of the race car to Grand-Am specification.

Ford Racing Performance Parts will offer the Mustang FR500C in Grand-Am Cup specification, as well as all the racing components necessary for race team support and for those enthusiasts interested in enhancing their own Mustangs.

In conjunction with the debut season of the new Mustang FR500C, Multimatic Motorsports has launched a new web site to commemorate the return to the track by the Ford muscle-car. The site is located at www.multimaticmotorsports.com/mustang/ and features driver profiles, race news, photo galleries and Multimatic Motorsports and Mustang history.

TIMETABLE

Friday, March 11
10.00am-11am: Practice
1.30pm-2.30pm: Practice

Saturday, March 12
10.00am-11.00am: Practice
1.00pm-1.20pm: Qualifying

Sunday, March 13
11.00am-11.20am: Final practice
1.30pm: Grid opens
2.00pm: Start - Miller Grand-Am Cup 200 (206 miles/135 laps/3 hour time limit)

Driver pre-race quotes:

SCOTT MAXWELL

"The track does look a little short and tight so it probably won't suit our car as well as Daytona did.

"Power and straight line speed are our key features so this place may work against us a little but you never know how things are going to turn out.

"I can see there is going to be a bit of bump and grind over the weekend and we could end up with a few battle scars.

"But whatever happens, David and I will be out to do our best and hopefully further improve our position in the championship after a strong start at Daytona."

GUNNAR JEANNETTE

"From what I have been told, Santo Domingo is a great place for a vacation but we are here to race.

"Looking at the track design I think we are going be pretty busy out there. There are no long straights like we have at Daytona to have a bit of a rest.

"Saving tires will be crucial as always. You want the car set-up nice and firm and responsive, but if you make it too stiff you can really hurt the tires.

"You have to make sure your car is strong right through to the finish. We don't want to be struggling for grip at the end of the race."

DAVID EMPRINGHAM

"Our vision is certainly to win the championship so we will be out to grab as many points as we can this weekend.

"I doubt we will be as strong here, but we will certainly be out to win it.

"It is certainly not a horsepower track and I think the BMW will be very tough here, but Scott and I will give it our best shot.

"I am excited to be in the championship hunt and our plan will be to ensure we can build on our season before we head to the West coast for Fontana and Laguna Seca.."

JAMES GUE

"This will be the first time for me in Santo Domingo - I have been to Jamaica once, hopefully the weather here will be just as good.

"From what I have seen online, the track looks pretty good but it is difficult to work out how tight it is until we actually get there. "Gunnar and I are keen to come away with a really strong performance this week.

"Our car was fast at Daytona, but we just had a bit of bad luck. "The competition is going to be very close and I am actually really looking forward to the race."

-mm-

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Scott Maxwell , Ian James , David Empringham , James Gue , Tom Nastasi
Teams Multimatic Motorsports