Mustang squad rue "one that got away" in Trois Rivieres Ford Racing Technology and Multimatic Motorsports star David Empringham may still lead the 2005 Grand Am Cup Championship, but the Toronto driver could have left Trois Rivieres last weekend...
Mustang squad rue "one that got away" in Trois Rivieres
Ford Racing Technology and Multimatic Motorsports star David Empringham may still lead the 2005 Grand Am Cup Championship, but the Toronto driver could have left Trois Rivieres last weekend with an even bigger championship lead if luck was on his side.
Empringham and Scott Maxwell began from pole position and literally "blew the doors off" the opposition (and themselves) - comfortably leading the race until the first pit stop on lap 31.
Unfortunately, that's when problems struck the #05 Mustang with a faulty latch causing a long delay - the team unable to close the driver's door properly.
Empringham and Maxwell subsequently fell off the lead lap but battled back to finish sixth at the finish.
Team-mates Gunnar Jeannette and James Gue took over the lead when their team-mates pitted and then looked set to challenge for victory - leading the next 30 laps. However, a clutch problem delayed the two young Americans, dropping them from the race lead after their pit stop. The duo battled to the finish to grab fifth place.
"This was certainly won that got away," Multimatic Vice President and Technical Director, Larry Holt said.
"We actually thought Trois Rivieres would be one of the toughest tracks for us this year, but the Mustang was very strong and impressive. We really had a dominant car here, but things didn't work out for us in the end.
"The good thing is the weekend didn't turn into a points disaster. Both our cars fought it out strongly to the finish and the final part of the schedule includes Mid Ohio and VIR - both of which should be good tracks for the Mustang.
"We are still focused on bringing home the championship for Ford, but we have to be very wary of the BMW because they are going to continue to be our toughest rival in the run home."
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.
NEXT RACE : Mid Ohio, August 26-28
"This was one we really threw away. We were able to lead easily and the Mustang was certainly the quickest car out there.
"Unfortunately, when we did our pit stop the door wouldn't shut and that put us out of contention.
"It is pretty frustrating because this was about the only weekend of the year when we really had speed over the BMW.
"If we had won this one we really would have put a stranglehold on the championship, but the good thing is we were able to battle back and still get a good bunch of points.
"Those BMWs are coming fast but I think our car should be very strong again at Mid Ohio."
"I was really cruising at the start behind Scotty in second place - the car was really strong.
"The BMW snuck by in traffic, but when they pitted at the first caution I was able to pull away with a big lead but then we had a clutch problem.
"I was probably losing about a second a lap because it was really tough to change gears without the clutch.
"A yellow fell at the right time and James had to battle on to the finish.
"The result was pretty disappointing after leading so many laps but overall the car was a lot stronger than I expected."
"The day certainly looked like it was going to be a good one, but the door problem really ruined our day.
"We couldn't get it to close properly at the pit stop and the race officials wouldn't let us tape it shut - I was a little puzzled at their decision on that one.
"If we had been able to tape it closed, we would have still won the race. "Finishing sixth was still a good batch of points, but we will have to be on the top of our game in the last three races.
"Phoenix problem won't suit the car, but the Mustang should be very good at Mid Ohio and VIR - there is plenty of room there for it to stretch its legs."
"The car was a lot better than I had expected it to be. We thought we might have a few brake problems around here, but the brakes were perfect all day long.
"Unfortunately, the clutch played up on us and really took us out of contention.
"If it wasn't for that, we would have certainly been on the podium without a problem.
"This was my first time here and I have to say I really loved the track.
"Not a lot of grip, but lots and lots of fun.
"Some of the corners were pretty slow and the lack of grip meant we didn't really suffer from tire wear and were able to go the entire race without a tire change."