Blackforest takes two top-tens in wild one out West Salt Lake City, UT (1 September 2006)-It was a wild day for Valerie Limoges and her Blackforest Motorsports team at Miller Motorsports Park in the Grand-Am Cup Series' penultimate round on ...
Blackforest takes two top-tens in wild one out West
Salt Lake City, UT (1 September 2006)-It was a wild day for Valerie Limoges and her Blackforest Motorsports team at Miller Motorsports Park in the Grand-Am Cup Series' penultimate round on Friday. Despite running the entire two-hour and forty-five minute race distance under green conditions, there were plenty of developments for the Deland, Florida-based team.
It only took moments for the race to get interesting, when Alex Tagliani was black-flagged for moving out of line as the race started and was forced to report to the pits for a stop and go penalty. Meanwhile, fellow Blackforest driver Darren Law converted his pole into a strong lead ahead of the sixty-car field.
Limoges made a great start herself, launching from eighteenth on the grid to twelfth after just two laps of running, but soon had to make her own trip down pit road after being hit from behind, causing enough damage to cut a tire down.
"The car was just handling horribly and I was losing time, so I had to come in for new tires, and it of course really hurt my race from there," said Limoges.
Limoges put her head down as she rejoined the fray from fifty-seventh in the pack, and moved the car back up into the top twenty before turning the car over to co-driver Fernando Scattolin.
"It really hurt our race of course with the extra pit stop, but when I got back out, I was running with a lot of very fast guys and I learned a lot, so while this result is not very good, this race was good for me as a driver," said Limoges. "I have learned so much this season, and on days like this you get frustrated not to have great results, but with what I am learning out there, I know those results will come."
Meanwhile, Law held onto the lead up front before a driveshaft problem left him stranded on-course and unable to continue. Tagliani made his own post-penalty charge up into the top ten before turning the car over to Tom Nastasi as a second Blackforest car resumed the lead when Ian James briefly led the race after recovering from his own early pit stop to fix a cut tire before turning the car over to David Empringham.
The penalty, the second in so many races for Tagliani in Cup Series competition, so frustrated the Champ Car star that he made a visit to the series officials in the tower, where he received some bad news.
"I couldn't believe it," said Tagliani. "The guy (Series official) said, 'Oh, sorry, we might have made a mistake with that penalty on you, but hey, nice driving!' I couldn't believe it. It's frustrating because the car was good enough to go through almost the entire field after the penalty, and if that hadn't happened, we'd of had a great result."
The strong performance of the Mustang FR500C did produce two top-tens for the team as Empringham finished seventh as Nastasi came home in eighth at the finish, while Limoges and Scattolin were classified twenty-second at the finish despite their extra pit stop.
The Grand-Am Cup Series will race in one months time at Virginia International Raceway for a six-hour enduro finale on the weekend of October 6-7.