Sears Point: Essex Racing/Finlay race report

TOP-10 FINISH FOR ROB FINLAY AND MICHAEL VALIANTE AT INFINEON RACEWAY SONOMA, CA (August 26, 2006) Sonoma, California normally known for its fine wines played host to the Grand American Rolex Sports Series Presented by Crown Royal Special...

TOP-10 FINISH FOR ROB FINLAY AND MICHAEL VALIANTE AT INFINEON RACEWAY

SONOMA, CA (August 26, 2006) Sonoma, California normally known for its fine wines played host to the Grand American Rolex Sports Series Presented by Crown Royal Special Reserve this weekend. The Daytona Prototype machines unloaded off the trucks on Thursday to begin race number 13 of the scheduled 14-race Rolex Series schedule. The No.5 Make-A-Wish/Z-Line Designs machine showed its strength early on in the week, the Finlay Motorsports team fired up the blue and silver machine for Thursday's practice session and landed the second quick lap of the day with Michael Valiante behind the wheel.

Rob Finlay and Michael Valiante continued to work on their race set-up the next day continuing to run impressive lap times. Finlay was given the reigns for qualifying and set his quick time of the week during the 15-minute session. When the green flag flew on Saturday afternoon, Finlay held his line and powered down his Ford Crawford Daytona Prototype, moving into the fifteenth position before handing the car over to his teammate Michael Valianate. Valiante quickly slid behind the wheel while the crew serviced the machine, sending the Canadian sensation back on the track in the thirteenth position. Before long, Valiante was running in the top-10.

As the race came to a close, Valiante was battling Ryan Dalziel for fifth position when Christian Fittipaldi ran in the back of him forcing him to lose a position. Valiante continued to maneuver the Make-A-Wish/Z-Line Designs sponsored machine around the race circuit and finished in the seventh position giving the team their second top-10 finish in- a-row. Rob Finlay also picked up the Jim Trueman Award for the fifth time this season.

The Mooresville, NC based team will now turn the car around and head to Salt Lake City, Utah for the last race of the 2006 series at the impressive Miller Motorsports Park.

-credit: finlay motorsports

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Ryan Dalziel , Christian Fittipaldi , Michael Valiante , Rob Finlay