RUBY TUESDAY CHAMPIONSHIP RACING TEAM SEEKS REPEAT OF THRILLING WIN AT VIR TAVARES, Fla. (April 25, 2007) - The Ruby Tuesday Championship Racing Team looks to defend its thrilling win of last season when they take to the track on Sunday, April...
RUBY TUESDAY CHAMPIONSHIP RACING TEAM SEEKS REPEAT OF THRILLING WIN AT VIR
TAVARES, Fla. (April 25, 2007) - The Ruby Tuesday Championship Racing Team looks to defend its thrilling win of last season when they take to the track on Sunday, April 29 for Round Four of the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Special Reserve at Virginia International Raceway.
Having captured victory in what fans voted as the most exciting finish of the 2006 Grand-Am Rolex Series season, Ruby Tuesday Championship Racing Team is certain to contend for top honors again in this year's sports car classic at VIR.
Piloting the Alex Job Racing prepared Porsche-powered Crawford Daytona Prototype is the duo of Las Vegas resident Patrick Long and Jorg Bergmeister of Leverkusen, Germany.
After tasting victory at VIR last year, the 25-year-old Long welcomes a return to the site of that dramatic win.
"VIR is one of my all time favorite tracks," Long said. "It's a great circuit with a nice combination of fast and slow turns all culminating in a long straight-away. It's always important to qualify well at VIR as the track is a little narrow for passing. I'll be anxious to see how our package performs here this year given we now have a lot more experience on the VIR road course than we did last year."
Team driver Bergmeister, 31, is the reigning Grand-Am Daytona Prototype driver champion and is eager to attack the scenic yet technically challenging rural Virginia raceway.
"I really like the track," Bergmeister said. "It has just about every type of corner. The Esses are fun and if the car is right you should be able to get through there without lifting off of the throttle. The team made advances with the car at Homestead and we were able to show more speed, especially in qualifying. I expect we'll see even more improvement this weekend at VIR. We may see some rain and that should play into our hands as a strength."
The man who reunited drivers Long and Bergmeister for '07 is team owner Alex Job.
"The Ruby Tuesday Championship Racing Team is really anxious to return to VIR and defend our incredible last-lap win from last season," Job said. "We tested at VIR for two days during the off season and feel we are very well prepared and poised to have a good result.
"Patrick and Jorg are perfectly suited for this course and our Porsche-powered Crawford likes the demanding VIR layout which offers elements of various other tracks all in one. We've had a bit of a slow start to the season and this particular circuit offers an excellent opportunity for us to make a strong statement and start a serious run for the championship."
In a move destined for many a highlight reel, the third-place Ruby Tuesday Daytona Prototype shot through a gap created when a slower GT car was in the way. The Alex Job Racing entry pulled-off the daring pass near the final turn of the twisting 3.27-mile road course and crossed the finish line first to snatch a most improbable, yet thrilling win.
"What an exciting finish!," recalls team owner Job. "We had just about settled for third-place until we saw the action in turn 17 and we were able to drive through the melee to take the win. It was a great victory and a terrific debut for Ruby Tuesday Championship Racing Team."
A return to VIR and the magic it holds for the Tavares, Florida-based team may serve to reverse what has been a challenging start to the '07 campaign. Still early in the season, Round Four of the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Special Reserve offers the perfect landscape for this multiple Championship winning team to begin a strong quest for its next title.
After three rounds of the 15-race Grand-Am Rolex Series schedule, Ruby Tuesday Championship Racing Team is tied for sixth-place in the Team Point Standings with 67, while drivers Long and Bergmeister are in a tie for seventh-place in Driver Point Standings, also with 67.
Grand-Am Rolex Series Daytona Prototype practices are set for Friday, April 27 at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. EDT and on Saturday, April 28 at 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. EDT. Qualifying is scheduled for 2:40 p.m. EDT on Saturday, April 28 and Grand-Am race fans can catch all of the exciting race action from Virginia International Raceway 'live' on Speed Channel on Sunday, April 29 at 1 p.m. EDT.