RUBY TUESDAY CHAMPIONSHIP RACING TEAM TO START FROM BACK OF FIELD FOR VIR 400K ALTON, Va. (April 28, 2007) -- The Ruby Tuesday Championship Racing Team will start from the back of the grid for Round Four of the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series...
RUBY TUESDAY CHAMPIONSHIP RACING TEAM TO START FROM BACK OF FIELD FOR VIR 400K
ALTON, Va. (April 28, 2007) -- The Ruby Tuesday Championship Racing Team will start from the back of the grid for Round Four of the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Special Reserve VIR 400K at Virginia International Raceway.
With expectations of a front-row start following strong practice sessions on Friday, Jorg Bergmeister was piloting the Alex Job Racing-prepared Porsche Crawford entry during the beginning of official qualifying for Sunday's event. A suspension failure in the No. 23 Daytona Prototype put an immediate end to the team's bid to lead the 21-car field to the drop of the green flag.
"At the time, I didn't know exactly what happened," Bergmeister said. "Now that we've had a chance to look at the car, it appears something broke in the right-rear suspension. Going into the Esses everything felt fine and then all of a sudden I was just a passenger, so something broke in an instant. It's a real shame for the Ruby Tuesday Championship Racing Team because the car was really good during all three earlier practice sessions."
On a narrow track that is notoriously difficult to pass on, defending their thrilling victory of last year on the 3.27-mile, 17-turn VIR circuit poses the ultimate challenge for the Tavares, Florida-based Ruby Tuesday Championship Racing Team.
Bergmeister will share the chore of driving through the field with veteran Porsche driver Patrick Long, who was part of last year's winning effort.
"The problem we had in qualifying today is exactly what we didn't need," Long said. "But it's a long race and with the new strategy rules requiring a pit stop before 45-minutes, I think we still have a good shot to win. We'll definitely have to outsmart them on strategy because with our track position and being stuck behind several slower cars, it's going to be difficult early on. We'll go back and do our homework tonight. I believe in our team's capabilities so I'm sure we'll be pulling forward tomorrow."
Having made an incredible last-turn pass to claim the thrilling victory at last year's classic at VIR, Ruby Tuesday Championship Racing Team can never be counted out and has the confidence and capabilities to achieve the most improbable results.
"It's really going to be difficult to start from dead last and come up through the field, especially here at VIR," team owner Alex Job said. "This is a narrow track and it's tough to pass, but this Ruby Tuesday Championship Racing Team is never one to shy away from a challenge so we're going to be charging forward from the back and we'll give it everything we have."