An early penalty did not stop Fittipaldi and Cheever from finishing a strong top 10 finish Alton, VA (Sunday April 23, 2006)-Eddie Cheever and Christian Fittipaldi co-drove the ...
An early penalty did not stop Fittipaldi and Cheever from finishing a strong top 10 finish
Alton, VA (Sunday April 23, 2006)-Eddie Cheever and Christian Fittipaldi co-drove the #39 Crown Royal Special Reserve Porsche to a 7th place finish in this afternoons VIR 400 Rolex Sportscar Series Race.
Three laps into the start of the race the #39 Crown Royal Special Reserve Porsche made side-to-side contact with the #4 Pontiac in turn 3. Then on lap 5 the #39 was served a "drive through" penalty for avoidable contact with the #58 Red Bull Brumos Porsche .
Then on lap 6 the Crown Royal Special Porsche had more contact with the #58 Red Bull Brumos Porsche in turn 1 sending the #39 Crown Royal Special Reserve Porsche spinning losing positions.
On lap eight a yellow flag was thrown and Cheever brought the Crown Royal Special Reserve Porsche in to hand over the car to Christian Fittipaldi. On lap fourteen the green flag was thrown and Fittipaldi came in on lap fifteen for the drive through penalty and came out in 21st position.
A yellow flag was thrown on lap 30 for #77 Feeds the Need/Doran Racing Ford running off the course. Fittipaldi was able to move the #39 Crown Royal Special Reserve Porsche to the 4th position after various cars pitted under the yellow.
At lap 46 Fittipaldi brought Crown Royal Special Reserve Porsche in for a green flag pit stop and came in 7th position and will be able to make it to the end.
On lap 53 a yellow flag was thrown for the #66 Porsche going off course and the #39 was in the 10th position. Fittipaldi moved his way up to finish 7th position.
The next scheduled event is at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca on May 7, 2006.
"Going into turn one at the start of the race I was hit three times by the car beside me and finally ended up in the grass. Then in the middle of the first corner another two guys hit me again and at that point it was obvious I had better wake up and drive like everybody around me. Not big deal just a different approach. A few laps later as I am approaching the start finish line a yellow flag was thrown. I was lined up to pass a car but backed off and three cars go by me and one spins me just for good measure. If a series allows it, drivers can play the blocking and banging game, but not pay attention to the flag the marshals are just plain stupid, and very dangerous. All of this had a very negative affect on the outcome of our race. I am looking forward to spending some time with the Grand Am officials so I can get a better understand of how all this works. Great track, great series, and a lot of angry people after the race. All the making of an interesting year.
"Because of everything that happened at the beginning of the race, put us in a very hard situation. We had to come in for a drive through penalty that cost us a lot. Also half of the back of the car was broken and made the car have a lot less down force which cost us a lot time. With 15 laps to go I had to start taking it easy because of some engine problems. There is not a lot to say but we had a very difficult weekend. I am happy to finish and collect some more points, but I am not very pleased on how things went today. It could have been worse."