TEAM: Defending VIR racewinners CompUSA Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates and co-pilots Scott Pruett and Luis Diaz
VENUE: Virginia International Raceway, on the 3.27-mile permanent road course in Alton, Va., Round 5 of 14 on the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series season
TEAM STATS: The no.01 CompUSA Lexus-Riley has two wins and two poles (Mexico City, Long Beach) entering VIR this Sunday. Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates is the most successful team in Daytona Prototype history-- holding records in wins (10), poles (17) and podium finishes (24); while Pruett is the most successful Daytona Prototype pilot ever with career records for wins (9), pole positions (7) and podium finishes (19). The 2004 Rolex Series Championship-winning team also captured the prestigious Rolex 24 At Daytona this past January.
VIR HISTORY: In two career appearances (2004-05), the no.01 CompUSA Lexus-Riley has one pole (2004) and one win (2005) -- never finishing or starting outside the top-two.
VIR REWIND: The CGRFS duo won at VIR last October after starting from the outside of the front row. The team was able to extend their fiercely-contested two-horse title race with SunTrust Racing, gaining seven championship markers on their rivals-- crossing the finish line ahead of the no.2 of Andy Wallace to win their third race of the season. The move of the race came for Pruett on Lap 63 when he overtook the no.77 car in Turn 11, getting on the inside and executing a clean pass of the raceleader. Pruett went on to stretch his legs to the tune of 2.181 seconds for his seventh career win in just 25 Grand American starts at the time.
ROUND 4 RECAP: Diaz qualified the no.01 CompUSA Lexus-Riley on the Long Beach pole and led early on before passing off the car to Pruett during the race's first caution period. Pruett took the lead after the series of pit stops and led the rest of the way and won by a 3.989-second margin over the no.23 Porsche. With the win, the CompUSA team took over the Rolex Series Championship point race, putting 14 points on the no.23 car (111-97). It was the no.01 car's ninth win in 30 career Grand American starts.
EXHAUST NOTE: The team's Long Beach win marked the fourth podium in as many races for the Chip Ganassi Racing Daytona Prototype effort in 2006. After the no.02 car won the opening round at the Rolex 24 At Daytona (Scott Dixon, Dan Wheldon and Casey Mears), Pruett and Diaz have three straight podiums covering Mexico City (winner), Miami (third) and Long Beach (winner).
"Last year was a bit of a disappointment finishing second overall, but we managed to keep our momentum going in the final two races, and the VIR win was huge for us in that respect. We had a car capable of winning pretty much the whole weekend -- the Lexus power was excellent. We needed that win to keep our chances alive to have a shot at the title in Mexico City. So in some respects, that was our most important win of the year. VIR is a great layout, and Luis and I look forward to defending our title this weekend."
"VIR was a very important win for me personally last season. Although we had an outside chance of winning the championship, the win enabled us to carry the battle with the no.10 car to my home country of Mexico for the season finale. Scott ran a fantastic race in Virginia last season to finish it off, and I can't wait to get back there and try to repeat what the team was able to accomplish in 2005."