DECEPTION FOLLOWING HARCH VIR RACE FOR ALHADEFF AND AUBERLEN Los Angeles, California, May 1, 2007: The Luggage Express Team Sigalsport BMW left VIR with a feeling of a job not done. The whole team came to Virginia, the fourth round of the ...
DECEPTION FOLLOWING HARCH VIR RACE FOR ALHADEFF AND AUBERLEN
Los Angeles, California, May 1, 2007: The Luggage Express Team Sigalsport BMW left VIR with a feeling of a job not done. The whole team came to Virginia, the fourth round of the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series, with high hopes and a winning spirit but racing incidents in the first part of the race deprived Alhadeff, Auberlen and Sigalsport BMW from unveiling a well planned strategy to charge once again to the front and finish on top!
After qualifying 15th, Matt Alhadeff was the starting driver of the 05 Luggage Express BMW Dinan Riley. After a decent start, Alhadeff spun on lap 3 after making contact with the No. 76 Tracy Krohn who bounced off No. 91 Jim Matthews and into Matt Alhadeff. The result of this accident had Matt pit to repair substantial damage to the car. The team took the decision to fuel the car and change tires but not make a driver change during the pit stop. Matt restarted almost a lap behind the leaders.
A lap later No. 99 Jon Fogarty, leader of the race, made contact with the left rear of the 05 car driven by Matt, coming up a little too quick on Matt's car. No. 05 car shed debris on the track and came back once again into the pits for repairs to the damaged bodywork. This triggered a yellow flag on lap 7 and most of the teams pitted except the 05 car that had already made its pit stop a little earlier.
One lap before the restart, Matt was the recipient of the "Second Chance" rule and Grand-Am officials gave one of the two laps back to Matt, who at the time was only a lap down.
On lap 38 Matt gave the wheel to Bill. Bill immediately found out that the car was not at its best due to the earlier crash, but was nevertheless able to turn fast laps. On lap 46, Bill was forced to park the 05 Luggage Express on the side of the track due to an unexpected electrical fire in the cockpit due to the accident. The car was towed back to the pits by the track safety crew and was retired immediately after that. The 05 car finished 20th.
This is, of course, a setback for the Luggage Express Team Sigalsport BMW team, especially after their first ever DP win registered a month ago at Homestead.
The whole team and its drivers showed once again throughout the practice sessions that their car was extremely competitive and despite not finishing this VIR race, the California team still has 10 races to show off their speed, reliability and will to win races. The next event will be the home race for Sigalsport BMW. The US Sports Car Invitational delivered by Luggage Express, who is also Sigalsport's title sponsor, will be raced on May 18-20, 2007 at Mazda Laguna Seca Raceway.
Next Saturday, the 05 Luggage Express Team Sigalsport BMW Dinan will be on display at the Bimmerfest BMW event in Santa Barbara, California. Matt Alhadeff and Bill Auberlen will sign autographs at the show from 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM.