VIR: Sigalsport race report

A WET VIRGINIA WEEKEND TO FORGET FOR SIGALSPORT! Los Angeles, California, October 10, 2005: Last weekend's race at VIR marked the penultimate round of the 2005 Rolex Sports Car Series. Sigalsport drivers had great expectations before the VIR 400...

A WET VIRGINIA WEEKEND TO FORGET FOR SIGALSPORT!

Los Angeles, California, October 10, 2005: Last weekend's race at VIR marked the penultimate round of the 2005 Rolex Sports Car Series. Sigalsport drivers had great expectations before the VIR 400 race and the team had one goal in mind; score maximum points to keep its chances alive to finish in the top-ten overall in the 2005 GT ranking.

The rain started to fall early Friday and continued to do so until just a few minutes before the race on Sunday. On Friday, Gene Sigal and Matt Alhadeff, co-driving the Sigalsport Alhadeff Companies/Motul USA/The Speed Gallery/GlycoMax/Envista Porsche No. 05 were on hand to tackle the challenging 3.27-mile Virginia International Raceway. The first session was run in very wet conditions and Matt Alhadeff, who did not know the track, managed to finish 7th overall and 4th in GT demonstrating his aptitude to drive in the rain and also the good set-up found by the team engineer. In the afternoon Gene co-drove the car with Matt and both did an excellent job perfecting their race setup.

When qualifying time came on Saturday afternoon, the track was almost dried out since it had stopped raining for an hour but a very fast approaching shower forced Grand American officials to cancel the qualifying session and replace it with a 30-minute free practice for both DPs and GTs, eliminating Sigalsport's hopes to score their best qualifying result ever of the season! The starting grid was set by team points, and the Sigalsport Porsche No. 05 was awarded the 13th position for the start.

On Sunday morning during their last practice session the Sigalsport drivers' performance was credited with an 8th place in GT. Team Sigalsport managed to be in the top ten in almost every session throughout the entire weekend.

Matt drove his Porsche in the first stint with determination to fulfill the team's goal. After only five laps Matt managed to pass four cars and was in 9th place before the first yellow flag of the day. At the restart Alhadeff was following the lead GT pack when, like too many times this season, he was hit in the back by Collins' BMW, running Matt's car off the track onto the grass. Matt was forced to stop for new tires and restarted on Lap 10 of the race losing 1 lap and 11 positions in the incident.

Gene drove the car in the last 39 laps but despite racing as hard as he could, he and Matt finished 15th in the GT class.

Despite the disappointing race result, the team moved up a few places in the ranking and the final race at Mexico City, Mexico in three weeks will be the last chance for Sigalsport to do well in the overall team classification. A realistic top-five finish in Mexico will reward Sigalsport with a top twelve finish overall in the 2005 Rolex Sports car Series.

The entire team is now back in California and has already put this VIR race behind them. The focus is already set on the next round and the first Mexico practice session scheduled for November 4.

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Series Grand-Am
Drivers Gene Sigal