Watkins Glen: Chip Ganassi Racing race report

BACK-TO-BACK SECOND PLACE FINISHES EXTENDS TEAM TELMEX POINTS LEAD WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (June 9, 2007)--Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates celebrated a second consecutive podium finish for the TELMEX team in the six hour endurance race at ...

BACK-TO-BACK SECOND PLACE FINISHES EXTENDS TEAM TELMEX POINTS LEAD

WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (June 9, 2007)--Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates celebrated a second consecutive podium finish for the TELMEX team in the six hour endurance race at Watkins Glen, bumping the No. 01 Daytona Prototype point lead to seven over the SunTrust team, 180-173. CGRFS drivers Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas got off to a rocky start when Pruett, trying to avoid contact, slipped into a gravel trap in Lap 1 and headed into pits, which put the TELMEX team two laps behind. Pruett regained ground quickly before the driver change and Rojas overtook several more positions to put the No. 01 DP in the Top-10, setting the stage for Team's comeback. Pruett took over second place and the TELMEX team got the full course yellow it needed for a fuel-only pit stop that would put Pruett in the lead with under 30 minutes to go, but he was not able to hold on as No. 99 forged ahead for the win.

Overall, it marked the third podium result of the season for Pruett and Rojas as co-drivers, while Pruett and the No. 01 team have reached the podium four times in six events this season. Pruett is a proven contender in endurance races as he, along with fellow CGRFS driver Juan Pablo Montoya and Salvador Duran, were victorious at the season-opening Rolex 24 Hours At Daytona.

Meanwhile, in their second career start in the six hour event at The Glen, CGRFS drivers Rob Finlay and Michael Valiante combined for a hard fought Top-10 result for the No. 19 Z-Line Designs/Mission Residential/Make-A-Wish Foundation Lexus Riley. Valiante ran as high as fourth and was keeping the pace behind Pruett (third) when his DP was forced to pit late for a battery change. As Valiante exited the pits another mechanical issue forced the No. 19 right back to pit lane, which dropped the CGRFS team to 17th with less than a half hour remaining. Valiante, not wasting any time, rallied ten spots and salvaged a difficult weekend for the No. 19 team, posting a seventh place finish after a crash in the first practice session heavily damaged the car.

CGRFS Driver Post--Race Quoteboard

SCOTT PRUETT-No.01 TELMEX Lexus Riley: "I think that without a doubt we have three championship teams up here. We had to be smart and make a maneuver to get out of the way. The No. 23 car was sideways on the track and unfortunately we got caught up in the gravel and went some laps down. The car was good and I thought we had the second best car out there. Memo did a good job, the car ran well all day and we got everything we could out of it. You always want to win these races, but you have to finish as well as you can if you want to win Championships and that's what we have to keep doing."

MEMO ROJAS-No.01 TELMEX Lexus Riley: "I think that the team is doing a pretty good job. I think at any of these races any of these teams can win, it's that competitive. We're in good shape and we'll just keep working hard to get our team's second win and my first win of the season as soon as possible."

MICHAEL VALIANTE-No.19 Z-Line Designs/Mission Residential/Make-A-Wish Foundation Lexus Riley: "We had a few things go wrong and once we fixed the problems, the car was fast enough easily to finish on the podium. It's just been a tough weekend after the crash in practice. We were running fourth when the battery started going down on the power steering and had to come in to the pits. We had to pit again right after that because the car was not drivable and I had to just try from there to get a good finish."

-credit: cgr

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Scott Pruett , Michael Valiante , Memo Rojas , Chip Ganassi , Salvador Duran , Rob Finlay
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing