Strong Effort Visits Lead, Runs in Top Five June 4, 2006, Los Angeles, CA--The CITGO Racing team scored an 11th place finish in Saturday's Six Hours of The Glen at Watkins Glen International in Watkins...
Strong Effort Visits Lead, Runs in Top Five
June 4, 2006, Los Angeles, CA--The CITGO Racing team scored an 11th place finish in Saturday's Six Hours of The Glen at Watkins Glen International in Watkins Glen, NY. The #11 CITGO Pontiac Riley driven by Milka Duno, Marc Goossens and Stefan Johansson at one point led the field during the six-hour classic.
There were ten different overall race leaders over the course of the six-hour competition on the popular 3.4-mile upstate NY circuit -- with the CITGO Racing team being one of the ten. In fact, CITGO Racing was in the top-five for a large part of the 154-lap race.
The constantly changing weather conditions during the six-hour race -- and therefore the choice of tires -- was an important factor affecting the competition. Teams would change to wet tires - and then the rain would stop. Teams would change to dry tires - and the rain would start. Trying to guess what "Mother Nature" would do -- and when she would do it -- proved difficult for everyone.
The grid for the race was determined by team points and Marc took the first stint starting in 15th. He was able to advance the effort into the top ten and then the top five and took the lead on lap 40 -- which he held for 5 laps. On the 4th caution of the race he handed the car off in the top five.
Next up was Stefan -- in his first race with Milka and the CITGO Racing Team. Stefan again took the #11 CITGO Pontiac Riley into the top five where he continued until handing the car over to Milka during a green flag stop on lap 108.
Milka began her stint on wet tires -- but the track didn't stay wet and dried rapidly-- yet was able to complete her time behind the wheel competitively -- before handing off to Marc for his second stint and the final leg of the race.
Marc charged hard for the balance of the race and through the 7th and 8th caution of the day -- bringing the car across the finish line in 11th place.
Unfortunately, it was the need to accomplish two driver changes under green flag conditions that took the effort out of the top pack -- while others were able to pit under yellow flags -- saving them valuable time.
"It was an exciting race for us and we really put forth a top effort. At times we were able to take advantage of the conditions on the track and the caution periods and tires -- and at other times we were disadvantaged by the same things. It all comes down to making the best choices under the circumstances and I believe that's what we did. It was great to race with Stefan -- and with Marc again. They both did a fantastic job -- as did the CITGO/SAMAX team!"
"We had a bit too much understeer in the car at the end, but I think it was pretty good, if you see where we came from since Laguna. The first part of the race was pretty exciting! It was just a matter of staying on the track with the slicks once the rain started. But I managed to do that. Those who came in for wets had to come back in again to put the other tires on, so we gained on that. We just missed one yellow at the end of the race, but it was a great day!"
"It was a pity we were a little bit unlucky with the pit stops we had today. Otherwise, I think we could have ended up in the top five. We had certainly a top-five car; we were running strong all the time and everybody was putting in good lap times. It's just the way it played out. We were second early on, but the tire pressures shot through the roof, so we started losing a little bit because we couldn't keep the pace up, unfortunately. But it was great fun for the team and we hope we can do it again."