Watkins Glen: Cort Wagner preview

Two-Time GT Champ Taking Aim at Daytona Prototype Crown ALTON, Va. (June 11, 2004) - Cort Wagner has amassed an impressive collection of Rolex watches over the last few years. The Rx.com G&W Motorsports driver picked up his first watch at the...

Two-Time GT Champ Taking Aim at Daytona Prototype Crown

ALTON, Va. (June 11, 2004) - Cort Wagner has amassed an impressive collection of Rolex watches over the last few years. The Rx.com G&W Motorsports driver picked up his first watch at the 1999 Rolex 24 At Daytona, winning the GT class at the wheel of a Porsche. He scored two more Rolex Oyster Perpetual Daytona Cosmograph watches when he won back-to-back Rolex Sports Car Series GT driver championships in a Ferrari in 2002-03.

Now Wagner is looking to add a fourth Rolex watch to his collection; this time with the words 'Daytona Prototype Champion' engraved on it.

The 2004 season marked Wagner's debut in the Daytona Prototype class. After achieving remarkable success as a GT driver, the Los Angeles native decided it was time to make his move into the Rolex Series' premier class.

"It has really been great making the transition from GT to the Daytona Prototype," said Wagner, currently second in the Daytona Prototype driver point standings. "I have been driving GT cars so long that I have kind of been carrying this 'GT driver' stigma; one I am happy to shed.

"I love driving these new cars," he continued. "The racing is excellent. So many of us are so close in speed and lap times that we can have some real battles. In sports car racing, that's not an easy formula, but I have to say that I truly believe Jim France has hit the nail on the head with this one."

In only their second season, the Daytona Prototypes have captured everyone's attention in the motorsports community with the class' tremendous growth. What started as only six cars at the 2003 Rolex 24 has grown to nearly 20 expected for this weekend's Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen.

"As can be seen by the numbers, the Daytona Prototypes are truly a success, and I am proud to be a part of it, much less in the hunt for the championship," said Wagner. "Through consistency and being well prepared, the Rx.com G&W Motorsports team allowed Kelly (Collins) and I to take the points lead in Phoenix. And when faced with adversity at Mont-Tremblant, the team soldiered through and kept us within two points of the new leaders."

G&W Motorsports was one of the first teams to announce their entry into the Daytona Prototype class and is one of only three teams to compete in every Daytona Prototype race. Just like Wagner, G&W made its mark in GT racing, winning three Rolex Series Grand Touring division championships.

When the team decided to up its Daytona Prototype efforts and add a second car to its stable, it was only natural to look to Wagner to pilot the No. 81 Rx.com BMW Doran JE4. Kelly Collins, who shared the 1999 Rolex 24 GT win with Wagner, also started the season with the Rx.com G&W Motorsports team, and last month, Wagner was reunited with his 2003 co-champion, Brent Martini, who returned from an injury.

Even though it's his rookie season in the Daytona Prototype class, Wagner has already proven how serious he is about winning his third-straight Rolex Series championship and first in the premier Daytona Prototype class. A fourth-place finish at this year's Rolex 24 was followed up by a pair of podium finishes in Miami and Phoenix, propelling Wagner and Collins into the points lead.

Engine trouble last month in Mont-Tremblant caused the team to miss every practice session before the race, but the No. 81 Rx.com BMW Doran still brought in a respectable seventh-place finish. Although it cost Wagner and Collins the points lead, the pair trails new leaders Max Papis and Scott Pruett by only two points heading into this weekend's Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen.

Last season, the Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen was Wagner and Martini's first win of the season en route to their driver, team and manufacturer championships in the GT class. This weekend, Wagner hopes history will repeat itself; this time in a Daytona Prototype.

Portions of the Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen will be broadcast live on SPEED Channel on Sunday, June 20, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tickets for the race and the entire Sahlen's Sports Car Grand Prix weekend are available online at www.theglen.com.

G&W Motorsports, based outside of Danville, Va., at Virginia International Raceway, is the most successful team in the Rolex Sports Car Series, capturing the inaugural GT championship in 2000, both the GT and GTS championships in 2001 and the SRP II championship in 2003. G&W Motorsports is the only team to compete in every Rolex Series race since the series' inception, accumulating 15 class wins and 45 podium finishes in class. For additional information on G&W Motorsports, visit www.gandwmotorsports.com.

More information on the Rolex Sports Car Series is available at www.grandamerican.com.

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Max Papis , Kelly Collins , Cort Wagner