SEVENTH PLACE PAYS IN THE POINTS FOR NEW CENTURY DESPITE POWER STEERING SAGA AT THE GLEN WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (August 12, 2005) -- New Century Mortgage Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates was able to move up two positions to finish seventh...
SEVENTH PLACE PAYS IN THE POINTS FOR NEW CENTURY DESPITE POWER STEERING SAGA AT THE GLEN
WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (August 12, 2005) -- New Century Mortgage Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates was able to move up two positions to finish seventh at the conclusion of the two-hour, timed Rolex Series CompUSA 200 at Watkins Glen, but more importantly the team was able to overcome some tricky electrical troubles which effected to no.02 New Century Mortgage Lexus-Riley's power steering to move up a spot in the all important championship title race.
The driver pairing of Cort Wagner and Stefan Johansson went to work on the 23-car Daytona Prototype pack from the ninth position on the grid when the green flag unfurled and the sun began to set over New York's "Thunder Road". Wagner started the race and worked his way around The Glen's 2.45-mile "short course", adhering to team Managing Director Mike Hull's advice to be patient through traffic and keep focused on the job at hand. Wagner responded, and on Lap 39 of the 77-lap sprint race was in position to turn the team's DP over to closer Johansson.
When Johansson assumed the helm on Lap 40 with a full load of fuel and sticker Hoosier tires, he found himself in the top five despite increasing concerns stemming from surges resonating from the power steering unit. With experience and instinct on his side, Johansson motored on as only he could do, but more importantly kept the no.02 New Century Mortgage Lexus-Riley in one piece to finish seventh.
"We didn't have a bad race car by any means, it's just that the power steering issue made for an interesting race" said Johansson, who with Wagner move up to fourth in points with 215-- 67 in arrears of SunTrust Racing. "Every time I entered a turn I was guessing whether I'd have power or not. It basically held us at bay for the final laps due to the fact that I never knew when the steering would surge back on and jolt the car around."
Fans of New Century Mortgage Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates can follow the no.02 New Century Mortgage Lexus-Riley all season long by logging onto the Rolex Sports Car Series website at www.grandamerican.com for free live timing, and keep up with the team's successes throughout the 2005 season by logging onto the official website at www.chipganassiracing.com for news, features, photos and much more. Next up for the team is the EMCO Gears Classic, Saturday, August 27th (Tape Delay, SPEED Channel, 12:00 pm ET August 28th) at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course for Round 10 of the Rolex Sports Car Series.