Watkins Glen III: Sigalsport race report

FANTASTIC 6TH PLACE FINISH FOR SIGALSPORT AT THE GLEN! Los Angeles, September 26, 2005: Gene Sigal and Matt Alhadeff drove the Sigalsport/ Alhadeff Companies / Motul / The Speed Gallery / GlycoMax / Kicks Porsche GT3 Cup to a well-deserved...

FANTASTIC 6TH PLACE FINISH FOR SIGALSPORT AT THE GLEN!

Los Angeles, September 26, 2005: Gene Sigal and Matt Alhadeff drove the Sigalsport/ Alhadeff Companies / Motul / The Speed Gallery / GlycoMax / Kicks Porsche GT3 Cup to a well-deserved sixth place finish at the Crown Royal 250 last Saturday at Watkins Glen International Raceway.

The twelfth round of the 2005 Grand American Rolex Series did not start very well for Sigalsport who lost car No. 05 in a massive accident on Thursday. Matt Alhadeff was practicing in the second session and was making his way up to the top ten GT cars when he spun entering one of the most difficult turns on the track. Traffic was heavy at the time of the session and a dozen cars avoided Matt's car then suddenly a DP, driven by Milka Duno, T-boned Matt's car at over 100mph. Luckily, thanks to the well designed safety equipment and well built roll cage, Matt was able to get out of the car, shaken but unhurt. This totally avoidable accident reduced car No. 05 to a wreck, forcing Sigalsport to withdraw their No. 05 entry and enter their second car (No. 04) for the rest of the event.

On Friday morning, Gene and Matt were able to practice in the freshly entered 04 Porsche but wet weather conditions did not allow both drivers to get enough track time. Matt qualified the Sigalsport No. 04 in 13th place.

The Sigalsport crew who worked very late on Thursday night to prepare car No. 04 for the event, once again did a great job and handed a very competitive and reliable car to their drivers for the race.

On race day Saturday, Matt and Gene who both enjoy racing at the Glen, had the explicit determination and motivation to do well in the race and did just that! Matt took the green flag and right away was able to keep up with the best of the GT pack. In only 13 laps, Matt was in the top ten then in 8th place before the halfway point of the race. Alhadeff also managed to drive laps faster in the race than in his qualifying performance and drove a long series of very consistent laps, not bad considering that the Rolex Series Rookie from Seattle, Washington was only racing in the ninth race of his career.

Gene Sigal took over the driving duty after 37 laps with the ultimate goal to preserve and perfect Matt's position in the race. After only four laps in the race, Gene was a very lucky spectator/passer-by of the multi-car accident involving six cars! >From Gene's onboard camera, TV viewers could see that Gene kept his line during the crash that happened before his eyes and he skillfully avoided any cars and debris from the violent wreck.

After 12 laps of yellow flag condition, Gene drove as fast as he could, despite the very slippery track, to finish sixth, and second out of ten Porsche cars entered in the race. This outstanding result is the best ever for Sigalsport in the GT class. After 21 Rolex Series races entered since Spring 2004, Sigalsport now has 14 top tens. This season Sigalsport finished 11 out of 12 races, demonstrating the great reliability record of the team's cars and the competitiveness of the Porsche team.

The Sigalsport team now has two more races left, in Virginia and Mexico City, to try to score points and eventually finish in the top ten in the GT ranking. Due to Thursday's accident eliminating car No. 04, and the mandatory change of entry, Sigalsport was not able to score points for car No. 05 last Saturday. This sixth place result would have been a fantastic opportunity for the team to achieve their announced top-ten championship goal before the end of the season but they will have to cross their fingers and hope for maximum points in the last two rounds.

The next race is scheduled for October 6-9 at Virginia International Raceway.

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Milka Duno , Gene Sigal