AUBERLEN, ALHADEFF AND HAND FINISHED 15TH AT THE SIX HOURS OF THE GLEN Los Angeles, California, June 12, 2007 - The Luggage Express Team Sigalsport BMW with co-drivers Bill Auberlen, Matt Alhadeff and Joey Hand finished 15th in the Sahlen's Six...
AUBERLEN, ALHADEFF AND HAND FINISHED 15TH AT THE SIX HOURS OF THE GLEN
Los Angeles, California, June 12, 2007 - The Luggage Express Team Sigalsport BMW with co-drivers Bill Auberlen, Matt Alhadeff and Joey Hand finished 15th in the Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen last Saturday at Watkins Glen International although they ran in second place for over an hour.
On Saturday, Bill Auberlen qualified the 05 Sigalsport BMW machine in 7th place. The three Sigalsport BMW drivers drove in the top five for half of the race until an unexpected oil pump belt mechanical incident ruined the team's effort on lap 118, 1 hour 45 minutes before the end of the six hour race. Thanks to an exceptional move, Luggage Express Team Sigalsport BMW lead mechanic James Nero saved the team's day when he was able to reinstall the belt on the oil pump. Unfortunately the 05 car lost three laps in the process and despite a strong finish and a great piece of driving from Matt Alhadeff in the last stint, the 05 Luggage Express Sigalsport BMW Riley finished 15th in the race.
Bill Auberlen took a great start and went from 7th to 2nd in only 4 laps. At the end of his stint Auberlen was third and gave the wheel to Joey Hand on lap 22. Joey drove an exceptional two-hour double stint and almost took the race lead after battling with Marc Goossens' 91 car on lap 66. Alhadeff took over the wheel on lap 76 while in 4th place. At the end of Matt's stint a mechanical problem occurred. Debris from the racetrack flew into the belt drive assembly on the engine causing an immediate warning on the MOTEC telemetry system. Matt was able to stop right away while running in seventh place and his action saved the Dinan BMW V8 engine. Thanks to an exceptional move, Luggage Express Team Sigalsport BMW lead mechanic James Nero was able to reinstall the belt on the oil pump in less than 5 minutes which saved the day for the entire team. Bill took over the wheel during the pit stop but the 05 car lost eight positions and three laps for this unexpected problem.
40 minutes before the end of the race, Alhadeff took over the 05 car for the last stint. He did a very good job while running with the leaders and showed what he is capable of, a good sign in anticipation of the next 8 races to go before the end of the 2007 Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car series season.
The 05 Luggage express Team Sigalsport Dinan BMW finished 15th but the team proved once again that it is one of the most competitive teams in the series and that it will be a factor in the next events.
The Rolex Sports Car Series continues its season June 23 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio.