A River Runs Through Genoa Racing's Hard Charge at Mid-Ohio--Ends Podium Streak
LEXINGTON, OH, August 6, 2011 - Round five of the American Le Mans Series-Presented by Tequila Patrón began today under sunny skies that shone down on Genoa Racing as the "Little Team that Could" began the race hungry to chase down Core Autosport and regain the points title.
The 2 hour and 45 minute battle today took place on the highly technical 13 turn, 2.258 mile layout was anticipated to be technical, and challenging-but a sudden downpour on lap 81 made the scenic circuit treacherous as teams and drivers struggled just to keep the high powered sports cars on the course as the race progressed at a floundering pace, only to end under a soaked red flag on a pit lane teeming with streaming water.
The rain also soaked Genoa's hopes to overtake the Championship title as their early charge to the front of the field was drowned by multiple driver changes and a stop-and-go penalty that lost them the ground gained prior to the storm and pushed them off their podium streak to end up fifth in the LMPC class for the day.
Genoa Pilot Eric Lux was in a hurry to take the green flag today in the No. 63 green dot/p.u.r.e./ZaisGroup ORECA FLM09 prototype. He launched his charge on lap one as he immediately began pouring on the speed. By lap seven he had run a lap a full three-tenths faster than the leader and was moving up the timing charts.
Not content with his gains, the 23 year-old, Buffalo, New York native kept up the momentum to move quickly to the top of the LMPC category and repeatedly swap P1 with challenger Intersport Racing. Lux consistently maintained lap times over a full second faster and ultimately on lap 34, Intersport was given a stop-and-go penalty for blocking--moving Lux and Genoa securely into the top position.
On lap 43, Lux hurriedly jumped out to make room for teammate Christian Zugel, but in his rush for a rapid driver change, the team was penalized for a rules infraction as Lux was already unbuckling his belts heading down pit lane in preparation for the change. Zugel made a smooth transition, but was forced into a stop-and-go penalty by ALMS Officials for the infraction-which gave Intersport the advantage.
A stop on lap 71 put Lux back into the driver's seat to take the Genoa team to the checkered flag. But as the end drew near, the rain made good on its threat, and saturated the track-and Genoa's winning ways.
This is my way to honor her memory and the rest of her family.
Team Manager Mark Scott managed to find a ray of sun amidst the downpour. "This was not the result we were hoping for today," he said. "But in the end, it really hasn't hurt us too much in the championship based on where the first three teams finished. We know we can do better at the next race; in fact today's result was based on mistakes of our own making. We potentially could have gone further-but that's how it goes."
This week, Lux added some new color to the 63 car, by adding a decal honoring the Jacquie Hirsch for A.L.L. Foundation. The Foundation, which was founded for the purpose of acquiring people, resources, funding and support that was established for the purpose of curing life-threatening cancer Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia. Hirsch, who passed away from this terrible illness at the tragic age of 23, was a friend of the Lux family.
"Jacquie (Hirsch) was the sister of my friend TJ, and she passed away in 2008 due to this terrible disease," said Lux. "She was my age and the battle was over very quickly. The doctors did everything they could, but it was a losing battle. This is my way to honor her memory and the rest of her family."