Laguna Seca: KnightHawk preview

Knight, Block and Huertgen again for Laguna. September 19, 2002 Englewood, CO -- Steve Knight, Chad Block and Claudia Huertgen will join forces for their second straight race - and their assault on the LMP 675 class win - at the Monterey Sports...

Knight, Block and Huertgen again for Laguna.

September 19, 2002 Englewood, CO -- Steve Knight, Chad Block and Claudia Huertgen will join forces for their second straight race - and their assault on the LMP 675 class win - at the Monterey Sports Car Championships at Mazda Laguna Seca Raceway September 20 -- 22, 2002.

Knight, Block and Huertgen will pilot the team's #11 Gestetner/DNTLworks MG Lola 675 LMP on the famous 2.238-mile 11-turn road course. The 2-hour and 45-minute timed race will be televised live on NBC beginning Sunday, September 22 at 4:00pm EST.

KnightHawk is pleased to have signed the Gestetner-sponsored "up and comer" Block for the remaining three races of the 2002 ALMS season. Huertgen, last year's KnightHawk season teammate, reunited with the popular squad for the American Le Mans Series' last race at Mosport International Raceway in Canada.

The KnightHawk team is currently in a three-way tie with Team Bucknum and Archangel Motorsports for second place in the ALMS LMP 675 Team Championship -- and just a few shorts points shy of the category-leading Intersport Team.

"Of all the tracks I have driven in the world, Laguna Seca is my favorite. The course layout, the corkscrew and the beautiful California coastline make it a track that is envied by all others. We are set for a good race and hope to make a jump to first in team points with a good finish," said team co-owner and driver Steve Knight.

"I'm really excited about coming to Laguna Seca," said Huertgen. "It is my favorite track and I really like driving the MG Lola."

Block brings with him the support of the Gestetner Company. Gestetner offers leading-edge digital document management solutions, including digital duplicators, digital imaging systems, network laser printers and facsimile machines that deliver document output solutions for businesses of all sizes -- at speeds from 13-105ppm. For more information on Gestetner systems, please visit www.GestetnerUSA.com.

Block raced at Laguna Seca last year as part of the 2001 Star Mazda Series -- in fact, the series raced twice there last year. In the first race Block qualified 4th and finished 3rd. His second visit to the track was for the final race of the championship season.

During a race the previous week at Road Atlanta, Block took his first pole of the season, but was forced to pit while leading the race with a punctured tire. The charge then from 42nd in the field to 11th at the end left Block only 13 points shy of the championship title heading into the last race at Laguna. When Block arrived at the Salinas circuit for the season finale it was obvious how determined he was to win the championship.

With only one practice before the qualifying session Block and engineer Mike Williams made quick work of setting up his car. With only 15 minutes left in the qualifying session Block set a blistering lap that placed him almost a half-second ahead of the field.

The car was later found to have an illegal "non-performance effecting" part -- which put Block back to starting in last place (43rd on the grid) for the 45-minute timed event. In the first 3 laps Block had maneuvered into the top 20 -- but the field had already stretched apart. By the final few laps of the race Block had moved into the top 10 -- and 3 laps later finished the race in 5th place. Leaving the track at the end of the day Block still missed the championship by 13 points -- but he earned the series' "Rising Star of the Year Award."

"Once again I'm thrilled to be with KnightHawk for the race at Laguna Seca," said Block. "Laguna is my favorite venue and it'll definitely be the highlight of my season. I'm going to strap on the gloves and come out fighting -- I hope Gestetner and KnightHawk will be happy with the results. After losing my pole here last year in the Star Mazda Series -- and the championship -- I'm ready to go at it again!"

For a "Lap around Laguna Seca" commentary please visit Block's webpage at www.ChadBlock.com. Information on KnightHawk Racing can be garnered at www.knighthawkracing.com.

-knighthawk-

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About this article
Series ALMS
Drivers Chad Block , Steve Knight
Teams Williams