Prodrive Ferrari take top spot in GTS at Laguna Seca Red-suited Ferrari drivers from the Care Racing and Prodrive Ferrari stable finished today's 7th round of the American Le Mans Series at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in 1st and 2nd positions on...
Prodrive Ferrari take top spot in GTS at Laguna Seca
Red-suited Ferrari drivers from the Care Racing and Prodrive Ferrari stable finished today's 7th round of the American Le Mans Series at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in 1st and 2nd positions on the track in the GTS category. However, the car which took the chequered flag first in class, #88, was later excluded from the results due to a technical infringement in post- race scrutineering concerning the engine stall test. The team appealed to the Stewards of the Meeting against the exclusion, but the decision of the Race Director was upheld.
Prodrive Ferrari Team Principal, George Howard-Chappell, commented: "It's a real shame to be excluded like this. Obviously we don't dispute the fact that the car failed the stall test - in fact the airbox actually failed during the stall test carried out by the Stewards during post-race scrutineering. Inspection of the ACO recorded data shows that both cars were fully in compliance with the regulations throughout the entire race, and I feel very badly for the whole team to have the car excluded on a technicality as a result of the failure of a component."
David Brabham of Australia and Dane Jan Magnussen inherited 1st place in the category from their luckless team-mates, Enge and Kox, the team thereby still profiting from maximum points towards the Manufacturers' Championship.
The two Ferrari 550 Maranellos qualified 1-2 in the class, had been fastest in almost every practice session, and headed the GTS field throughout the race - lapping the team's closest rivals, Corvette .
The race itself was incident packed and both cars received minor contact damage though this did not hinder progress to victory. The only substantial amount of time lost was when car #80 was called in for a stop/go penalty in the closing stages of the race, after contact with a GT car at the top of the Corkscrew, thereby losing the class lead to the team's sister car.
Jan Magnussen (DK), car 80:
"This is not how either David or I want to win a race. [Brabham had already left for Australia when the results of the appeal were heard]. It was important for the team to have us 1st and 2nd. To have the win on its own is better than nothing but Tomas and Peter deserved their victory today, not us. We will get our own on other occasions."
Tomas Enge (CZ), car 88:
"Our main aim today was to bring both cars home at the head of the GTS category. That was our circuit today and we deserved the victory because of what we did on the track. What happens afterwards was not in our hands."
Peter Kox (NL), car 88 (who was suffering from flu throughout the race):
"It's obviously very disappointing and I don't think it's fair at all. Despite everything that happened after the race finished, I still want to thank all the team for the hard work they've put in, both here and at the Prodrive base in England. The Michelin tyres really gave us an edge here, as well as some new aerodynamic devices we've developed, and it all paid off."