Miami, FL. Hometown driver Eliseo Salazar, Stephan Gregoire, and Iradj Alexander drove the ...
Miami, FL. Hometown driver Eliseo Salazar, Stephan Gregoire, and Iradj Alexander drove the #28 JMB Racing USA Ferrari 360 Modena GT to a 5th place finish today on the streets of downtown Miami. The #29 Ferrari piloted by Stephen Earle and Mark Neuhaus finished in 11th position in the Grand Prix Americas presented by Sportsbook.com.
Eliseo Salazar started 8th in the GT class and had a great first stint. "We knew that there was going to be a lot of bumping and rubbing going on out there, so our primary concern was to not put ourselves in a position to be taken out of the race. On a track like this, you need to be extra cautious," stated Salazar.
The #28 car was slowly working its way up the timing charts when a flat tire in the closing moments of the race forced the car to the pits. The tire was changed and the car was quickly sent back out without losing a position. And then Mother Nature decided to throw a curve ball as the skies began to open with approximately ten minutes remaining in the race. The track became very slick, but the team decided to stay out instead of coming in for rain tires, and it paid off, as Salazar crossed the line to bring home a well-driven 5th place.
Stephen Earle started the #29 Ferrari from the 17th position, and quickly began to pick up positions. Earle and co-driver Mark Neuhaus had moved their way into the 10th position when another car got into the back of Neuhaus and forced him into the wall in the final moments of the race. The car eventually finished 11th in class.
It was a hot and humid day in Miami, which as normal played a big role in the race with a number of drivers suffering from heat exhaustion. "It was just really hot out there today," noted Stephan Gregoire. "During the caution periods it was the worst because we weren't getting any air flow through the car. The heat was incredible, just another day in South Florida."
JMB Racing USA now moves on to the Petit Le Mans, the final race of the American Le Mans Series at Road Atlanta on October 18, 2003. The 10 hour or 1000 miles race is a pre-qualifying race for the 2004 edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, with the winners of each category automatically receiving an invitation to race at the famed French classic. The race will be broadcast on Speed Channel beginning at 11:00 am (EDT).