Birmingham, AL (July 31, 2006) -- The Derhaag Motorsports ...
Birmingham, AL (July 31, 2006) -- The Derhaag Motorsports #40 Preformed Line Products Pontiac Riley with drivers Jonathan Cochet and Randy Ruhlman took the start at yesterday's three-hour Grand American Daytona Prototype race at Barber Motorsports Park. Though rain and extreme humidity made on and off track conditions uncomfortable throughout the weekend, the practice and qualifying sessions had the team excited about the prospects for the race, as the handling and power problems of previous races seemed to have been overcome.
The driver lineup the #40 Daytona Prototype for Round Eleven of the Rolex Cup presented by Crown Royal had team driver Randy Ruhlman joined by Renault F1 demonstration driver, Frenchman Jonathan Cochet. Cochet had a good qualifying session and was scheduled to drive the first stint of the three-hour race at the 2.3-mile track with Ruhlman scheduled to take over driving duties at the first fuel and tire stop.
As the car, starting in the 8th row of the 43-car combined DP and GT field, accelerated past the flag stand to take the green flag, Cochet found himself on the outside of Turn One for the start. In an attempt to avoid contact with other cars, Cochet chose to drop two wheels into the grass. Instead of an anticipated slide and loss of a couple of positions, the car came to an abrupt 4G stop as the nose buried itself in the wet mud and what looked to be one of the teams most promising chances came to an very unexpected and disappointing end.
The Grand American Daytona Prototypes head next to the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup weekend at Watkins Glen for the Royal Crown 200 at The Glen. The Rolex Series presented by Crown Royal Special race starts Friday, August 11th at 6:30 p.m. ET. The race will air same day, tape delayed until 9 p.m. ET on SPEED Channel.