Birmingham: Max Papis Racing race report

Papis and Fittipaldi Bring Home Eighth-Place Finish Despite Losing Gamble With the Weather Max Papis and Christian Fittipaldi drove the ...

Papis and Fittipaldi Bring Home Eighth-Place Finish Despite Losing Gamble With the Weather

Max Papis and Christian Fittipaldi drove the #39 Crown Royal Special Reserve Cheever Racing Porsche Crawford to an eighth-place finish at the Grand American Rolex Series Porsche 250 at Barber Motorsports Park, just west of Birmingham.

They employed a one-stop strategy for the 97-lap race over the 2.3-mile, 16-turn road circuit, hoping that one stop was in sync with what looked to be a certain line of thunderstorms arriving in the area a little more than an hour into the 2-hour, 45-minute main event. But even though dark clouds and bolts of lightning surrounded the scenic track at the previously determined time, not a drop of rain made it to the track itself. And that lap-59 pit stop, when Fittipaldi handed the Crown Royal racing machine over to his teammate Papis after leading some 24 laps, came under green and cost valuable track position on a track where passing was difficult to begin with. Papis resumed in 14th place, made a solid bid to work his way back to the front, and ended up eighth when the checkered flag flew.

Next up is the Crown Royal 200 at The Glen, a Friday-night race set for Aug. 11 at Watkins Glen, N.Y.

CHRISTIAN FITTIPALDI

"We stuck to our strategy and unfortunately it didn't work out. If everything would have been perfect, we would have probably been fourth or fifth. But the Crown Royal car ran very, very well, just as we had hoped. We were a bit confused about what happened in qualifying after we were P1 in both practice sessions on Friday. But it was a good feeling to get back to normal with the car feeling just as strong in the race today. The only thing that hurt us was the strategy not working out in our favor. But we'll take eighth place on a day like today."

MAX PAPIS

"We gave it everything we could. We were very pleased with the work we did this weekend. Unfortunately, for whatever reasons, it didn't come out the way we had planned. We finished eighth, which isn't as good as we looked in practice on Friday's two practice sessions. The two sessions that mattered the most - qualifying and the race - didn't work out as well. But Friday's practices, and the strong run we made in the race, are definitely something to build on for the next race. I think Watkins Glen is a racetrack that really owes this team one after what happened there the last time. So this will be a hungry group going to The Glen."

-www.maxpapis.com

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Max Papis , Christian Fittipaldi