LADY LUCK ABSENT AGAIN AS SAMAX MOTORSPORT PONTIAC RILEY RETIRES AGAIN, THIS TIME IN ALABAMA Sunday, July 22, 2007 - The SAMAX Motorsport Pontiac Riley of Kris Szekeres and Patrick Carpentier had another short day of work in Sunday's Round 10...
LADY LUCK ABSENT AGAIN AS SAMAX MOTORSPORT PONTIAC RILEY RETIRES AGAIN, THIS TIME IN ALABAMA
Sunday, July 22, 2007 - The SAMAX Motorsport Pontiac Riley of Kris Szekeres and Patrick Carpentier had another short day of work in Sunday's Round 10 of the 2007 Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series held at the 2.3-mile (3.7-Km) road course located near Birmingham, Alabama.
Kris Szekeres had qualified the SAMAX Pontiac Riley in 10th place in Saturday's session. In the race, the Hartland, Michigan driver was running in 11th place when he spun on lap seven and was hit while he was stationary by the #76 Krohn Racing Pontiac Riley driven by Tracy Krohn. Szekeres pitted to have the car checked. He returned to the track before stopping again on the following lap while the race was under caution - Patrick Carpentier taking over the ride.
"Things could be better," said Szekeres after the race. "I lost a position at the start of the race and I was trying to get it back when I was hit from behind again and spun the car. Up until then, the car was running well but when Patrick took over, the telemetry engineer noticed something wrong with the oil pressure and Patrick was complaining over the radio that the car was misfiring. I don't understand what happened this time because I kept the engine running and I didn't run it in reverse. It's a shame because we are just welcoming a new sponsor to the team with Eldorado Casino and Resort in Reno, Nevada and Shreveport, Louisiana coming on board for the next couple of races. We will do better in Montreal."
After Patrick Carpentier took over from his teammate Szekeres, he noticed something wrong with the engine and brought it back to pits on lap 24 after driving the #11 Pontiac Riley for just 10 laps.
"The last four or five races, I've run very few race laps," Carpentier said during his television interview. "I ran a couple today, but the car was not running well. When it went backward during the race incident, it must have somehow damaged something in the engine. We've just had a bit of bad luck lately, hopefully things will get better for SAMAX when race engineer Steve Challis returns to the team for the next race in Montreal. I hope things will improve because this is where I want to be racing in the next four to five years."
It was win number five of the season after 99 laps for car #99 driven by Alex Gurney and Jon Fogarty which crossed the finish line six seconds ahead of Colin Braun and Nic Jonsson who had their third runner up result of the year. Third place went to Max Angelelli and Memo Gidley to make this a Pontiac Riley podium sweep. Scott Pruett, fifth in the race in Alabama, is still leading the standings with an 11-point advance on Max Angelelli going into the next race in Montreal.
Round 11 of the 2007, 14-race, Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series schedule will be held next August 3rd at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal.
SAMAX Motorsport, based in Pompano Beach, Florida, is in its third year of competition in the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series. More information on SAMAX Motorsport is available at www.samaxmotorsport.com. Learn more about Grand-Am at www.grand-am.com