Ruby Tuesday Championship Racing Team 12-Hour Report from Rolex 24 at Daytona DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Jan. 28, 2007) -- After an alternator problem put the No. 23 Ruby Tuesday Championship Racing Team Porsche Crawford eight laps down early in the...
Ruby Tuesday Championship Racing Team 12-Hour Report from Rolex 24 at Daytona
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Jan. 28, 2007) -- After an alternator problem put the No. 23 Ruby Tuesday Championship Racing Team Porsche Crawford eight laps down early in the 45th running of the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series Rolex 24 at Daytona, the team's woes continued.
During German Jorg Bergmeister's second stint, he reported gearbox trouble. The only fortunate thing about the mechanical issue was the timing -- the team got the opportunity to fix the gearbox under caution on lap 232. Bergmeister headed to the garage and the Ruby Tuesday Championship Racing team went to work. Before the Alex Job Racing prepared Porsche Crawford returned to the track, it had a new gearbox, new brakes, new tires, and a new driver.
"During the yellow [flag], I couldn't get the car in third gear anymore," Bergmeister said referring to the gearbox problem. "So, we had to pit to change the gearbox and hopefully it will last."
With Patrick Long now piloting the machine, he had some work to do, as the car was now down 12 laps to the leaders and in 18th place. Long would pull a double stint that would have the car up to 14th, but still 12 laps off the pace before turning it over to the Frenchman Romain Dumas on lap 291.
Halfway through Dumas' second of two stints, light rain showers began to fall. On the leader's lap 349, the No. 82 Porsche GT3 Cup went off track and hit the guard rail forcing several of the cars behind him to check up. This chain of events caused the No. 99 Daytona Prototype to hit the No. 39 Daytona Prototype, which ultimately hit the left rear of the No. 23 Ruby Tuesday Championship Racing Team Porsche Crawford spinning it in Turn Two. The No. 23 continued, sustaining only minor body damage. This series of events brought out a full course caution, in which the No. 23 Porsche Crawford moved to 10th before the race was red flagged on lap 354 so that work crews could fix approximately 80 feet of guard rail.
"When the car is running, it is running good," Dumas said while waiting out the red flag. "We've picked up a few more spots and now we'll have to wait a see what happens. The car is running much better at night than during the day."
At the race's halfway point, Ruby Tuesday Championship Racing Team owner Alex Job was still optimist about team's chances despite the alternator and gearbox issues.
"It's been a pretty crazy race," Job said. "We've got a little bit of body work damage on the back of our car, but we are O.K. All things considered, we're back in the top 10 with half way to go. It's still a long shot to be on the podium or to win it, but you never know. The rain may throw a new twist to the race. We'll just keep plugging away and take it an hour at a time."