Aasco Motorsports Debuts 2005 Season with Top-Four FONTANA, Calif., April 3, 2005 -- Aasco Motorsports made an impressive 2005 Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series debut here at California Speedway today. The Dennis Aase-owned operation,...
Aasco Motorsports Debuts 2005 Season with Top-Four
FONTANA, Calif., April 3, 2005 -- Aasco Motorsports made an impressive 2005 Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series debut here at California Speedway today. The Dennis Aase-owned operation, from nearby Anaheim, qualified the No. 26 New Century Mortgage Porsche 911 GT3 Cup entry third in the GT class field for the Grand American 400. Two hours and 45-minutes after the green flag, Patrick Long (Las Vegas, Nev.) crossed the start-finish line with an impressive fourth-place in class. Long and teammate Pat Flanagan (Aliso Viejo, Calif.) ran as high as the lead in the event but a poorly timed yellow flag at the end of the race hurt their overall position. The duo fought back from as low as tenth to finish the day with the pairing's first top-five in Rolex Series competition.
Long took the green flag as the highest qualifying Porsche in the stacked 24-car, GT class field for street-based machines. He raced into the class lead in a commanding way on lap 13 and maintained that until stopping for fuel, tires and a driver change on lap 21. Flanagan, who was making his fourth Rolex Series start, then took over driving chores of the New Century machine leaving the pits in sixth position. Flanagan worked the car back up as high as third and kept it securely in the top-five in class before handing the wheel back to the Porsche factory driver in the last third of the race. The 2004 24 Hours of Le Mans GT class winner continued to make ground before a caution period came out with the overall leaders just in front of him, breaking his contact to the class leaders. Long didn't relent. Fighting for every inch of track here in his native California, Long re-took fourth with less than five minutes remaining in the timed event.
The race marked the first of six Grand American Rolex Series events that the Dennis Aase-owned team will enter this season. Flanagan and Long will next team at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca on May 1. The race is Aasco's third top-five in five races since the start of the 2004 season. It was Long's fourth Rolex Series start and matched his highest finish. It was also Flanagan's fourth start, upping his previous best, earned here last season, by one spot.
New Century Financial Corporation is a real estate investment trust and the country's second largest non-prime mortgage finance company. Founded in 1995, the Irvine, Calif. company is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker, NEW. New Century operates in 29 states with approximately 5,000 employees. The No. 26 is joined on-track by the No. 02 New Century-backed Daytona Prototype.
Pat Flanagan: "I want to thank Dennis and the crew from Aasco. They gave us an awesome car today. Patrick drove the wheels off the thing all day. We got caught out by the pace car and never got caught all the way back up but, overall, it was an awesome finish for the day. We didn't catch all the breaks we would have wanted but it was a good debut. We'll pack it up, head on to Laguna Seca and try to get on the podium up there."
Patrick Long: "I was really thrilled with the way the team and the driver lineup worked out for our first Grand American race of the season. We would have had something for them there at the end but we just got hung-out with the safety car coming between us and the leader. Still, everyone was really happy and I even managed to find a duel on the last lap. So, it was a lot of fun and I'm looking forward to moving on to Laguna Seca."
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