CB Motorsports/DLGL to debut new Lexus-Riley Daytona Prototype at California Speedway This Weekend This week marks the start of a fresh new beginning for Chris Bingham and Hugo GuÃ©nette as they are about to put their brand new Lexus-Riley ...
CB Motorsports/DLGL to debut new Lexus-Riley Daytona Prototype at California Speedway This Weekend
This week marks the start of a fresh new beginning for Chris Bingham and Hugo Guénette as they are about to put their brand new Lexus-Riley Daytona Prototype through initial testing. They received the car last week and pushed hard against the hands of time to find enough hours to get it painted and on the road to California Speedway in time for this weekend's Grand American Road Racing Associations Rolex Sports Car Series "Grand Am 400". The all-new CB Motorsports entry will be looking for a solid premiere, running for the first time in the very competitive Daytona Prototype class.
Bingham is about to complete a full return to racing after a boating accident put him out of action last year. He raced a Pontiac-Chase in a few prior Grand Am events - getting some valuable seat time and earning some very valuable driver and team championship points - but he was only running on borrowed wheels. Until now that is. The brand new Lexus-Riley he just received from Bill Riley's shop is his to tune, tweak and tear around in. It is his car in which to make his mark and he and his partner Hugo Guénette have made sure the car looks the part.
"We took delivery last week and have been scrambling to get everything ready with a new paint scheme from ESBG Design on the car. We also have a new paint scheme from CM2 Concepts on the transporter, cab, and on our Newell Motorhome."
The Riley MK XI has taken the series by storm with numerous race wins by the SunTrust and CompUSA-Felix Sabates teams over the last two seasons. Bingham knew he wanted his return to Grand Am to start with every possible advantage and so the Lexus-Riley combination was just what the doctor ordered.
"The Riley was the absolute best choice for us. And we also knew that Bill Riley is willing to share information with all his customers and that open- minded approach helps us tremendously in the area of development of the car and our level of familiarity with it. We know we can go to tracks and have information already at hand about setting up the car. That kind of support and information will put us that much further ahead of the development game.
"And I have always been a fan of the Lexus power plant. I felt comfortable going with a proven product and the TRD built motor has definitely proven itself in this series so far. We hope to add to the success story this motor has shown itself to be time and again."
Bingham is excited about how the CB Motorsports team is finally taking shape.
"Our program is really coming together! We will have a few new faces on the team this week. Doug Nagy will be our Crew chief. He worked with us when we ran the Saleen S7R (Bingham won consecutive Grand Am GTS championships in that car.) He also ran the Factory Saleen program and has many years of experience in other forms of racing.
"Marshall Pruett heads up Marshall Pruett Motorsports Engineering and he is also coming on board with CB Motorsports for this season. He has over 20 years experience in racing having worked with teams and drivers in IndyCar, Toyota Atlantic, SPEED World Challenge, Spec Miata, Sports 2000 and Pro Formula Mazda. He brings a lot to the table and we are counting on him to help us get over the initial phase of testing and tuning a brand new race car.
"We further expanded our team base with the addition of John Petherbridge as our General Manager. John will address our marketing, and promotional needs and will help with the overall operation of our team. His being here will help to take some of the weight of running the team off my shoulders, allowing me to spend more time concentrating on my driving this year. This will be my first full-time return to racing since my accident and I want to regain and develop the sharp skills needed to compete at the top level of sportscar racing that is found in the Daytona Prototype class in Grand AM.
"And I am really glad to say there will be many other familiar faces that worked with us in the past returning to help us collect championship points this season. And that is the goal, to run at a competitive pace every time out for the rest of this year, and continue to gather up as much valuable race experience as possible in preparation for a full season run in 2006.
"And it all starts this Thursday when we do our initial shakedown runs at California Speedway. We will be starting out fresh as a new team and we will be working hard to build on this program for the future. Hugo and I will be sharing the fun behind the wheel and it gives us both a great sense of confidence to know we will be in a Riley-built car that has so many experienced hands tending to it throughout the season."
Throughout the season, Hugo's father Jacque will be joining the team at select events. For the California race, other obligations will keep him occupied and away from the track.