MIAMI QUALIFYING UNKIND AFTER WAGNER SLOWED BY SANDTRAP HOMESTEAD, Fla. (March 4, 2005) -- After Stefan Johansson posted the fastest practice time for the Daytona Prototypes yesterday, New Century Mortgage Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix...
MIAMI QUALIFYING UNKIND AFTER WAGNER SLOWED BY SANDTRAP
HOMESTEAD, Fla. (March 4, 2005) -- After Stefan Johansson posted the fastest practice time for the Daytona Prototypes yesterday, New Century Mortgage Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates co-driver Cort Wagner took the helm for qualifying for the 15-minute Rolex Series dash, but unfortunately found the sand trap and will start tomorrow's Grand Prix of Miami in the 20th DP spot.
Wagner, who authored a career best finish of second last year in DP competition at Homestead-Miami Speedway, was only able to clock in three orbits of the 2.3-mile infield road course before an off sidelined the no.02 New Century Mortgage Lexus-Riley and ended the session.
"I basically dropped a wheel on what was going to be our third lap, and dug the nose of the car into the sand," said Wagner. "It's a shame really because we had such a fast car in practice and we were focused on getting our first pole position for New Century Mortgage. The retaining areas in the corners have such a fine compound of sand that once you get a little too deep, it's over. I'm still optimistic for tomorrow's race. Stefan proved yesterday that we belong up front, and we'll do everything we can to get back there during the race."
Following the session, the New Century Mortgage crew had some minor work to perform in order to transform the 500hp Lexus-Riley back into its aforementioned front-running form. The team will change the front splitter and the nose before making their bid to take the checkered flag for tomorrow's 250-mile GP of Miami, Round 2 of the Rolex Sports Car Series.
Chip Ganassi Racing teammates Luis Diaz and Scott Pruett qualified fourth in the no.01 CompUSA Lexus-Riley with a top time of 1:15.763 (109.288mph).
Fans of New Century Mortgage Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates can catch the no.02 New Century Mortgage Lexus-Riley in action at the Grand Prix of Miami tomorrow at 3:00 pm ET (LIVE, SPEED Channel). Follow the team's progress throughout the race weekend by logging on to the Rolex Sports Car Series website at www.grandamerican.com for free live timing, and keep up with the team's successes throughout the 2005 season by logging onto the official website at www.chipganassiracing.com for news, features, photos and much more.