Ruhlman and Bingham Set to Take on the Streets of Long Beach in the ...
Ruhlman and Bingham Set to Take on the Streets of Long Beach in the #40 Derhaag Motorsports Daytona Prototype
Long Beach, Calif. (April 5, 2006) -- This weekend marks a return to the streets of Long Beach California for the drivers of the #40 Preformed Line Products Pontiac Riley for the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. Both Chris Bingham and Randy Ruhlman have driving experience at the Long Beach Grand Prix race and are looking forward to the challenges of this fast, 1.968-mile street course that runs along the beautiful Long Beach harbor. Bingham, who has concentrated on Grand American racing for the past few years, was at Long Beach in the Indy Lights program in 1997. Ruhlman's win at last year's Long Beach Grand Prix Trans-Am race marked the beginning of his run for the 2005 Trans-Am Drivers' Championship with Derhaag Motorsports.
The pair of drivers joined up as 2006 full season drivers for Derhaag Motorsports and Bingham and Ruhlman are ready to show what they have in these Daytona Prototype cars in Saturday's Rolex Cup race, the Crown Royal Grand American Challenge of Long Beach. Not only do the drivers have experience at the Long Beach track, but top race car engineer Buddy Fey and team owner Jim Derhaag of the Derhaag Motorsports team have a wealth of knowledge from which to draw. The team has competed at the Long Beach Grand Prix for over a decade in the Trans-Am Series, and won last year's race with Ruhlman at the helm.
Both Bingham and Ruhlman are confident of the improvements the car has made over the last several races and of their ability to learn the track quickly in the new car to make a good showing for the sponsors for the 4 PM PDT start on Saturday, April 8. Randy Ruhlman and Chris Bingham also have extensive racing experience in both road racing and NASCAR series.
On-track activities get started on Friday with a practice session from 8 -- 8:45 AM and qualifying from 3:55 -- 4:55 PM. An early morning warm-up on Sunday begins at 8 AM, and the race starts at 4 PM for the 90-minute race, with television coverage on SPEED, 9PM EDT (6PM PDT).
Chris Bingham, the two-time Grand American GTS champion, was a top competitor in Daytona Prototypes last year. Ruhlman, who just came off a successful 2005 season in the Trans-Am Series with wins at both the Long Beach Grand Prix and the Cleveland Grand Prix, has driven at the Long Beach Grand Prix since his Rookie Year in the 1990 Trans-Am Series.
Bingham, of Bellevue, Washington, is a professional racing driver with an impressive resume and years of experience. He has competed in the Busch Grand National Series, open wheel racing in Indy Lights as well as IRL and has extensive endurance racing experience. As a two-time Rolex Sports Car Series GTS champion, Bingham was nominated as one of the "Best Road Racers of the Year" in 2002. He made his return to full time Rolex Series racing in 2004, piloting the #15 CB Motorsports car, before joining the Derhaag Motorsports team for 2006.
As well as being the winner of the 2005 Long Beach Grand Prix Trans-Am race, Randy Ruhlman won the Cleveland Grand Prix, was named the 2005 BBS "Most Improved Driver of the Year", and was runner up for the 2005 Trans-Am Drivers' Championship. Ruhlman makes the record books as fourth in Top Ten finishes in Trans-Am history. A veteran racecar driver, Ruhlman has extensive racing experience, predominantly in road racing in the Trans-Am Series, as well as in IMSA, ASA and the NASCAR short track series..