Long Beach: Fusion Racing/MSR race report

Graydon Elliott Fusion Racing with MSR finishes ninth in Long Beach debut (Long Beach, CA) 8 April 06-- Graydon Elliott Fusion Racing with MSR finished ninth in the Crown Royal Grand American Challenge of Long Beach on Saturday with Cort Wagner...

Graydon Elliott Fusion Racing with MSR finishes ninth in Long Beach debut

(Long Beach, CA) 8 April 06-- Graydon Elliott Fusion Racing with MSR finished ninth in the Crown Royal Grand American Challenge of Long Beach on Saturday with Cort Wagner and Mike Borkowski teaming up in the Lexus-powered Graydon Elliott Riley to score the second top-ten of the season for Fusion Racing.

Wagner, who had never driven the track before qualifying on Friday, started the race from seventeenth and held his ground in the early laps in his debut with Fusion Racing before turning the Graydon Elliott machine over to Borkowski during a yellow flag period early in the race.

"The track got very slick right away, so the car was a bit of a handful," said the 2002 and 2003 Rolex GT Champion Wagner. "I was really busy out there, working to learn the track a bit still, and still trying to make up time to the leaders, so when the balance went off, things were a bit tricky. But, it was great to be racing on this track for the first time, and we stayed out of trouble to take a top ten at the end."

Borkowski, who has raced on a wide range of street events in his career, restarted from fifteenth, and worked his way forward to cross the finish line in ninth despite the difficult track conditions.

"I was hoping to make up more positions there in the closing laps, but unfortunately, the braking in the car seemed to go away, and I just didn't want to take any chances," said Borkowski. "So I struggled a bit with that, but we were able to avoid any kind of trouble, so we'll take this top ten and just get ready for VIR."

The weekend was not a banner one for the team, as a problem with a header kept Wagner from qualifying further up the field, but after seeing several competing cars return to the paddock with crash damage, the top-ten result was a good take-away from the race weekend.

"We were a bit behind the eight ball this weekend with not getting all the track time we could have, but we just wanted to have a clean race, and getting up into the top ten at the finish is definitely going to help us out points-wise," said Mike Shank. "We didn't have the best car for the guys today, but they did a great job and kept the nose clean, so we'll take the points and get ready for VIR."

The team will have the chance to return to the podium as it did in Mexico City in two weeks' time at Virginia International Raceway.

-fr/msr-

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Mike Borkowski , Cort Wagner