Pontiac Driver Paul Edwards Going For Three In A Row In Mexico City Banner Racing GXP.R Driver Looks For Hat-Trick Banner Racing Pontiac GXP.R driver Paul Edwards will be looking for the Hat-Trick in Mexico City this weekend. The young ...
Pontiac Driver Paul Edwards Going For Three In A Row In Mexico City
Banner Racing GXP.R Driver Looks For Hat-Trick
Banner Racing Pontiac GXP.R driver Paul Edwards will be looking for the Hat-Trick in Mexico City this weekend.
The young Californian has been able to amass a perfect two win record in as many Grand-Am races at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez located in the heart of Mexico City .
In 2005, the Pontiac GTO.R was the platform for Edward's first Mexico City win. Co-driving with Jan Magnussen the duo were able to utilize a strong, no mistake, run to take the GT win in the Grand-Am series' first visit to the track. Along with trying to win his third in a row at the Mexican track, Edwards will also be looking to add to his seven career wins in the Grand-Am GT series.
In 2006, Edwards combined with Kelly Collins to take victory number two in Mexico City also at the wheel of the GTO.R.
"I have been lucky to have good cars and great co-drivers the last two years," Edwards said. "The Mexico City track is a great circuit. The long straight really lets the LS2 engine unwind and go. The back side of the track with the fast esses lets us take advantage of the handling and downforce of the GTO.R as well as allowed the drivers to show their stuff. In 2005 we had the opportunity to go through the baseball stadium which added a few more turns and was a great combination of corners as the stands were full of passionate local fans."
This year, Edwards will have the new No. 7 Banner Racing Pontiac GXP.R to wheel around the 2.5-mile, 14-turn Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez circuit. The Banner Racing team debuted the new GXP.Rs and made a strong showing in the season opening Rolex 24 hours at Daytona, finishing second with teammate Kelly Collins and fill-in driver Andy Pilgrim, Edwards is keen to keep the momentum going. In the teams companion No. 06 GXP.R, team owner Leighton Reese, Tim Lewis and Johnny O'Connell brought their new GXP.R to the line in fifth place.
"We had a very reliable car at Daytona," Edwards commented. "The car handled well and the team did a great job, we just had to pit for gas, tires and a fresh driver. The car never went back to the paddock for prolonged repairs. For a brand new car, the race could have only gone better if we were one more step up on the podium. We are a little down on horsepower compared to our top GT competitors with the way the rules are right now, but we are keeping in the game with strong drives, good pit work and consistent lap times."
"This year's race in Mexico City will be a lot tougher than the last two. We need a good handling car in the corners and especially the fast sweepers; this will be key to a good lap time. The tire is different this year so the handling issues will be new. We need to keep the tires under us so we have something left at the end. Critical to a good lap will be getting off of that last fast sweeper to maximize our speed down the long straight, since we are a little down on horsepower to our competition. Kelly was fast there last year as well, so we know the track. The real advantage for us is mechanical under the car with the setup. We can try and team up on qualifying and make the most of it. We need a consistent race with a quality pit stop. We haven't stopped developing the car; I think we have made some strides since Daytona."
The duo of Edwards and Collins currently are second with teammates Leighton Reese and Tim Lewis fifth in the GT point standings as a result of their excellent effort at the Rolex 24. The team is well positioned to be a factor in the 2007 Grand-Am GT series championship.
-credit: gm racing