CITGO/SAMAX Motorsport Drivers Third Overall in Standings Following Mexico City Saturday March 3, 2007. - Round 2 of the 2007 14-race Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series schedule in Mexico City was kinder to SAMAX Motorsport as the team picked up...
CITGO/SAMAX Motorsport Drivers Third Overall in Standings Following Mexico City
Saturday March 3, 2007. - Round 2 of the 2007 14-race Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series schedule in Mexico City was kinder to SAMAX Motorsport as the team picked up its best-ever result at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez with an 11th-place finish, only 0.158-second from 10th place at the conclusion of the 100-lap event. Saturday's race result places Las Vegas' Patrick Carpentier and Miami resident Milka Duno, who both finished second a month ago at the Rolex 24 at Daytona, in third place with 52 points each and within striking distance of first place in the driver's standing.
Starting 13th overall, the #11 CITGO/SAMAX Pontiac Riley lost some ground in the first half in the caution-free 400-kilometer race when Milka Duno in her 46 lap with her tires almost gone, was still able to advance to as high as 10th. Milka avoided major damage to her Daytona Prototype after going off course in corner 4 - making a last second hard braking maneuver to save the car from hitting the tire wall.
Carpentier took over following Milka's pit stop and brought the car back from 16th to 10th place by lap 90, but was not able to hang on and finished the race in 11th.
"It was a difficult weekend," commented Carpentier. "We did not have enough time to really set up the car properly. Our engineers did their best but we never got closer in test sessions than 1.5 seconds from the quickest car. Unfortunately, there was a miscommunication between the crew and myself at the end of the race, and I let a car by (#6 driven by Ian James) that I should have been able to keep at bay to get a Top-10 finish. We will do better at the next race at Homestead-Miami as we tested there late last year."
"We are improving with each visit to Mexico - which makes me very happy," said Duno. "But I want so very much to do better for the fans here because they are so supportive - it makes you want to do the best that you can. I was anxious for the race to start because we had been improving throughout the weekend and I was feeling really good for the start. But, right at the start two prototypes got together with one of them spinning right in front of me - slowing me down and placing me as far back as 15th - but I was able to recover to my original starting position and even advance to 10th - which unfortunately went away right at the end of my stint when my tires were almost all the way gone causing me to spin right before I was pitting. Patrick was excellent in his stint and if not for a radio problem we would have had a top-ten. The team was great, the fans were great, we were almost great - and I look forward to a better finish for the fans next year.
With a fourth-place finish, Scott Pruett still leads the standing with 63 points, followed by Max Angelelli and Jan Magnussen with 60 points each. Carpentier and Duno are tied for third place with 52 points each.
Round three of the 2007 14-race Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series schedule will be held in Florida at the 2.3-mile (3.7 Km) Homestead-Miami Speedway road course from Thursday, March 22 to Saturday March 24, 2007