Mid-Ohio: Pre-race notes

After a hard collision with the Cegwa Sport ...

After a hard collision with the Cegwa Sport #3 Toyota Daytona Prototype during practice on Friday, the Ferrari of Washington #33 Girard Perregaux Ferrari 360GT was left questionable for this evening's Rolex Series race. However Ferrari team manager Glenn Marquis said this morning that the car's repairs are nearly complete, and it will take its place on the starting grid for the race.

Marquis reported that he sent part of his crew back to the team's shop in Sterling, Va., to begin prepping the team's old race car to compete in the Paul Revere 250 at Daytona International Speedway next Thursday. Ferrari of Washington debuted its current new Ferrari earlier this month at California Speedway, but will bring out of retirement the older Ferrari, which carried the team to a five-race winning streak en route to the GT championship in 2002.

The Ferrari of Washington team and its drivers Cort Wagner and Brent Martini currently lead the GT class point standings by six points over the Marcus Motorsports #69 BMW M3 and its drivers Brian Cunningham and Hugh Plumb.

Cosmo Adjusting to Picchio

Although Guy Cosmo has logged several laps at the wheel of a Daytona Prototype, he is quickly learning that there is a huge difference between the different Daytona Prototype models. Cosmo raced in the Cegwa Sport #3 Toyota FABCAR Daytona Prototype at the Rolex 24 At Daytona and has joined Darren Law in the G&W Motorsports #8 BMW Picchio DP2 Daytona Prototype this weekend.

"It's definitely a big adjustment. So far, the adjustment isn't as easy as I thought it would be. This car requires a whole different thought process for me so far. I really have to give Darren a lot of credit, because the car is a lot more aggressive to drive," said Cosmo. "I really think this car is fast when they get it going. It has a little narrower window, but everyone here knows what it needs to keep it fast all the time, and that is just matter of time of developing the pieces and getting the whole thing together."

Marcus Thankful To Be Racing

Many people say they are 'just happy to be here,' but Marcus Motorsports truly means it. After losing its primary sponsor earlier this month, the #69 BMW M3 team and drivers Hugh Plumb and Brian Cunningham have been struggling to continue their quest for the GT championship. Jim Lichter drove the team's truck through the night from Richmond, Va., to make it to Mid-Ohio this morning after Hyper Fest came on board to help the team this weekend.

"We wouldn't be here this weekend if Hyper Fest hadn't helped us out," said Cunningham. "We're borrowing crew from one of the Grand-Am Cup teams, and we have the BMW car club coming in for support. It's hard to do this since losing our sponsor, but we are doing everything we can to stay in it for the championship."

Marcus and its drivers led the GT championship points earlier this season and are now in second place behind Ferrari of Washington.

Barbosa Hopes To Strengthen Lead

GTS points leader Joao Barbosa and the Mosler Automotive #31 Captain Craz Soap Mosler MT900R did not get to enjoy much of the Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen last weekend. Mechanical failure caused the Mosler to retire from the race after only 18 laps. Barbosa's early exit from round six, coupled with Heritage Motorsports drivers Tommy Riggins and Dave Machavern scoring their second-straight win in the class, greatly reduced Barbosa's powerful lead from 17 points to eight in the GTS driver standings.

This weekend Barbosa is determined to post a good finish to help his points lead. "The Mosler is very consistent. It's proven that it's very reliable. I think we have a good strategy for the race," said Barbosa, who will partner with Justin Bell for the 250-mile race.

The team had some concerns over the Mosler's oil pressure on Friday, but after disassembling and inspecting the car the crew could not find any problems and reports it is ready to race.

Bayliff Happy To Be Back Home

Although G&W Motorsports drivers Shawn Bayliff now lives near his team's garage in Alton, Va., its Lima, Ohio, that he calls home. The driver of the SRPII #70 BMW Picchio is enjoying not only racing at Mid-Ohio, but visiting with family and friends that have come to the race, including his father Budd, who is getting to spend time with his new granddaughter.

"It's good to have family and friends come over. I was the runner-up in the Formula Atlantic series in 1997, so it's just good to be back," said Bayliff, who will share driving duties with brothers Steve and Danny Marshall in this evening's race.

-garra-

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Guy Cosmo , Justin Bell , Darren Law , Joao Barbosa , Tommy Riggins , Brian Cunningham , Hugh Plumb , Shawn Bayliff , Cort Wagner