G&W Motorsports Scores Two Top-Five Finishes in 6 Heures du Circuit Mont-Tremblant Rx.com Drivers Hold Onto Second In Points Despite Rocky Weekend MONT-TREMBLANT, Quebec (May 23, 2004) - After a trying weekend at Le Circuit Mont-Tremblant, G&W...
G&W Motorsports Scores Two Top-Five Finishes in 6 Heures du Circuit
Rx.com Drivers Hold Onto Second In Points Despite Rocky Weekend
MONT-TREMBLANT, Quebec (May 23, 2004) - After a trying weekend at Le Circuit Mont-Tremblant, G&W Motorsports was able to score two top-five finishes in the GT and SGS classes and an impressive seventh-place finish overall with the Rx.com Daytona Prototype during the Rolex Sports Car Series 6 Heures du Circuit Mont-Tremblant.
Bad luck struck the team early in the event weekend when the GT-class No. 77 Porsche was involved in an accident during testing on Thursday. The trouble was compounded when engine woes struck the No. 81 Rx.com BMW Doran JE4 of points leaders Cort Wagner (Los Angeles, Calif.) and Kelly Collins (Newport Beach, Calif.), who were being joined by teammate Brent Martini (Corona del Mar, Calif.) for the first time this season after recovering from shoulder surgery.
Without a back-up engine on hand, the Rx.com Daytona Prototype missed all of the official practice and qualifying sessions while the team and its sponsor hurried to have a new Dinan BMW engine shipped to Quebec from California.
"Getting the engine here was a real cooperative effort between G&W Motorsports and Rx.com," explained Martini. "The sponsor actually drove down to the border to get it through customs and bring it back up to us (Saturday). We are so thankful to have a great sponsor like Rx.com that is willing to go the extra mile for the team."
With the new engine finally installed on Saturday evening, Rolex Series officials allowed the team to turn three hardship laps on Sunday morning to give the Rx.com car a quick shakedown before six-hour endurance race began.
Starting at the back of the Daytona Prototype field in 17th place, the trio of drivers was able to maneuver the Rx.com car through the field to a seventh-place finish despite its pit strategy being thrown off slightly when Martini had to bring the car in early.
"I have a little issue with the seat that caused my leg to go to sleep after about 60 minutes," explained Martini. "That's something we'll need to get worked out before Watkins Glen, because I had to bring the car earlier than we wanted."
Despite having no practice time in the car and working out a seat issue, Martini had a successful return to racing.
"Brent did a great job in his first race back, especially since he didn't have much seat time this weekend. He was competitive and got faster each lap," noted Wagner, who won the Rolex Series GT championship last year with Martini.
"It was definitely less than ideal conditions, but its still great to be back," added Martini. "Overall (the car) felt great. My shoulder feels good and the team did an amazing job this weekend."
While drivers gave a valiant effort at the wheel of a car with a new engine on a racetrack they had no time to practice on, all three credit the Rx.com G&W Motorsports team with pulling them through the tough weekend and giving them a car that was able to run the fourth-fastest lap of the race.
"Even though we missed all the practice and qualifying sessions, we really had a good set-up. The car handled a lot better than any of us thought it would. We could run really competitive laps, and we're happy with our finish," said Collins.
The seventh-place finish did drop Wagner and Collins out of the points lead, however the pair did not fall very far. In the unofficial point standings following the race, the duo are tied for second place, only two points behind race winners Scott Pruett and Max Papis from CompUSA Chip Ganassi Racing.
"Even though we lost the points lead, we're only two points down to Pruett and Papis. We'll get them back at The Glen," remarked Collins.
G&W Motorsports' second Daytona Prototype, the No. 80 BMW Picchio DP2 of Hugo Guenette (Blainville, Quebec), Jacques Guenette Sr. (Laval, Quebec) and Philippe Letourneau (Montreal, Quebec), spent a large portion of the first half of the race behind the wall for repairs after a collision. The three French Canadian drivers ended up finishing 36th overall and 17th in the Daytona Prototype class.
SGS & GT PORSCHES SCORE TOP-FIVE FINISHES
Both of G&W Motorsports Porsches scored top-five finishes in the GT and SGS classes. After undergoing major repairs from its accident during testing, the No. 77 Porsche GT3 RS turned the eighth-fastest lap time during GT qualifying with Spencer Pumpelly (Mason Neck, Va.) at the wheel. However a paperwork error resulted in series officials sending the No. 77 Porsche to very back of the grid in the 38th position overall for the start of the race.
But a poor starting position did little to deter Pumpelly, Mark Greenberg (Boston, Mass.) and Robin Lindell (England), who bullied their way through the field to run in the top three before finishing fifth in the GT class.
The team's No. 86 Porsche started the race fifth in the SGS class with David Murry (Cumming, Ga.) at the wheel. The car also ran in its class' top three during the race before finishing fifth.
"That was my best finish so far, so I'm very happy," said driver Mae Van Wijk (Kingwood, Texas), who shared the No. 86 Porsche with Murry and Tracy Krohn (Houston, Texas). "This was my first time racing at Mont-Tremblant, and I think it is a beautiful track. It's really a driver's course with all the elevation changes and a few of the corner combinations."
COLLISION PUTS TEAM OUT OF CONTENTION IN GRAND-AM CUP RACE
In addition to fielding four cars in the Rolex Series this weekend, G&W Motorsports also ran the No. 81 Porsche 996 in the Grand-Am Cup Series Mont-Tremblant 250 held on Saturday.
Tracy Krohn (Houston, Texas) qualified the Porsche he shares with Joe Fox (Charlotte, N.C.) 12th for the race. The duo had the car running in the top-10 when contact with another race car sent the Porsche into the pits for repairs. The team was able to hold onto a 12th-place finish in the Grand Sport class, 17th overall.
NEXT UP - SAHLEN'S SPORTS CAR GRAND PRIX
Next up for the G&W Motorsports team is the Sahlen's Sports Car Grand Prix at Watkins Glen International, June 18-20. All four Rolex Series cars will compete in the Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen, while the Grand-Am Cup car will run in the Grand-Am Cup 250.
For more information and tickets to the Sahlen's Sports Car Grand Prix visit www.theglen.com.