Synergy Extends Points Lead with Second Place at Mont-Tremblant Rx.com Daytona Prototype Scores Season's Best Finish MONT-TREMBLANT, Quebec (May 21, 2005) -- Synergy Racing drivers Craig Stanton (Long Beach, Calif.) and David Murry (Atlanta, ...
Synergy Extends Points Lead with Second Place at Mont-Tremblant
Rx.com Daytona Prototype Scores Season's Best Finish
MONT-TREMBLANT, Quebec (May 21, 2005) -- Synergy Racing drivers Craig Stanton (Long Beach, Calif.) and David Murry (Atlanta, Ga.) captured second place in the GT class at the 6 Heures du Circuit Mont-Tremblant on Saturday, extending Stanton's lead in the driver championship points race to 22 points.
"I'm ecstatic to be so far ahead in the points," exclaimed Stanton, who won the Grand-Am Cup driver championship last year. "We are a third of the way through the season and that's really exciting. It's not just David. It's not just me. It's the whole Synergy team. This type of sport is a whole team effort. It starts with (team owner) Cole (Scrogham) and (Director of Racing Operations) Price (Cobb) and it all filters down. David and I have the easy part. We just go out there and drive the good cars they give us."
The second-place finish by the No. 80 Porsche also moves Synergy Racing into the lead in the team championship standings, in addition to advancing Murry into second place in the driver standings behind his teammate.
The duo's success did not come easily. Steady rain fell on Le Circuit Mont-Tremblant at the start of the race, resulting in several extended cautions during the first half of the race due to accidents.
"It was horrible out there. You couldn't see anything," said Murry, who started the No. 80 Porsche fifth on the GT grid. "I didn't want to lose touch with the leaders, but I wanted to be careful. I saw one of the other Porsches hit a puddle and going flying off the track, which cost them a lot of track positions. I was trying my best to avoid becoming another casualty of the weather, while also taking advantage of the attrition and keeping some pressure on the leaders."
As the track began to dry, the battle for the lead came down to Synergy's No. 80 Porsche and PTG's No. 22 BMW. The two exchanged the GT lead several times in the closing hours, but at the checkered, it was the BMW that was able to pull out the victory.
"It was a good moral victory today," Stanton remarked. "We got second place, which is tough in this arena where everyone is raising the bar. My goal is for top-four finishes the whole year and trying to be consistent. That's how you win championships. You do all your work in-between the races, and then you come to race to prove it. That's always been my philosophy and its great to work with a team that feels the same way."
Rx.com Daytona Prototype Scores Season's Best Finish Brothers Burt and Brian Frisselle (Aventura, Fla.) were finally able to shake the bad luck that plagued them in the Rx.com No. 8 BMW Doran JE4 for most of the season, picking up their best finish to date of ninth in the six-hour enduro.
Elder brother Burt started the Rx.com Daytona Prototype 11th and charged to the front in the treacherous rainy conditions at the start of the race. "That was one of the toughest stints I have ever done in my life," Burt said. "It took 100 percent concentration on every corner, and I had to balance trying to be fast and making clean passes with just keeping the car on the track. Every time I would begin to feel comfortable and try and push that extra percent, I'd have a close call and have to pull back just that little bit."
Despite the weather, Brain was pretty happy with the performance of the Rx.com machine. "That was the best handling race car we have had all year, and I'm excited about how much we improved during the weekend," he said. "Even though we didn't finish up front like we wanted, we have to be happy to get through a six-hour race that had all kinds of tricky conditions without having anyone hit us or having any other problems."
"The more time I get in the car, the more confidence I get. And, I feel like we absolutely have a good chance to be competitive every time we go out, so I'm looking forward to The Glen," Brian continued.
"I think Brian did a fantastic job in the car and really showed that he belongs to be here and that he's able to get the most out of the car no matter what the conditions are," Burt added. "We were very fast in some segments of the race, but we haven't put a whole race together yet, so we'll focus on the positives coming out of this weekend and look forward to hopefully getting some good finishes and points moving forward."
Van Wijk Delivers Despite Conditions Mae Van Wijk (Houston, Texas) ran the race of her life during the 6 Heures du Circuit Mont-Tremblant, putting in a record amount of time behind the wheel of the No. 81 Porsche, sponsored by pipeservicett.com and autobysite.com, in the worst of conditions.
"Never in my life have I run in such long stints," said an exhausted Van Wijk after the race.
While numerous GT and Daytona Prototype entries fell victim to the hazardous conditions, Van Wijk persevered, avoiding the slips and slides that claimed several of her competitors and keeping the No. 81 Porsche on track to take the checkered 14th in the GT class.
"It is so satisfying to come through such a challenging race," Van Wijk remarked. "Despite the horrible conditions, I kept the car on the pavement the entire race. Yesterday I had a little incident and it was frustrating for me. So, I was determined to keep things under control and run well the entire race, no matter what the conditions were."
Van Wijk is in the hunt for the inaugural Bob Akin Award, which will be awarded to the top sportsman driver at the end of the season. The 22 year old was fourth in the standings heading into this weekend's race and put in extra time behind the wheel during the six-hour race in hopes the first 'sportsman' award will go to a sportswoman.
Partnering with Van Wijk in the No. 81 Porsche was legendary driver Price Cobb (Alton, Va.), who came out of retirement to team with the young lady he has help mentor over the last two years.
"It was great racing with Price. It's so cool that I'll be able to say he was my co-driver. He is the man," said Van Wijk, the youngest female racer in the Rolex Series. "He was able to give me some good tips even though he had little time in the car, and he was very encouraging. When I was starting to get tired during those long stints, he would keep telling me I could do it and pull me through."
Next Up: Six Hours of The Glen, June 10-12 The second of the Rolex Sports Car Series' back-to-back six-hour events will be held at Watkins Glen International, June 10-12. The Grand-Am Cup Series will rejoin the Rolex Series for the weekend, returning Brent Martini and Kelly Collins behind the wheel of Synergy's No. 81 Porsche 997.