Aasco Motorsports-New Century Porsche Set for Historic Phoenix Race AVONDALE, Ariz., September 7, 2005 -- For the first time in history, the Grand American Road Racing Association will spilt their two classes of racecars into two separate ...
Aasco Motorsports-New Century Porsche Set for Historic Phoenix Race
AVONDALE, Ariz., September 7, 2005 -- For the first time in history, the Grand American Road Racing Association will spilt their two classes of racecars into two separate races. The landmark event, the Phoenix 250 at Phoenix International Raceway (PIR) in Avondale, Ariz., will allow the Aasco Motorsports-entered New Century Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car of Pat Flanagan (Aliso Viejo, Calif.) and Patrick Long (Las Vegas, Nev.) to charge for an overall win on Friday for the first time in the combination's existence. While Flanagan and Long have shown that they can compete with the best in the GT class during the limited schedule of Grand American Rolex Series races they have entered this season, an overall win for the production car-based GT class was always out of the question while the higher-speed, built for racing Daytona Prototypes (DP) controlled the top of the overall grid. With the DPs running in a second event on Saturday evening, Long and Flanagan will be able to focus all of their attention in front of them rather than watching their mirrors for overtaking DPs. The additional focus promises to provide one of the best races in memory for the already ultra-competitive GT ranks. Aasco Motorsports has been closing on a victory since their first race this season and is poised to claim it this weekend.
PIR's 1.51-mile, 11-turn road course cuts through the heart of and uses a large portion of the famous Arizona oval. As such, the tight confines of the track's infield road course make for an ideal place to experiment with the two race format. The infield often gets slick as the race weekend progresses which suits Long's quick reaction time and driving style. The long oval portion also plays well into the hands of Long and Flanagan who both enjoy, and have raced on, ovals. The 250-mile/ 166 lap, or two hour and 45-minute, long race will start at 7:30 PM (PDT) on Friday, September 9th. The evening to darkness race will be the fifth-time that Porsche factory driver Long will share the No. 26 Dennis Aase-prepared Porsche with New Century president Flanagan. The two narrowly missed a podium finish with a fourth-place run at the green, gold and white Porsche's premiere at California Speedway in April. Long had qualified third. During the season the two have raced the New Century Porsche together on two other oval-based road courses including the California top-five finish and a 12th at Daytona International Speedway in July. PIR is the shortest of the tracks that Aasco will compete on this year.
The Phoenix 250 will be shown on a tape delayed basis on SPEED Channel at 8 PM (EDT) on Saturday evening, September 10th. Live coverage of the event, via timing and scoring, can be found at www.GrandAmerican.com.
Patrick Long: "The last few races we've had a car that is more than able to win races. We've been caught-out by a few unlucky strategy breaks. But, hopefully, this time without the Daytona Prototypes involved in our race that should bring a more unique strategy from our part. It should also make the traffic a little less of a factor and make ultimate speed the biggest factor. With all of that in mind, we are looking forward to going to Phoenix. I haven't been to that track since '98 when I was driving in school formula cars with Skip Barber. So it will be nice to go back there. It's not too far from home so I look at it as almost a home race."
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