LUX AND ESPENLAUB TAKE ADVANTAGE OF OTHERS' MISFORTUNES TO WIN GRAND-AM CUP 250 AT DAYTONA IN THEIR PORSCHE 911 DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - January 27 - A pass on a late restart by BGB Motorsports Porsche 911, type 996 driver Craig Stanton, from Long...
LUX AND ESPENLAUB TAKE ADVANTAGE OF OTHERS' MISFORTUNES TO WIN GRAND-AM CUP 250 AT DAYTONA IN THEIR PORSCHE 911
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - January 27 - A pass on a late restart by BGB Motorsports Porsche 911, type 996 driver Craig Stanton, from Long Beach, Calif., on Team Sahlen Porsche 911 driver Charles Espenlaub proved to not be enough when Stanton was forced to pit road for fuel in the final laps while Espenlaub rode on to victory Friday at Daytona International Speedway in the 57-lap Grand-Am Cup 250.
Espenlaub, from Lutz, Fla., who teamed up with 17-year old Eric Lux, from Ahmerst, NY, in the No. 44 Porsche 911, type 996, in the Grand Sport class, became the first winner of the 2006 season of motorsports at the "World Center of Racing." The race was the prelude to this weekend's star-studded 44th anniversary of the Rolex 24 At Daytona endurance race.
"I made a mistake there on the restart," said Espenlaub who drove the final stint for Team Sahlen. "Craig (Stanton) took me down about 20 feet deep down into the bus stop. I had to do some agricultural driving out there. Fortunately he ran out of gas at the end. We'll take it. Everybody did a great job."
"The car was great," added Lux who started the race for the team. "Joe Sahlen and all the Nonnamakers gave me an awesome car to work with. I couldn't ask for a better co-driver." Espenlaub was equally impressed with his 17-year old teammate.
"I can't say enough about my co-driver," he said. "He's a young kid that is very mature for his age and obviously a very talented driver. Look for us in the future."
Stanton, from Long Beach, Calif., and a defending Grand-Am champion, had earned the pole position with co-driver Mark Plummer from Dallas, but officials had disallowed their time because of illegal suspension configuration, pushing the car to the back of the Grand Sport pack. The pair finished 20th after losing precious time in the pits for their splash-and-go fuel stop with two laps to go.
Brent Martini, from Laguna Beach, Calif., and Patrick Long, from Las Vegas, were running as high as fifth with a lap to go when their Synergy Porsche 911, type 997, ran out of gas - they finished 28th, one lap down.