Mustang FR500C and Multimatic charge to victory at California Speedway Multimatic Motorsports took its first victory of 2005 and snared the Grand-Am Cup Championship lead today with a stunning victory by Gunnar Jeannette and James Gue aboard the...
Mustang FR500C and Multimatic charge to victory at California Speedway
Multimatic Motorsports took its first victory of 2005 and snared the Grand-Am Cup Championship lead today with a stunning victory by Gunnar Jeannette and James Gue aboard the Ford Racing Technology Mustang FR500C at California Speedway.
After qualifying 9th fastest, Gue worked his way up to 5th position by lap 36, before handing over to Jeannette who rejoined in 21st.
The #05 Mustang FR500C then began a steady climb through the field and moved up to 4th place by lap 51. A series of late race yellow flag periods hit the event and Jeannette eventually moved to 2nd place with only five laps remaining.
He then made a brilliant restart to pass the Porsche of Darren Law on the outside of the California Speedway oval and never looked back to take his and Gue's first ever Grand-Am Cup victory. Gue and Jeannette now lead Law and co-driver Mike McCalmont by 11 points in the championship (89-78).
While the #05 Mustang enjoyed a spectacular result, the Multimatic Motorsports #55 machine suffered a series of troubles en route to finishing 10th overall.
Scott Maxwell qualified 2nd fastest and was running 3rd early until suffering gear shift problems on a lap 22 restart. The Canadian was later judged by race officials to have made contact with the #04 Porsche and received a 15 second penalty on lap 35 when Maxwell pitted and handed over to David Empringham.
That penalty put the #55 car a lap behind the leader which Empringham could not gain back until 15 laps to go. A charging effort however, did bring the car back into the top 10 at the race finish after originally rejoining in 25th place.
"Gunnar and James did an excellent job and we are delighted to have taken the new Mustang to victory for Ford Racing Technology," said Larry Holt, Multimatic Vice President and Technical Director.
"These are two young guys have a lot of talent and they have done an outstanding job to be leading the championship because the competition in Grand-Am Cup is so intense.
"Scotty and David had a tough day today but I know they are keen to bounce back strongly at Laguna. They are both former champions in this class and this is the second race in a row where their luck has run short.
"A lot of work has gone into the Ford Mustang FR500C by everybody at Ford Racing Technology and Multimatic and it was great to have three of these cars in the top ten again today. It is a great credit to Ford to be able to win against BMW, Porsche, Cadillac, Nissan - some of the biggest names in the automotive industry."
Ford Racing Technology embarked on this program to return the Mustang to the race track, and unveiled the new Mustang FR500C racer at the Specialty Equipment Manufacturer's Association Show in Las Vegas in November last year. Ford Racing worked closely with Multimatic on the design, development, and build of the race car to Grand-Am specification.
Ford Racing Performance Parts will offer the Mustang FR500C in Grand-Am Cup specification, as well as all the racing components necessary for race team support and for those enthusiasts interested in enhancing their own Mustangs.
In conjunction with the debut season of the new Mustang FR500C, Multimatic Motorsports has launched a new web site to commemorate the return to the track by the Ford muscle-car. The site is located at www.multimaticmotorsports.com/mustang/ and features driver profiles, race news, photo galleries and Multimatic Motorsports and Mustang history.
"It was great for Gunnar and James to take the win but the day certainly go to plan for David and myself.
"This is the second race in a row when things didn't go our way and we had a couple of issues with our car today.
"We had some problems with fifth gear which made life tricky and the penalty in the pits really hurt us.
"We probably could have got a wave by the pace car and got back on the lead lap earlier than we did but the leader at the time was running a strange strategy.
"By the time David got back on the lead lap, he really didn't have enough time to bridge the gap."
"This is a great day for James and I and we are thrilled to take our first win in Grand-Am Cup.
"Everybody at Ford Racing Techology and Multimatic have worked so hard on this program and that V8 power really came through for me at that final restart.
"Darren (Law) jumped a little early and had to lift on the final restart. I had to lift a little as well but I think my lift was smaller than Darren's and I was able to go around the outside at the start.
"It was just a matter of holding on from there for the final 5 laps. I could see Darren and Boris (Said) banging wheels and fighting for second - that was a help for us.
"James did a great job to hand me a great car - the Mustang 'Rocks'!"
"Today started pretty well with Scott in qualifying but it didn't go so well during the race.
"While we had a tough one, I have to congratulate Gunnar and James. If we weren't to win, then Scotty and I are pretty pleased that our team-mates did.
"We had our problems this weekend but now we have to set our sights on rectifying that before the next round at Laguna Seca.
"The Mustang is a great car and I am sure the Multimatic Motorsports guys will be working very hard over the next couple weeks to get our car back where we want it to be."
"We have been developing this car with Ford and Multimatic for quite a while now and while we came close at Santo Domingo with second place - to take the win here is just amazing.
"I made good start but lost a bit of time to the leaders early in the race but as the track cooled down and the fuel load lightened, our car got better and better.
"The quick tracks like this where you are running wide open for a long time certainly help us.
"Gunnar was great at the finish to steal the lead and it certainly feels fantastic to be leading the championship."