Empringham a step closer to Championship as young guns hit hard with penalty Ford Racing Technology and Multimatic Motorsports star David Empringham continues to lead the 2005 Grand-Am Cup Championship with only two races remaining after...
Empringham a step closer to Championship as young guns hit hard with penalty
Ford Racing Technology and Multimatic Motorsports star David Empringham continues to lead the 2005 Grand-Am Cup Championship with only two races remaining after finishing in second place with Scott Maxwell last weekend at Mid Ohio.
The Canadian duo qualified their Ford Mustang FR500C in third place and completed a strong race to grab the runner up spot with Empringham now holding a healthy 22-point advantage over race-winner and championship rival Justin Marks (264-242).
Both Maxwell and Marks' co-driver Bill Auberlen are out of the chase for the championship after missing the Mosport round of the championship earlier this year when both were competing as team-mates for Panoz at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Young US stars Gunnar Jeannette and James Gue had their race destroyed after Gue was given a five minute penalty by race officials after contact with the Nonnamaker Porsche.
Gue was challenging the Porsche on the run down to the "key hole" at Mid Ohio when his rival moved over on the Mustang, resulting in minor contact.
"Grand Am have obviously decided to be very strict on contact last weekend and James was unfortunately the first car to be hit with such a penalty," Multimatic Vice President and Technical Director, Larry Holt said.
"We certainly support the fact that we don't want this series to be a demolition derby, but there seems to be a bit of a lack of balance between the punishment and the crime.
"The fact that there was no video evidence of the contact makes it pretty tough to swallow. It was our word versus theirs and this time they won. The report came from a flag point which was a very long way away.
"If James had punted him off we would have been more than happy to cop that kind of penalty, but it seems a little harsh for what happened.
"The good thing is David is still holding the championship lead and we will be doing everything in our power to help him defend that in the final two races of 2005.
"For us, Scotty Maxwell was the star of the day. He did a extraordinary job to climb from 17th back to second in the final hour of the race. I put him in a bad track position because our fuel economy is not as good as the BMW, but he drove brilliantly in run to the flag."
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.