Auberlen & Marks Take Second Win of 2005 Season in Chemung Canal Trust 200 WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (June 11, 2005) -- After taking his fourth Grand-Am Cup Series pole in five races earlier in the afternoon, Justin Marks led the first 28 laps of...
Auberlen & Marks Take Second Win of 2005 Season in Chemung Canal Trust 200
WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (June 11, 2005) -- After taking his fourth Grand-Am Cup Series pole in five races earlier in the afternoon, Justin Marks led the first 28 laps of the Chemung Canal Trust 200 before handing it over to teammate Bill Auberlen, who charged to lead with only three laps to go to claim the second overall victory for the No. 96 Turner Motorsport BMW M3 team at Watkins Glen International (SPEED Channel, June 19, 5 p.m. ET).
"I worked real hard in qualifying to put a lap together to put us in first place, and I went out there in the first couple of laps to try to get the biggest lead that I could and then conserve," Marks said. "Our car was real consistent. If it could have gone green the whole way it would have been great to see this car shine."
In a race slowed by six cautions for 24 laps, Marks and Auberlen were able to stay free of trouble, and dominate most of the race before pit stops shuffled them back. Auberlen was able to work himself back to the front just prior to an accident involving Jim Seafuse in the No. 37 JBS Motorsports Ford Mustang GT and Mike Fitzgerald in the No. 83 BGB Motorsports Porsche 996 that ended the race under caution. Seafuse was transported to Arnot-Ogden Hospital in Elmira, N.Y. for precautionary measures with heat-related symptoms and a possible concussion.
It was the second win of the season for Marks and Auberlen, the first coming in the Miller Grand-Am Cup 200 at Santo Domingo, Dominican Republican in March. Auberlen also had a Sport Touring (ST) class victory in last year's Grand-Am Cup race at Watkins Glen.
"Our car was real good in the long runs," Auberlen said. "Once I got some clean air up front I could start to walk away, but it was real hard to get there. Justin (Marks) made it look easy. I wanted to get up front because it's safer up there and it's a tribute to the guys. I don't think we turned one screw on this car all weekend. It's been great all weekend."
Scott Maxwell and David Empringham, who were victorious in last month's Grand-Am Cup 200 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, finished second in the No. 55 Multimatic Motorsports Mustang GT. Empringham led 10 laps, but was unable to hold off a determined Auberlen in the end. Nevertheless, the performance enabled them to take over the lead in the Grand Sport (GS) driver standings. With 142 points, Empringham and Maxwell lead Mike McCalmont and Darren Law by four points.
Dave Lacey and Greg Wilkins in the No. 17 Doncaster Racing Porsche 996 finished third, followed by Law and McCalmont in the No. 6 Zoom Motorsports/Brumos Porsche 996. Wilkins led for nine laps, while McCalmont led Lap 29. The No. 19 Race Prep Motorsports Porsche 996 of Tim Gaffney and Spencer Pumpelly finished fifth.
LALLY AND HOLTOM WIN SPORT TOURING CLASS IN STRONG OUTING FOR CHEVROLET COBALT
In a close ST battle, Andy Lally and Jim Holtom claimed their first class victories of the season in the No. 00 Georgian Bay Motorsports Chevrolet Cobalt. It was a good day for the Cobalt, as three of the top five spots were claimed by that make. The performance also allowed Holtom to move into third place in the ST driver standings, trailing new points leaders Will Turner and Don Salama--who co-drive the No. 95 Turner Motorsport BMW 330i--by just one point, 104-103.
Lally and McCalmont started fifth in class, and watched as many of the top ST cars fell victim to oil on the track in the latter stages of the race. Like the No. 96 machine, the No. 00 was able to stay clean and work its way to the front to claim victory.
"The car wasn't all that strong out of the box, but we did a lot of work on handling," Holtom said. "It's really a race-winning car. We knew we would be strong here."
"It was good for Cobalt," Lally said. "This is a good track for the car. There are tracks that suit different cars and this one (Watkins Glen) is good for the Cobalt. It's a huge achievement."
Due to New York State age requirements, Holtom's usual co-driver, his 17-year-old son Jamie, was unable to drive. However, Jamie Holtom and Lally will share the No. 00 for the rest of the season, while Jim will compete against them in a sister car.
It was a strong day for the Cobalt as the No. 32 Franklin American Mortgage Chevrolet Cobalt of Tom Lepper and Bo Roach finished second. After starting second in class, the No. 32 worked its way up to the front of the class for a number of laps. The No. 20 Nuzzo Motorsports Mini Cooper of Tony Nuzzo and Steve Pattee finished third for the first podium of the season for the Mini. Tom Milner and Matt Connolly finished fourth in the No. 64 Matt Connolly Motorsports BMW 330ci, while Rod Strub and Ed Magner in the No. 48 Chevrolet Cobalt finished fifth.
The Grand-Am Cup Series Chemung Canal Trust 200 will be televised on SPEED Channel June 19 at 5 p.m. ET.