Ruby Tuesday Championship Racing Team Finishes 20th at Infineon Sonoma, California -- The Ruby Tuesday Championship Racing Team finished 20th in round 13 of the Grand American Rolex Series presented by Crown Royal Reserve run at Infineon Raceway...
Ruby Tuesday Championship Racing Team Finishes 20th at Infineon
Sonoma, California -- The Ruby Tuesday Championship Racing Team finished 20th in round 13 of the Grand American Rolex Series presented by Crown Royal Reserve run at Infineon Raceway today. A small fuel fire during the team's last pit stop thwarted what would have been a possible podium finish.
Patrick Long started the number 23 Ruby Tuesday car from his third place qualifying position and was able to take second on the first lap. On lap 10 the young Californian was lapping a GT car in the carousel and was forced off the track, dropping him back to tenth position. On lap 22 Long pitted and handed the car over to teammate Mike Rockenfeller. The German set about turning fast laps working the number 23 Ruby Tuesday entry up to fifth position.
Rockenfeller's run was also not without incident. On lap 33 he was hit from behind by a GT car, causing body damage as well as left side exhaust trauma. On the final fuel stop and driver change back to Long, the fuel apparatus was not fully disengaged when Long left the pits and a small fire ensued as a result of gas getting on a broken exhaust pipe. The Ruby Tuesday crew were quick to extinguish the flame and Long returned to the race five laps later and soldiered on to take the checker.
Patrick Long is disappointed with the finish. "I had a good start and was able to pass and take second place on lap one. I had a misstep in the carrousel and went off, but we were still able to come back. On the pit stop I took off and the fueler had not fully disengaged and gas spilled into the engine bay causing a fire. I saw the flames in the cock pit and hit the ejector button and got out. The guys were able to clean it up and we finished." Mike Rockenfeller is frustrated with the finish. "Both Patrick and I had some contact, but this is that type of track. The car was actually still very good after my exchange with the GT car. I was able to get back up to the top five and we could have had at least a podium finish today. The fire was pretty scary, from a drivers view fire is the worst thing that you can see. Unfortunately the crew has a lot of work do for Miller."
"It was a tough day," said Alex Job, team owner. "We started out running at the front and both our drivers had some incidents on the track, but nothing that is really not unexpected at this track. The fire was a miscommunication and what might have looked a little more dramatic than it really was. The Ruby Tuesday crew was able to do a safety check and return the car to the track to make it to the finish. We have a good bit of work on the car for the nine hour at Miller in exactly one week."
-credit: alex job racing