New Century-Aasco Porsche Closes Out '05 Rolex Season with Tough Virginia Round ALTON, Vir., October 9, 2005 -- Pat Flanagan (Aliso Viejo, Calif.) and Patrick Long (Las Vegas, Nev.) entered their sixth and final Grand American Rolex Sports...
New Century-Aasco Porsche Closes Out '05 Rolex Season with Tough Virginia Round
ALTON, Vir., October 9, 2005 -- Pat Flanagan (Aliso Viejo, Calif.) and Patrick Long (Las Vegas, Nev.) entered their sixth and final Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series Grand Touring (GT) class event of 2005 today with high hopes. However, they leave Virginia International Raceway (VIR) with a frustrating 23rd-place finish in GT class, 47th overall, after the No. 26 New Century Mortgage/ Aasco Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 Cup was forced off the track on the sixth lap of the 400 kilometer/ 250 mile VIR 400. It will rank as the worst finish for the car this season after a high of fourth in their 2005 Rolex Series debut at California Speedway.
Despite being the first appearance of either driver at VIR, the weekend got off to a magnificent start as the Dennis Aase-entered Porsche paced the GT field in early practice. However, rain would force the cancellation of qualifications eliminating the benefit of the team and Porsche factory driver Long. The grid would be set based on team points. Having not run the full season, the Aasco Porsche started 38th in the 48 car field. Flanagan got a strong start moving as high as 17th in the first five laps before. On the sixth lap, while leaving room for other competitors, Flanagan was forced off the track in the "Esses". Once off the racing surface, the slick tires hit the rain soaked grass and the Porsche immediately gained speed on the wet surface. The car went into a clump of trees and was abandoned for the remainder of the race unable to be driven out. Flanagan was unhurt in the incident.
In total, Flanagan and Long ran six Rolex GT series races together for New Century and Aasco Motorsports and one Daytona Prototype (DP) event together for Essex Racing. They earned two top-10 finishes in GT and a ninth in the sole DP start.
Patrick Long: "Unfortunately, we didn't get to the end but that's racing. It was a wet-dry beginning on slick tires. It was very challenging conditions and Pat was doing a great job. He was running hard through the 'Esses' and got pushed a little wide trying to give guys room. He went off into the grass, that was wet, and that accelerated him into the trees. It was a tough way to end what was a very fun and successful year. Unfortunately, we just couldn't end it on the podium. I am extremely grateful to Pat and Dennis for such a great program and New Century for supporting the effort. I'm looking forward to getting back in with this team and group of guys soon."