DANVILLE, Va. - With just two races to go in the 2005 Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series season, Bob Stallings and Alex Gurney are looking to wind up their inaugural Daytona Prototype campaign in the No. 99 GAINSCO Auto Insurance/Wells Fargo...
DANVILLE, Va. - With just two races to go in the 2005 Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series season, Bob Stallings and Alex Gurney are looking to wind up their inaugural Daytona Prototype campaign in the No. 99 GAINSCO Auto Insurance/Wells Fargo Pontiac Riley on a high note.
The fast, flowing 3.2-mile road course, nestled here in the green rolling hills of southern Virginia, is the backdrop for this weekend's penultimate round of the Rolex Sports Car Series, the VIR 400k, where Gurney and Stallings will pilot the GAINSCO machine against a field of 25 Daytona Prototypes and 25 GT cars.
Stallings is looking for a strong performance, but knows too that each race for his outfit is a learning experience for everyone involved - drivers, crew and engineer.
"I think basically the last three races have been an expression of 'whatever can go wrong, will go wrong'," Stallings said. "The power steering failure at Mid-Ohio, the fire at Phoenix and then the fuel system problem at Watkins Glen all robbed us of what I feel quite certain would have been solid finishes or podiums. I knew coming into this season that it would be a year to learn about this series, and the blessing here is that all of these things we did not anticipate will make us, as a team, even stronger next year."
Alex is also prepared to take on VIR - he's confident that despite the learning curve, he and the GAINSCO team will find a way to succeed. "VIR is yet another track on the schedule that neither I nor Bob have ever driven - we've been up against that a lot this year and it hasn't stopped us yet. We're up for the challenge."
With Wednesday's announcement of a Daytona Prototype race on the streets of Long Beach, Calif., Stallings is more excited than ever about his team's future in the Rolex Sports Car Series.
Bob said the competition has exceeded his expectations, and even hinted that the team may consider running a second car in 2006.
"From an owner's point of view I feel really good. I have been in conversations with people who would like to run a second car from our shops, and that speaks volumes about where the series is going," Stallings said. Clearly, there's opportunities in this series for teams that work professionally with one goal in mind: to win races."
The GAINSCO team's quest to win the VIR 400k will begin Friday with practice for the Rolex Series cars at 9:50 a.m. Qualifying will go green at 1:10 p.m. Saturday, and the 77-lap, two-hour, 45-minute race is set to begin Sunday at 1 p.m. Eastern, 10 a.m. Pacific. SPEED Channel will present live, flag-to-flag coverage of the event. Also beginning at 1 p.m. Eastern. Live timing and Web radio coverage of all the exciting Rolex Sports Car Series action will be available at http://www.Grand-Am.com.