Graydon Elliott Fusion Racing with MSR ends VIR 400 early (Alton, VA) 23 April 06-- Graydon Elliott Fusion Racing with MSR finished twenty--third in the Daytona Prototype class in the VIR 400 at Virginia International Raceway on Sunday after the...
Graydon Elliott Fusion Racing with MSR ends VIR 400 early
(Alton, VA) 23 April 06-- Graydon Elliott Fusion Racing with MSR finished twenty--third in the Daytona Prototype class in the VIR 400 at Virginia International Raceway on Sunday after the Lexus-powered Riley was unable to make it to the finish due to an alternator belt working itself loose during the two hour and forty-five minute event, causing a shut down for the Lexus powerplant and ending the day early for the team.
Paul Mears started the race from tenth on the grid, and raced a full stint before turning the car over to Mike Borkowski to take it to the finish. For Mears, the VIR weekend was his first bit of Rolex racing since the season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona, and the Florida native clearly enjoyed his run at the wheel.
Mears had a solid start, and kept the nose of the Graydon Elliott machine clean with some quick moves to avoid several on-track incidents that occurred right in front of him.
"It was absolutely nuts at the start-I was the ping pong and everyone else was the paddles!" said Mears. "But I understand why everyone was so aggressive-everything is so close in Rolex, a start or a restart can be the only time you get by someone, even if you are faster than they are-particularly at a track like this. So I just held my line at the start. I had a good time out there, and brought the thing back without any damage and on the lead lap, so it felt like a good run for me."
Borkowski took over the controls during a routine pit stop under caution, and was working his way back up the order once the race went back to green, but he was forced to return to the pits much earlier than he wanted to.
"Paul did a great job in the car, and everything was going pretty much according to plan with us and our stops, but this is just one of those things," said Borkowski. "We had a top-ten car no problem today, so you hate to miss out on those points, but we will get two chances at Laguna to make up some points with the qualifying race."
"It just wasn't our day today," said Mike Shank. "It was great to have Paul back with us, and he did a really good job, just driving really smart out there while everyone else was getting a little too excited, so hats off to him, but unfortunately Mike just wasn't able to make the most of it today with the problem we had."
Graydon Elliott Fusion Racing will race again in two weeks for the U.S. Sports Car invitational at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.