Unavoidable Collision Puts End To Rx.com Run in VIR 400 Van Wijk, Stanton Earn Suntrust Improve Your Position Award In SGS Class ALTON, Va. (October 3, 2004) -- The Rx.com G&W Motorsports team saw its race come to an early end on Sunday during...
Unavoidable Collision Puts End To Rx.com Run in VIR 400
Van Wijk, Stanton Earn Suntrust Improve Your Position Award In SGS Class
ALTON, Va. (October 3, 2004) -- The Rx.com G&W Motorsports team saw its race come to an early end on Sunday during the VIR 400 presented by SunTrust at the team's home track of Virginia International Raceway.
Cort Wagner (Los Angeles, Calif.) was at the wheel of the No. 81 Rx.com BMW Doran JE4 running in seventh on lap 60 of the 77-lap race when he moved to the inside of a GT-class Porsche to make a pass. Little did Wagner know Oswaldo Negri, who spun into the grass in the Michael Shank Racing No. 6 Lexus Doran, had pulled out onto the track in an effort to reenter the race despite the oncoming traffic.
When Wagner moved the Rx.com Daytona Prototype to the inside for the pass, Negri's car suddenly came into view, leaving Wagner no where to go but into the back of the No. 6 machine at high speed. After the collision, the Rx.com entry went spinning across the track and into the tire wall. Wagner emerged from the car without injury but frustrated by the sudden end to his race.
"It's just a sad day for the Rx.com entry," said team owner Cole Scrogham. "We were seventh and ready to run forward. With fresh tires, we were ready to go to the front. It was unfortunate that Oswaldo tried to get back on the track that way. These things happen in racing. No deficit to Michael Shank Racing. They do a great job. It's just unfortunate."
Wagner and co-driver Brent Martini (Laguna Beach, Calif.) had moved back into contention after a troubled pit stop early in the race dropped the Rx.com Daytona Prototype out of the top 10. During the first full-course caution on lap 19, Wagner brought the car in to hand the reins over to Martini. During the tire change, an air jack failure caused the No. 81 BMW to fall. The crew scurried to get the car back up and its tires back on quickly, but precious positions were lost to the leaders even under caution.
After a strong 38-lap run by Martini, Wagner returned to the wheel of the Rx.com car on lap 57 during a caution period brought out by G&W Motorsports' No. 80 BMW Picchio DP2, shared Virginia state delegate Danny Marshall (Danville, Va.) and his brother Steve Marshall (Blacksburg, Va.). The No. 80 Marshall Concrete Daytona Prototype went off track and became lodged in the tire wall at turn 11A.
Upon being freed from the tire wall, the Marshall Concrete BMW Picchio returned to the track for a 13th-place finish in the Daytona Prototype class. The No. 81 Rx.com BMW ended up with a 15th-place finish in the class due to its collision.
Mark Greenberg (Boston, Mass.) and Spencer Pumpelly (Mason Neck, Va.) picked up the best finish of the day for G&W Motorsports, scoring fifth place in the GT class with the No. 77 Porsche GT3 RS, sponsored by NETTS and Louis Boston. It was a good run for the duo that started the race in GT class' 10th position.
However, it was Mae Van Wijk (Kingwood, Texas) and Craig Stanton (Long Beach, Calif.) who were rewarded for their improvement during the race. The drivers of No. 86 Porsche GT3 Cup, sponsored by Quaker State, autobysite.com and Texas Children's Hospital, picked up the SunTrust Improve Your Position Award in the SGS class for the largest position gain during the race. Van Wijk started the No. 86 Porsche 12th in the SGS class, but the driving duo was able to bring it to the checkered flag in seventh place.
On Saturday, G&W Motorsports also fielded an entry in the Grand-Am Cup Series race at VIR. Tracy Krohn (Manderville, La.) and Joe Fox (Charlotte, N.C.) took 13th in the GS class with the No. 81 Porsche 996 sponsored by W&T Offshore and Brooke.
Saturday's VIR 250 featuring the Grand-Am Cup Series will air on SPEED Channel on Sunday, October 17, at Noon ET.
With the next round of the Rolex Sports Car Series and Grand-Am Cup Series only one week away, this week will be a busy one for the G&W Motorsports crew. Despite the substantial damage sustained to the No. 81 Rx.com BMW Doran during the race, the team reports it will be ready for next Sunday's Porsche 250 at Barber Motorsports Park.
"Absolutely (we'll be ready)," said Scrogham. "That's one of the beauties of a tube frame chassis and this theory. It's not difficult to repair. You just get it done and get on to the next race. You're not out buying new cars."
For more information on next weekend's Porsche 250, including ticket information, visit www.barbermotorsports.com. Additional information on the Rolex Series and Grand-Am Cup is available at www.grandamerican.com.