Leading ROLEX GTS Contender Misses Qualifying in VIR 400 GTS qualifying is complete for ROLEX Grand American sports cars, here at Virginia International Speedway. Neither Tommy Riggins nor Dave Machavern were able to turn a lap in the no.48 ...
Leading ROLEX GTS Contender Misses Qualifying in VIR 400
GTS qualifying is complete for ROLEX Grand American sports cars, here at Virginia International Speedway. Neither Tommy Riggins nor Dave Machavern were able to turn a lap in the no.48 Mustang, however, due to an elusive problem which has caused a miss in the engine ever since Friday practice (yesterday). The interloper, no. 40 Corvette from the Trans-Am series driven by Simon Gregg (Jacksonville, FL) and Kenny Wilden (Oakville, ON). Albeit, the no.48 Mustang is leading the ROLEX GTS points and it appears it cannot be caught in the last two races of the year; here at VIR and the Finale at Daytona on November 1.
In yesterday's practice sessions and in the one practice this morning the crew changed ignition components and carburetors several times. But, the problem has persisted and the team was forced to change engines after this morning's practice. Although the team put in a terrific effort, there was not enough time to make the power-plant swap and return the car to the track in time for qualifying.
Therefore, the 48 Mustang will start at the end of tomorrow's grid. That's the down-side. There is a small positive spin to the situation, however. This will allow the team to more freely strategize which driver will start the race. We could see Dave Machavern take the green flag tomorrow.
This is an unusual circumstance in which Heritage Motorsports finds itself. This GTS team has taken the overall pole twice this year, out-qualifying even the Daytona Prototypes.
DON'T GIVE UP...
At an equal-distance event, the fourth race of the season - Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, the 48 Mustang slipped from the GTS pole to 14th position within a few laps. With tenacity the team fought back to earn a second place finish.
Tomorrow's race will be televised tape-delayed on SPEED Channel, starting at 4PM eastern and ends at 7PM. The actual race starts at 12:30PM and is a 400KM event with a 2-3/4 hour time limit. The track is located just east of Danville, Virginia and is about a mile from the North Carolina state line. It offers this weekend's competitors 17 turns on a 3.27 mile course set amidst manicured lawns and a country-club atmosphere. Weather is predicted to be low 70's and partly cloudy.