VIR: Riley Technologies race report

Riley Technologies Extends GRAND-AM Manufacturer Championship Lead at VIR Good day in two races as Riley Tech Camaro makes podium debut in Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge Danville, VA (27 April 2010)-- Riley Technologies (a division of...

Riley Technologies Extends GRAND-AM Manufacturer Championship Lead at VIR

Good day in two races as Riley Tech Camaro makes podium debut in Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge

Danville, VA (27 April 2010)-- Riley Technologies (a division of SEA STAR GROUP, INC. Stock Symbol SGQZ) is pursuing an unprecedented seventh consecutive GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series Manufacturer Championship, and the firm moved closer to that goal by growing its lead in the Championship standings with a dominating day at Virginia International Raceway this weekend.

The track is a drivers delight, with 3.27-miles of winding, undulating pavement that runs through the rural Virginia countryside making every lap a challenge. Riley has scores of history at the facility, including winning the Grassroots Motorsports "Track Day Challenge" with the Riley Track Day Car last fall.

While there were six different leaders during the 84-lap Bosch Engineering 250 at Virginia International Raceway on Saturday, all of them used a Riley to run up front as Ganassi Racing's Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas grew the Riley Technologies lead in the championship standings with their third Rolex Series race win of the season.

The race finish was yet another Rolex Series nail-biter, as the second place finishing No. 61 AIM Autosport Ford-Riley came up just .293 of a second short in its bid for the win. The AIM Autosport Riley, driven by Burt Frisselle and Mark Wilkins, was originally campaigned to the Rolex Championship by Ganassi in 2004, but the original (#001) chassis has remained a competitive force to this day.

Pruett's trip to the Victory Barn at VIR wasn't made any easier after contact with a GT machine knocked some aerodynamic bodywork off of his Telmex machine late in the day, but he fought hard to bring home another win for Riley.

"It was sideways everywhere, because we lost a lot of downforce," said Pruett after scoring his 26th career Rolex victory - 25 of them in a Ganassi-prepared Riley Daytona Prototype. "The only advantage was straight-line speed, so I knew if I could get off the turns well, I'd be very difficult to pass - because the straightaways are the best place to pass here."

Riley now holds a 140-108 edge in the championship standings, with eight rounds of racing remaining.

It was also a very good day for Riley in the GT Class battle at VIR. While some shrewd pit strategy saw Andy Lally score a win for Porsche, Jeff Segal and Emil Assentato scored a third consecutive podium result with their run to second a the checkered flag with the Riley-based Mazda RX-8 for SpeedSource Engineering.

The result launched the duo atop the Driver Championship points standings over fellow Mazda RX-8 drivers Jonathan Bomarito and Sylvain Tremblay despite the Mazda entries being forced to carry some 75 extra pounds of ballast for the weekend. In all, the GT Class top ten saw five different Mazda RX-8 machines in the top ten.

The 2010 GRAND-AM season features several double header events with the Rolex Sports Car Series and Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge, and the VIR weekend was a fine example, as the track announced a record crowd on hand for the full bill of racing on Saturday as the day kept getting better for Riley.

Just a handful of months after making an initial race outing at VIR, the Riley Technologies-built Camaro made its return to the track count with a debut appearance on the GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge podium after Jeff Bucknum and Matt Bell brought the Sunoco Race Fuels Camaro across the line in second place in the VIR 200 for Stevenson Motorsports.

"It was awesome," said Jeff Bucknum. "This is for the team. I hate saying that like everybody else does, but they worked hard, working past midnight. This is for the team, Johnny Stevenson, and the whole crew. Thanks!"

The result improved on Bell and Bucknum's previous-best of fifth, taken at the season-opening race at Daytona International Speedway.

"This was a very good day for our customers, and it is great when everyone's hard work back at the shop and on race day allows us to score results like this," said Riley Technologies VP Bill Riley. "For the Camaro to come back and take a podium at the first track it ever raced on is a fantastic result, and is very encouraging for the rest of the season. We are excited about seeing the Daytona Prototypes debut at Lime Rock Park on Memorial Day weekend, and hopefully we can keep growing our lead in the championship."

-source: riley technologies

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Scott Pruett , Emil Assentato , Andy Lally , Sylvain Tremblay , Memo Rojas , Burt Frisselle , Jeff Bucknum , Jonathan Bomarito , Mark Wilkins , Jeff Segal , Matt Bell
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing , SpeedSource