Late-Race Accident Snatches Rolex Series Podium Bid From Fittipaldi, Orsi at Watkins Glen Six-Hour WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (Saturday, June 3, 2006) On several occasions during today's wet and wild Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen, Christian ...
Late-Race Accident Snatches Rolex Series Podium Bid From Fittipaldi, Orsi at Watkins Glen Six-Hour
WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (Saturday, June 3, 2006) On several occasions during today's wet and wild Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen, Christian Fittipaldi and substitute co-driver Hoover Orsi had the #39 Crown Royal Special Reserve Cheever Racing Porsche Crawford poised for a run at its first victory in its inaugural Grand American Rolex Series season.
They led the six-hour marathon around the 3.4-mile Watkins Glen International Raceway road circuit four different times for a total of 26 laps. It was a day in which conditions alternated from drizzly to moderately dry and back again. Fittipaldi had the Cheever Racing machine in the lead when he pitted a final time for fuel and tires and handing the car over to his Brazilian countryman, who proved to be a quick study in his first career prototype race and first visit to legendary Watkins Glen. Orsi was filling in for regular co-driver and team owner Eddie Cheever, Jr., who is focusing his driving duties this weekend on Sunday's featured IRL IndyCar Series race.
After that final pit stop, Orsi made short work of his way back toward the front and was in fifth place by Lap 134, just 20 laps from the finish. He was leading the #23 Porsche into the chicane when the other Porsche overshot the entry and forced both Orsi and himself off course. Orsi was able to continue, but not until he fell all the way back to 13th position, where the Cheever Racing machine finished.
The series resumes June 24 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
"We were really happy that the Crown Royal car was so good this weekend. But obviously we're very disappointed that we weren't able to take advantage of it in the final outcome. We were fast in practice. We were fast in the race. We were fast when it was wet today. We were fast when it was dry. I gave the car over to Hoover that last time and I thought he had a good chance to bring it home on the podium, for sure. He did an excellent job filling in for Eddie and was running some really fast laps all weekend. Unfortunately, things like what happened, happen. What can you do but gather your experiences and move on to the next one."
"I loved everything about this weekend, except for what happened at the end of the race. The car was awesome. I love this track. The team is awesome. Everybody was friendly and very supportive of me. The car was so good in the dry and in the wet that I'm so disappointed we were not on the podium. The other driver already came to me and apologized. He just lost grip going into the chicane and unfortunately took both of us out. That cost the team some very important points. But I just want to say thanks to Eddie and Christian and everybody for believing in my driving and giving me this opportunity. I hope I get to do it again someday. I really enjoy these long races, these sports car races."