G&W Motorsports Takes Fourth in Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen; Career High for Car Owner, Driver Van Wijk Bad Alternator Costs Rx.com G&W Motorsports Team Podium Finish WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (June 20, 2004) - G&W Motorsports took fourth place...
G&W Motorsports Takes Fourth in Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen; Career High
for Car Owner, Driver Van Wijk
Bad Alternator Costs Rx.com G&W Motorsports Team Podium Finish
WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (June 20, 2004) - G&W Motorsports took fourth place in the Super Grand Sport class at the Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen at Watkins Glen International today. It was the highest Rolex Sports Car Series finish of the season for the No. 86 Porsche sponsored by PipeServicesTT.com and Autobysite.com, and the best finish ever for car owner and driver Mae Van Wijk (Kingwood, Texas).
Van Wijk shared driving duties in the Porsche during the historic six-hour race with Mike McDowell (Phoenix, Ariz.) and Tom Nastasi (Stamford, Conn.).
"At Mont-Tremblant I had a career-high finish with fifth, and this weekend we improved on that to fourth," said Van Wijk. "I'm very excited about it. I was driving teamed with Mike McDowell and Tom Nastasi this weekend, and they are both excellent drivers. I couldn't have done it without them."
The No. 86 Porsche ran as high as second during the race, and Van Wijk feels her first podium finish is just around the corner.
"I think our first podium finish is definitely in the close future," she said. "As long as I keep on working with this great team - G&W Motorsports - and keep working with great drivers, I know we'll be on the podium soon."
Van Wijk was the only female driver competing the SGS class during the Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen, and she is the only female car owner currently fielding an entry in the Rolex Sports Car Series.
"It's absolutely wonderful to see us improve as both a driver and a car owner," said Van Wijk. "I've only owned this car for about two months now, so I'm brand new in this field. It's a great feeling to have my car do well and know I contributed to it."
Alternator Trouble Causes Disappointing Finish for Rx.com Daytona Prototype
The Rx.com G&W Motorsports No. 81 BMW Doran JE4 was ready for its first win of the season when the green flag dropped on the Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen. Cort Wagner (Los Angeles, Calif.) started Rx.com Daytona Prototype on the front row, and he and co-drivers Brent Martini (Corona del Mar, Calif.) and Kelly Collins (Newport Beach, Calif.) were able to keep the No. 81 BMW in the lead pack for much of the race.
However bad luck struck the team twice during the six-hour race, resulting in the car's worse finish of the season. First a flat tire sent the Rx.com Daytona Prototype into the pits, knocking the team off of the lead lap and into 10th place.
The trio of drivers was able to rally back, regaining their lap and running in the top three again. But the team was bitten by bad luck yet again during the fourth hour of the race when the alternator let go.
"The team was having me flip a couple of switches, but they weren't telling me what was going on," explained Collins, who was at the wheel of the Rx.com car when the trouble hit. "Then they told me that I was going to lose power, because the alternator was gone and it was running off the battery.
"We lucked out coming out of the boot when it lost power," he continued. "I just put it in neutral and was able to coast it into the pits."
The Rx.com team replaced the broken alternator in the pits, but it put the No. 81 BMW 18 laps down to the leader before it could return to the race. The team finished 12th in Daytona Prototype class and 24th overall.
"We lost the alternator," Team Manager Price Cobb said. "It was a freak thing. We've never lost one before. It was just the luck of draw. Unfortunately, it was bad luck for us this time."
Wagner and Collins were second in the Daytona Prototype points heading into the Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen, two points behind Scott Pruett and Max Papis, who won today's race. The disappointing finish drops the pair to fourth in the unofficial point standings; now 18 points behind the leaders.
G&W Motorsports, based outside of Danville, Va., at Virginia International Raceway, is the most successful team in the Rolex Sports Car Series, capturing the inaugural GT championship in 2000, both the GT and GTS championships in 2001 and the SRP II championship in 2003. G&W Motorsports is the only team to compete in every Rolex Series race since the series' inception, accumulating 15 class wins and 45 podium finishes in class. For additional information on G&W Motorsports, visit www.gandwmotorsports.com.
More information on the Rolex Sports Car Series is available at www.grandamerican.com.