Ruby Tuesday Championship Racing Team returns to Watkins Glen for Crown Royal 200 TAVARES, Fla. - Two months ago, the Ruby Tuesday Championship Racing Team debuted the new Crawford bodywork at Watkins Glen International, but this time the team...
Ruby Tuesday Championship Racing Team returns to Watkins Glen for Crown Royal 200
TAVARES, Fla. - Two months ago, the Ruby Tuesday Championship Racing Team debuted the new Crawford bodywork at Watkins Glen International, but this time the team returns with a different chassis - a Riley. They also make their return with only one thing on their minds - to win the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series Crown Royal 200.
After leading the race at Barber Motorsports Park and then almost winning its first race last weekend in Montreal before running out of fuel on the last lap, the team knows it's close to getting its first win. And, while the team is poised to get its first win, the Ruby Tuesday drivers know it still won't be easy at The Glen.
"The short course at Watkins Glen is not one of my favorite courses," Hand said. "The long course is a lot of fun, but the short course makes for a really tough race. It is going to be two hours of complete chaos. It will be very difficult to pass because it has a lot of fast corners.
"However, I think the difference for us now is that we are starting to get this car squared away and we are racing with the leaders. If we qualify well and we are at the front of the train, I think we have a chance to win. I also think that no matter where we go now, we will be a strong contender."
"Everywhere we go with the new car, we have a good chance to win," Auberlen said. "This is what we should have been doing all year long. But, we did not get the chance until recently. The guys are getting a real good grasp on how the car works. Our engineer Greg Fordahl is getting a better idea of how to click the right things to make it go fast - even though he hasn't had the opportunity to do it [in the past]. This means he was pretty good right out of the box with this car. And, I think going into Watkins Glen we should be pretty strong."
"In the last two races, we've been in contention to win," Team Owner Alex Job said. "So, heading into Watkins Glen, I have every reason to believe we've got a real good shot to win. It's just a matter of time. The team has the car running extremely well even though we've only had it for two races. And, the drivers, Bill and Joey, are doing a fantastic job. The only thing we need now to bring everything together is our first win. I think that once that happens, everyone will breathe a little bit easier and we will get in a rhythm for the final three races.
"Much like the race in Montreal, this race is only two hours long and fuel strategy might play an important role once again. This is especially true if we don't have many cautions. The Montreal race only had two cautions and we came up short on the last lap. If this race is similar (only a few short cautions), at least we now know what we have to do to make it to the end."
Two years ago the Alex Job Racing-prepared Porsche powered Crawford finished third in this race.
The first of two one-hour back-to-back Rolex Series practices starts at 11:30 a.m. (ET), Thursday, Aug. 7, with a 15-minute break before the second session begins. Daytona Prototype qualifying is set for 4:30 p.m., followed by a final one-hour practice session at 7 p.m. The Crown Royal 200 starts at 6:30 p.m., Friday, Aug. 8. Race fans can watch all of the exciting action from Watkins Glen live on SPEED. They can also watch live timing and scoring at www.grand-am.com.