Ruby Tuesday Championship Racing Team Finishes Ninth at Watkins Glen WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (Aug. 10, 2007) -- The Ruby Tuesday Championship Racing Team finished ninth in today's Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Special ...
Ruby Tuesday Championship Racing Team Finishes Ninth at Watkins Glen
WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (Aug. 10, 2007) -- The Ruby Tuesday Championship Racing Team finished ninth in today's Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Special Reserve Round 12 race at Watkins Glen International.
Frenchman Emmanuel Collard started last (due to not recording a qualifying time) in the No. 23 Ruby Tuesday Championship Racing Team Porsche Crawford Daytona Prototype and handed it over to co-driver Patrick Long after only one lap. The team's early race strategy was to pit on the first lap if the race went yellow and the team got exactly what it wanted. When the full course caution came out, Collard brought the Alex Job Racing-prepared Porsche Crawford to pit lane for tires, fuel and a driver change.
"That was the first time it [driving only one lap in a race] has ever happened to me," Collard said of his brief stint. "We [the team] talked about it before the race. I knew there was a possibility I would be getting out of the car if we got a yellow and it happened. But, it's O.K. We came back from last to ninth position and that's pretty good I think."
When the race went green on lap three, Long was in 17th place. Over the next six laps, he continued to set consecutive fast race laps. This quick pace paid off, as he had the No. 23 Porsche Crawford in the top-10 by lap 12. Long spent most of the race riding just inside the top-10 and tried to make a late race push for position (recording his fastest lap on lap 74 with a 1:08.305), but settled for a solid ninth-place finish.
"A top-10 finish in this series means that you are doing your homework," Long said of the team's finish. "Unfortunately, a yellow flag flew right before the 45-minute mark, which allowed some of the other teams to execute their race strategy -- that hurt us from a strategy standpoint. We had to roll the dice. In the end, we didn't end up losing anything to the other teams. But, we would have had the chance to leapfrog quite a few of them. We were hoping for a better result, but now it's on to Sonoma."
"To end up with a top-10 finish, after starting from last, just shows the resiliency of this team to come back after yesterday's crash," team owner Alex Job said. "The car wasn't as good as we had hoped for in the race. The car did get tagged early on and may have knocked the suspension adjustments out a bit. But, we'll take the top-10 finish."