Watkins Glen: SAMAX Motorsport preview

The SAMAX/ Doncaster Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car will carry a new number in this week's Rolex Sports Car Series race, but the same talented team will be behind the wheel. The Toronto trio of Dave Lacey, Greg Wilkins and Mark Wilkins will switch...

The SAMAX/ Doncaster Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car will carry a new number in this week's Rolex Sports Car Series race, but the same talented team will be behind the wheel. The Toronto trio of Dave Lacey, Greg Wilkins and Mark Wilkins will switch from No. 71 to No. 17 for the six-hour race at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International on June 3.

courage and inspiration

Dave Lacey isn't concerned about the car number; his focus is on race numbers. He enjoyed his first Watkins Glen podium finish in 1999 and his most recent in 2005, driving with Greg Wilkins in Grand-Am Cup competition. With a single exception, they have finished in the top five in every race they have contested at Watkins Glen, including a fifth-place finish in last year's six-hour Rolex Series race.

Lacey links their success to the similarity of the 3.4-mile road course to their home track, Mosport International Raceway in Bowmanville, Ont.

"It's a good race track for us -- we finished fifth last year and we've been on the podium a few times with Grand-Am Cup, so it's a great home away from home for us," he said. "It's very much like Mosport, with fast, sweeping corners. It's less really tight, technical stuff, more courage and inspiration. It's a terrific race track and a great part of the world."

rain ready

Mark Wilkins has considerable experience racing at Watkins Glen in the Formula Renault 2000 championship. And he knows the rain line!

"I've probably driven more in the rain at The Glen than I have in the dry," he acknowledged. "At Watkins Glen, it's all about finding the 'rivers'. There are a lot of really bad 'rivers' that run up the esses, in the back section of the track on some of the hills. The difference [driving in the rain] is to just come up to speed slowly and make sure you find the grip."

He said the competitive nature of the series means the team can't settle for a comfortable endurance setup on the car, but he likes the changes made for the two-hour 45-minute race at Lime Rock Park in Lakeville, Conn., on May 29.

"We're back to more of an endurance format, which usually means a more conservative setup. But the way the competition is, you can't let up. I think we'll get the car as close as we can and set it up more like a sprint race, but keep in mind it is a six-hour," he said. "With the setup changes we've made, I think we have a little momentum now."

-samax-

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Dave Lacey , Greg Wilkins , Mark Wilkins