John Finger Sweeps VIR Weekend, Takes Win After Earning Pole Alton, VA- John Finger [number 14 John Finger Mazda Mustang] returned to American GT Challenge competition after missing the middle portion of the schedule, with the same results he ...
John Finger Sweeps VIR Weekend, Takes Win After Earning Pole
Alton, VA- John Finger [number 14 John Finger Mazda Mustang] returned to American GT Challenge competition after missing the middle portion of the schedule, with the same results he achieved at the inaugural AGT event at Carolina Motorsports Park, an event win. Finger started from the number one qualifying position and never looked back as he led flag to flag.
"The weekend went well for us," said Finger. "I accomplished everything except for the fastest race lap."
Finger who was pursued by Edison Lluch [number 73 Eltuque Hotel and Resort Corvette] was prepared for a battle up front until Lluch was sidelined during the early stages. "It is a shame the 73 car went out, it could have been a great battle. Hopefully I can attend the event at Puerto Rico and we will continue the fight there."
"The AGT has had a good first year. The competition is fast, Goodyear provides a wonderful tire, I am looking forward to next year," commented Finger.
Edison Lluch entered the VIR event third in overall points and looking to take over the top spot. While starting second in the field, Lluch's day came up short as a mechanical failure cost him a shot at the win and needed points, Lluch was a DNF.
"It was tough luck," said Lluch. "The oil pump pulley went and I had to park the car. During the race I was running a solid second up to that point."
Lluch was pleased with the event and tremendous support supplied by the AGT fans in attendance. "Fans, thanks for being here," offered Edison. "To all the fans and racers, see you in Ponce, Puerto Rico on October 23!"
Glenn Andrew made his debut in AGT as well as competing for the first time at VIR. Andrew arrived at VIR with the goal of running consistent lap times and shot at the top three. Andrew accomplished both with a podium spot of second place. Andrew battled most of the event with Woodson Duncan and Joe Hooker.
"The crew really worked on the car," commented Coach. "They had to do a transmission repair and were up all night."
While the VIR event was Andrew's debut into AGT, he felt the series is where his team will compete in the future. "AGT made us feel welcomed. For a small team like ours we really like that," offered Glenn.
Bob Humphries [number 4 Delta Apparel Camaro] earned the final podium spot at the end of the event. Humphries made quick study of the VIR circuit during the weekend, having never been to the facility before.
"It was a fun race," said Bob. "Fifty minutes is a good race length. Now all I have to do is last the fifty minutes," joked Humphries.
"The AGT is a good, solid organization. More cars need to get involved," Humphries replied.
The AGT leaves VIRginia International Raceway with an established track record and a piece of the history book at the storied venue. The American GT Challenge series will compete next October 24 at Ponce International Speedway in Ponce, Puerto Rico.
Charlie Webster [number 95 C.J. Webster of Canada Corvette] came to VIR second in championship points. While race day did not end as hoped for, Webster remains in second for overall points heading to Puerto Rico. On lap two of the event, a steering heim joint broken causing Webster to pit. The team repaired the car in 18 minutes and sent Charlie on his way. Webster soldiered on to finish eighth.
Joe Hooker competed during the weekend in the number 8 Monte Carlo GTA car. Hooker aided friend and business partner Bob Humphries with track knowledge and driver setup. Hooker enjoyed his weekend. "We had a great time. The AGT did their usual good job," said Hooker. "But I don't know, fifty minutes is a long time for an old man like me," quipped Joe.
Don Soenen ran fast all weekend in the number 74 Mustang. Soenen had his race cut short with a blown motor. The Soenen team will prepare the car and return to AGT for the majority of the 2005 season.
<pre> Race results Pos # Driver Team/Car Fast Lap 1 14 John Finger John Finger Mazda Ford Mustang 1:55:786 2 8 Joe Hooker Turn One Motorsports Chevrolet Monte Carlo 2:2:214 3 19 Glen Andrew Terre Haute 1st National Bank Chevrolet Camaro 2:1:206 4 74O Charles Vaughn Hip National Bank Ford Taurus 2:8:220 5 4 Bob Humphries Delta Apparel Chevrolet Camaro 1:57:741 6 74 Don Soenen Ford Mustang 1:56:691 7 29 Woodson Duncan Garden Iron Ford Mustang 2:1:437 8 95 Charlie Webster C.J. Webster of Canada Chevrolet Corvette 1:57:801 9 73 Edison Lluch Don Q/ Eltuque Hotel and Resort Chevrolet Corvette 1:55:667