HUNTER-REAY SIXTH IN DENVER AS GLOCK MISSES A PODIUM FINISH WITH NINE LAPS TO GO DENVER , Col. (August 14, 2005) - Mixed emotions filled the Rocketsports Racing pits today as Ryan Hunter-Reay matched his best finish of the season, while ...
HUNTER-REAY SIXTH IN DENVER AS GLOCK MISSES A PODIUM FINISH WITH NINE LAPS TO GO
DENVER , Col. (August 14, 2005) - Mixed emotions filled the Rocketsports Racing pits today as Ryan Hunter-Reay matched his best finish of the season, while teammate Timo Glock suffered a broken heart after a strong run in this afternoon's Centrix Financial Grand Prix of Denver Presented by PacifiCare.
A five-car pile up in Turn 1 on the first lap changed the fate for Rocketsports Racing. Glock was caught up with no where to go after starting tenth, while Hunter-Reay successfully made his way around to move up to eighth after starting from the 17th spot. No contact was made by Glock in the #8 DHL Global Mail Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone, but he was concerned that he may have run over some debris.
Pitting on lap four, the rookie came in for fuel and to check the tires. No damage was done, and he was on his way. Sitting 14th, Glock started to work his way back to where he started. When the green flag waved on lap seven, the German started to demonstrate his driving skills making his way through the field. By lap 26, Glock was sitting tenth. As the laps continued to count down, he found himself comfortably in fifth place. Driving hard and running quick times, Glock was able to keep the leader, Paul Tracy, from putting him a lap down. Unexpectedly, Tracy went into the wall and out came the desired yellow flag that the #8 crew wanted. Making his last pit stop, Glock was out and ready to fight until the end in the fourth position.
A spin by Mario Dominguez allowed Glock into the top three. Continuing to post solid lap times, he was able to hold off Dominguez who was trying hard to get his way back into the top three. With just ten laps to go, the German radioed to his crew that third gear had went. They encouraged him to stay on it and try to make it to the end. Then the rest of the top gears began to give way, and the rookie knew his day was done bringing his disabled machine into the pits for an early retirement.
Glock finished the race 13th, but maintains his lead in the Rookie-of-the-Year standings and sits ninth in the Champ Car championship standings with a total of 117 points.
Hunter-Reay made some passes to move up to sixth, before he had a bit of a problem and dropped down to the ninth spot on lap 33. A success pit stop solved potential problems, and the American was back on his way coming out 13th. As time passed and another smooth pit stop, Hunter-Reay sat ninth with 31 laps to go. On lap 88, the Champ Car veteran had made his way back to sixth, where he would remain until the drop of the checkered flag. Hunter-Reay earned his third top-ten finish of the season, matching his best finish this year of sixth in Toronto.
Next up for the Rocketsports Racing team is the Molson Indy Montreal, August 26-28. Hunter-Reay's best start on the 2.709-mile permanent road course of Circuit Gilles Villeneuve was ninth last year, but has yet to complete a full race in two years of driving at the circuit. Glock, who made his Formula One debut on the Montreal circuit, will look to score his first podium of his rookie season with the k nowledge he gained during his run last year.
Ryan Hunter-Reay #31 Rocketsports Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone
"My first stint was what my whole race hinged-on. I avoided trouble at the start and made a few passes. I got into a good rhythm. Later into the run 10 laps before I pitted, I started having issues with the tire pressures, combined with the long brake pedal, set us back a few positions. When I came into the pits for my first stop, I couldn't use the pit speed limiter because it was not working. From that stop, we were able to continue the race with no issues. It was just a shame that we lost positions like that. The Rocketsports crew did a great job this afternoon on pit stops, and I would like to thank them for all their hard work. Sixth is not a bad result, considering we started 17th, so overall it was not a bad day."
Timo Glock #8 DHL Global Mail/Rocketsports Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone
"It goes with out saying, just how disappointed I am. After getting held up on the first lap with the Turn 1 incident, we found ourselves at the back of the field. Then my engineer, David Watson, and team developed a new race strategy and we went from there. I began having problems getting into the third gear on the straight, but the DHL Global Mail car was near perfect halfway through the race. I was able to run quick laps and hold of (Paul) Tracy, and that was critical. He was the leader and we saved ourselves from going a lap down. After the last yellow, I was having problems with the tire temperatures. I just took my time, letting them catch up with the car, rather than pushing hard and making a mistake. Then Dominguez came up on me and we were racing hard for third. I was able to hold him off, until third gear went. He got around me and I just tried to keep pushing, but then fourth gear started to go, then fifth. There was nothing I could do but bring the car in. It is so frustrating. My Rocketsports team did such a great job today and really deserved a great finish, but we will move on and try again in Montreal."
Paul Gentilozzi, Rocketsports Racing Team Owner
"Third gear broke on Timo's car today, and that ended his day with only nine laps to go. I am left with a very heavy heart, as he is such a great guy and it is such a shame that this had to happen. He is an excellent driver running a solid race today and he deserved that podium finish today. It was just a bad luck day for the #8 car. I am happy with Ryan's result. He drove a clean race, stayed in there, and matched his best season finish. Not bad, starting from 17th to finish sixth."