TEAM NEWS: Ruby Tuesday Championship Racing Team's Bergmeister and Long Take Hunt For DP Championship To Mid-Ohio

Photo by John Thawley TAVARES, Fla. (June 19, 2007) -- Almost halfway through the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series Daytona Prototype season, the Ruby Tuesday Championship Racing Team and its drivers Jorg Bergmeister and Patrick Long are in contention to win the coveted Daytona Prototype Team and Drivers' Championships, respectively.

The next stop on the team's quest to win those championships begins with the EMCO Gears Classic presented by KeyBank June 21-24 at Mid Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio. Currently, Bergmeister and Long are in sixth place in the Grand-Am Rolex Series Daytona Prototype Driver Point standings with 147 points (33 points behind the leader Scott Pruett) and are primed to climb the championship ladder after one of the most inspiring race finishes in recent memory, which saw Bergmeister and Long finish eighth at Watkins Glen two weeks ago despite having to navigate the 3.4-mile, 11-turn track without power steering.

As the team heads to the serene hills of central Ohio, Bergmeister, Long and the entire race team are prepared to do what it takes to put the No. 23 Ruby Tuesday Championship Racing Team Porsche Crawford in victory circle for the second time this season. Speaking of victory circle, Long is coming off his second-career LMGT2 class win at the 24-Hours of Le Mans. Following last weekend's 75th running of the French classic, both Bergmeister and Long are excited to be back stateside to tackle the 13-turn, 2.258-mile Mid-Ohio circuit.

"I really like the track," Bergmeister said. "I almost won there last year in a Daytona Prototype. I am really looking forward to going back there. It should be a track that is pretty good for the Crawford. Hopefully, we can improve upon the work we've done so far. It [the car] is getting better and better. I think we are pretty competitive in qualifying now and our race pace is pretty good also."

"Mid-Ohio was a good track for us last year and I know our car is generally improved in certain areas that really favor that track," Long said. "So, I am really positive going in. I would like for us to get our first pole of the year there."

"The Ruby Tuesday Championship Racing Team is on the cusp of putting together a string of podium finishes," team owner Alex Job said. "We've got the car just about where we want it to be at this point in the season to make a serious run at the championship. In the last couple of races, we've just missed putting the car on the pole and we've run consistent fast race laps on par with the other lead cars. With that in mind, we would like to record our second win of the season this weekend at Mid-Ohio."

Piloting the No. 23 Ruby Tuesday Championship Racing Team Porsche Crawford, Long started from the pole in last year's EMCO Gears Classic, while Bergmeister finished second driving the No. 76 machine. This season, the team has one win, two top-five and five top-10 finishes. The Ruby Tuesday Championship Racing Team is in fifth place in the Grand-Am Rolex Series Daytona Prototype Team Point standings with 147 points (33 points behind the leader).

The No. 23 Porsche Crawford will turn its first practice laps at 9:10 a.m. (EDT), with a second practice set to begin at 2:10 p.m. (EDT), and qualifying set for 4:55 p.m. (EDT) Friday, June 22. Final practice for the Grand-Am Rolex Series Daytona Prototypes will start at 10:05 a.m. (EDT) Saturday, June 23, with green flag racing set for 5:45 p.m. (EDT). Fans can catch tape delayed race coverage on SPEED Channel beginning at 8 p.m. (EDT) June 23.

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