Saturday
Jun232007

TEAM NEWS: AINSCO Pontiac Rules At Mid-Ohio

Photo by John Thawley The No. 99 GAINSCO Pontiac Riley Daytona Prototype (DP) won the EMCO Gears Classic at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course and round seven of the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Special Reserve this evening.

The Pontiac powered GAINSCO Riley, once again, started from pole position and won the two-hour-and-forty-five-minute race by over 30-seconds to the next closest competitor at the 2.2-mile, 13-turn Mid-Ohio circuit. This makes two in a row and three on the season for the Texas based team. Fogarty started the race and stretched the lead to 14-seconds up to the mandatory 45-minute pit stops. Fogarty turned the car over to teammate Alex Gurney who proceeded to build the lead and stretch it to a half-minute by the checker. The Texas based team was never challenged at the front in the caution free race.

"No yellows and trouble free," said Gurney. "The car was amazing, even late in the stint on old tires. The team even helped us make up time in the pits, with great stops. Kyle Brannan [team engineer] really has a good handle on the car and the way Jon and I like to have it setup. We are really on a roll and we are trying to catch up in points from a tough start at Daytona."

Colin Braun and Max Papis aboard the No. 75 Krohn Pontiac Riley came home in third. The duo fought back from their sixth place qualifying effort to move their DP car to the front of the field. Braun was in a four way scrap at the end and benefited from a competitor running low on fuel to take the last step on the podium.

"We struggled early in the week," Braun said. "We had a good warm-up session this morning and were happy with the car going into the race. Max gave me the car toward the front of the field and I was able to engage in a good battle with the 01. I got by him into turn four and couldn't make it stick. After our Watkins Glen finish this will help our motivation going to Daytona in 10-days."

The No. 10 SunTrust Riley Pontiac driven by Jonathan Cochet and Max Angelelli was also in the battle for a podium position at the end of the race, but just came up short to finish in fourth. The championship contending team put in a mistake free race to maximize their points on the day.

"Power steering definitely was my issue," Angelelli said. "When I got in the car, after I think three or four laps, I lost power steering in the slow corners. It was tough. We don't understand what happened on the final pit stop when we lost some ground to the 01. It's a shame. What can I say? We were ahead of the 01 and we finished behind them. For some reason, it didn't' work out in our favor. We have to figure out why, and we have to fix it."

Jim Mathews and Ryan Hunter-Reay in the No. 91 Riley-Mathews Motorsports Riley Pontiac was quick all day, but ran afoul of over zealous competitors toward the end of the race. Hunter-Reay had contact with the 76 car late and was forced pit, sealing an eleventh place finish on the day.

"We were one of the fastest cars on the track," Hunter-Reay said. "The car was a little tight toward the end, but I was still really quick through the Carousel and Key Hole. At the end I got hit twice by the same car and was forced to pit with a couple of laps to go, I don't think we lost a position, but it is just frustrating. The Riley guys gave us a good car, we deserved better today."

Round eight of the Grand-Am Rolex series will be a one day event on July 5 at Daytona International Raceway.

Grand-Am Top Ten Mid-Ohio Daytona Prototype Finishers:

1. Fogarty, Gurney, Pontiac Riley

2. Pruett, Rojas, Lexus Riley

3. Braun, Papis, Pontiac Riley

4. Taylor, Angelelli, Cochet, Pontiac Riley

5. Donohue, Law, Porsche Riley

6. Long, Bergmeister, Porsche Crawford

7. Valiante, Finlay, Lexus Riley

8. Fittipaldi, Brix, Porsche Fabcar

9. Negri, Patterson, Lexus Riley

10. Pew, James, Lexus Riley

Highlight video can be downloaded from, Satellite Space: SBS6 tx 13A/B; Uplink Freq: 14306.5 V; Downlink Freq: 12006.5 H; Bandwidth: 18 MHz; Data Rate: 18.295; Symbol Rate: 13.235; FEC: ¾;Signal Standard: 18 MHz Digital Transmission; Audio: Ch 1 - Stereo Left, Ch 2 - Stereo Right, Ch 3 - Nats Only,Ch 4 - Nats Only. Highlights and interview package will run repeatedly in the 15-minute window.

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