TEAM NEWS: Ruby Tuesday Championship Racing Team Experiences Frustration In Qualifying at Mid-Ohio

Photo by John Thawley LEXINGTON, Ohio (June 22, 2007) -- The Ruby Tuesday Championship Racing Team will be put to the test when the green flag drops for Round Seven of the Grand-Am Rolex Series presented by Crown Royal Special Reserve tomorrow at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

Just as Jorg Bergmeister was getting set to qualify the No. 23 Ruby Tuesday Championship Racing Team Porsche Crawford, he began heating up the tires, prior to pulling off pit lane, when the drive shaft broke. As a result, the No. 23 machine will start from the rear of the 19-car field for the EMCO Gears Classic presented by KeyBank.

"Somehow my qualifying sessions are getting shorter and shorter," Bergmeister said with a good-spirited smile on his face and frustration in his voice. "Last time at VIR we broke the push rod in the rear on my first flying lap and now I didn't even make it out of pit lane due to a broken drive shaft. I think there was some damage from the problem we had in the second practice session. With all of the problems we've had so far this weekend, the race should be perfect. I think we've gotten all of our bad luck out of the way.

"We have another warm-up session [prior to the race]. Right now, we don't really know where we are in terms of the setup because we only did three laps in the practice session before [qualifying]. We changed the car almost completely before that session. And now, we didn't turn any laps in qualifying -- this doesn't make things easier."

In today's second Daytona Prototype practice session, Patrick Long turned three laps before a broken gearbox forced the No. 23 Daytona Prototype into the Turn Two gravel. Although the team was able to fix the gearbox prior to qualifying, it is believed that the drive shaft may have experienced residual damage when car went off track.

"Unfortunately, we lost almost the entire session before qualifying and now we've lost qualifying," team owner Alex Job said. "So, we are really behind the game in terms of setup. It is a 'guesstimate' now with what we've got to race with. But, we've got to come from the back to the front. I believe we can do it."

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 Ford Riley. This season, the team has one win, two top-five and five top-10 finishes.

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 same day race coverage on SPEED Channel beginning at 8 p.m. (EDT) June 23.

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