TEAM NEWS: SAMAX Motorsports Race Day Cut Short with Engine Problem

Photo by John Thawley WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (June 9, 2007) -- SAMAX Motorsports race day was cut short with an engine problem at the Six Hours of the Glen, held Saturday at Watkins Glen International road course in Western New York. Czech Republic driver Tomas Enge qualified the #11 SAMAX Pontiac Riley Daytona Prototype in eighth place on Friday and was scheduled as the starting driver. He would share the car with Canadian drivers Patrick Carpentier and Antoine Bessette.

Fifteen laps into round 6 of the 14-race Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Special Reserve schedule, Enge brought the Pontiac Riley into the pits with a broken engine, The SAMAX crew had a quick look and pushed the car out of pit lane and into the transporter. The Six Hours of the Glen lasted just 30 minutes for the South Florida-based team.

"I was really enjoying this ride," said Enge. "The car sounded great until the engine just gave up on lap 15. It is just a shame because the team had prepared a good car. When I drove into the pits, the crew looked at the engine and said we were done for the day. I was hoping for a full race because I enjoy driving the Daytona Prototypes. A full race would have been a good test for my left elbow that was broken back in March in a racing accident. Now I will have to wait until next week at the 24 Hours of Le Mans to see if it has completely healed."

Tomas will fly to France, along with another dozen or so Grand-Am Rolex drivers. Testing will begin on Wednesday, June 13 in preparation for the 75th edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The race is scheduled to start Saturday June 16 at 3:00 p.m. local time.

Newcomer Antoine Bessette got his first taste of the SAMAX Pontiac prototype during Saturday's warm-up, posting the 12th fastest time of the 20-minute session. The French Canadian driver was due to take over from Enge. As for Patrick Carpentier, he was disappointed by the outcome of this race.

"This is quite a short weekend indeed," said Carpentier. "It is also very disappointing because the team usually gives us a very competitive car for each race and it looked good out there. The team was assessing whether it was a lifter, a rocker arm or a dropped valve that caused the engine failure. It is quite unusual to have engine problems in the Grand-Am series. This one only had four hours of track time. In the past, we have run them without problems for 24 to 26 hours. I really don't know what happened"

Round seven of the 2007 14-race Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series schedule will be held at Mid-Ohio sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio, the weekend of June 23-24, 2007.

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