MONTEREY, Calif. (May 4, 2015) – Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (CGRFS) with drivers Scott Pruett and Joey Hand finished seventh in the Prototype class in the Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix Powered by Mazda at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, Calif.
Pruett started the No. 01 Ford EcoBoost Riley in the second position for the opening stint of the two-hour and 40-minute sprint race. As the nine-car Prototype class navigated through the first corner of the 2.238-mile long track, first-lap contact with the No. 10 Prototype damaged a dive plane on the No. 01 car. Despite a lengthy pit stop to change the nose of the car and a driver change under a full-course yellow, Hand was able to steadily move up through the field until the team suffered an issue with the gearbox. The No. 01 Ford EcoBoost Riley team made repairs allowing Hand to return to the race and run consistent lap times. However, Hand was never able to recover fully from the nine-lap deficit resulting in the seventh place Prototype class finish.
The next TUDOR United SportsCar Championship race will be the Chevrolet Sports Car Classic Presented by the Metro Detroit Chevy Dealers at the Raceway at Belle Isle Park in Detroit, MI on May 30.
NOTES OF INTEREST:
This race marked the fourth consecutive race that the No. 01 Ford EcoBoost Riley has finished in the top-10 in the Prototype class.
Scott Pruett: “We had a solid start, but I knew (the first lap contact with the No. 10) was coming. I think the No. 10 was watching me and not paying attention to the inside and the No. 90 slipped up and got inside of him and shoved the No. 10 into me. I was trying to stay out of the way, but it just clipped one of the front dive planes. We were still running solid and on yellow decided to come in and change the nose and change the driver and continue on, then we had the issue with the gearbox. It’s frustrating. It feels like we’re taking two steps forward and one step back. We had a lot of momentum coming off of Long Beach and had a real strong run in qualifying here and then unfortunately didn’t quite have the luck we wanted in the race.”
Joey Hand: “It was just bad luck. We wanted to have a good showing here for a lot of reasons. Just to keep the momentum going. We were seventh, fourth and second the last three races and we want to keep that championship points run going. Not only that, but its Scott and I’s home race. It’s great to do well in front of all of your family and friends. There was a lot going for us here. We had all the makings for a good race. There was no warning at all (on the gearbox issue). I just shifted to fifth gear and there was a big bang and the engine went to max revs, like it was in neutral. I just pushed the clutch in and coasted down the hill. I could tell there was a big problem. The team replaced the whole internal portion of the gearbox. They are ready to make big changes quickly and they did. If this had been Daytona, we’d still be in the mix. But because it’s such a short race, there’s no way to come back. You have to think about earning points, even when you’re down laps. You have to get the car back out and make as many laps as you can as quickly as possible and that’s what we did.”