BOWMANVILLE, ON (July 13, 2015) – Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (CGRFS) with drivers Scott Pruett and Joey Hand finished sixth in the Prototype class in the Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix Presented by Hawk Performance at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park in Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada.
Pruett started the No. 01 Ford EcoBoost Riley in the third position on the 2.459-mile road course. The first full-course caution came out shortly after the race started. Pruett was called to pit road for fuel just before the yellow flag waved 30 laps into the 128-lap race. However, IMSA ruled the No. 01 did not cross the line to pit lane before the pits were closed and were forced to serve a stop and 60-second penalty. The No. 01 was in the seventh position overall when Hand took over the wheel with just over an hour left in the 2-hour, 40-minute race. After cycling through pit stops, Hand was in the eighth position as he opened his first and only stint of the race. The No. 01 advanced to the sixth position before the checkered flag fell.
The next TUDOR United SportsCar Championship race for CGRFS will be the Continental Tire Road Race Showcase in Elkhart Lake, WI at Road America on August 9.
NOTES OF INTEREST
The No. 01 Ford EcoBoost prototype was forced to stop at the penalty box when IMSA ruled it did not cross the line to pit lane in time before a caution was called and pit lane was closed, just 30 laps into the 128-lap race.
Scott Pruett: “It was close. (Team manager) Mike (O’Gara) was telling me ‘pit, pit, pit’ and I peeled off. It was close. It’s one of those things where it was very difficult for me to see at that point and in hindsight, we have to err on the side of being a little more conservative on things like that. Short of that, the car ran solid and we weren’t the fastest, but we were certainly top three or four. We continue to make progress and will keep doing what we’re doing. On to Watkins Glen.”
Joey Hand: “It was just bad timing is all, but it was the right idea. For (team manager) Mike O’Gara, it was definitely the right idea. We just couldn’t execute it. We’re not the fastest car at the race track, so we have to be a little crafty. You have to take more chances strategy-wise. We definitely have the right guys up there making the calls; it’s just all about timing. The chance that we’d be that close to pit lane when the (prototype challenge) car stopped, to have the chance to pit and have the wherewithal to make that call is harder than people think. Someone sees ‘car stopped’ and Mike O’Gara says ‘pit now.’ There’s no hesitation. You have to be a very strong person to be able to sit up there and call strategy. This was a race that was going to be tough for us anyway, and we had to take a little risk on that stuff. Nobody’s going to be dogging him for making that call, that’s for sure. We’re going to win or lose as a team.”