Mustang FR500C Charges to Victory Lane at Laguna Seca

MONTEREY, CA (April 30th, 2005) – Ford Racing Technology and Multimatic Motorsports have completed a California sweep today with Scott Maxwell and David Empringham charging to victory at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

The Grand Am Cup win by the Canadian stars today follows the victory of Gunnar Jeannette and James Gue aboard the Ford Mustang FR500C at California Speedway, Fontana, only four weeks ago.

Jeannette and Gue today cemented their lead in the series championship by clinching fourth place. Both Multimatic Motorsports cars have finished in the top ten in every race in 2005 and now stand 1-2 in the series championship.

Maxwell charged off the front row at the start to take an early race lead, but struck trouble after 12 laps after contact with a lapped car. Maxwell dropped back to fourth and handed the car over to Empringham under a yellow flag pit stop on lap 44.

Empringham resumed in 8th spot and began a barnstorming assault – slicing his way through the field despite the fact the early contact had crippled the cars ABS braking system.

He moved up to the race lead on lap 61 and held on to take a 5.931 second victory over the Mike McCalmont/Darren Law Porsche – the same car that Jeannette and Gue beat in the previous round at Fontana.

The fourth place finish by Jeannette and Gue was an outstanding comeback after this car also struck early trouble. A flat-spotted tire early in Gue’s stint actually dropped the car back to 28th position after two early pitstops, but the two young American aces gradually worked their way back through the field.

The duo were fortunate to grab two extra positions on the final lap when two BMWs clashed – forcing both cars to the pit lane with flat tires.

The Daytona winning Mustang FR500C customer car of Ian James and Tom Nastasi completed a great day for the blue oval brigade – finishing third on the day. Ford continues to lead the drivers, teams and manufacturer’s championships in the Grand Am Cup Series.

The two Multimatic Motorsports cars will now head to Watkins Glen for the next round of the championship on June 9-11.

Ford Racing Technology embarked on this program to return the Mustang to the race track, and unveiled the new Mustang FR500C racer at the Specialty Equipment Manufacturer’s Association Show in Las Vegas in November last year. Ford Racing worked closely with Multimatic on the design, development, and build of the race car to Grand-Am specification.

Ford Racing Performance Parts will offer the Mustang FR500C in Grand-Am Cup specification, as well as all the racing components necessary for race team support and for those enthusiasts interested in enhancing their own Mustangs.


Scott Maxwell

“We came into this season with pretty high expectations but David and I have had a bit of bad luck so it is great for us to ‘get the monkey off our back’. Daytona wasn’t bad with second place, but we had two bad races since then. We have both been looking forward to this race for a long time and really looked at this as the real start of our season. Obviously it worked out really well. A lapped car turned in on me hard early in my stint at the start and brakes weren’t the same after that – I really thought that had wrecked our day, but David did a fantastic job when he got in the car. We are both thrilled to get the win for Ford Racing Technology and Multimatic.” 

David Empringham

“We thought we had a car we could win with here and when Scott got the lead at the start, I thought everything was looking perfect. After Scott got the hit, I thought our race was finished and was pretty sombre after that. When I got in the car I didn’t have great expectations, but all of a sudden I noticed it wasn’t too bad. After I caught and passed Darren Law I had a lot of confidence and really never looked back from there. I have raced a lot here in the past in open wheelers but this is actually my first victory at Laguna Seca. I really love the track so it is great to pick up a win here.”

Gunnar Jeannette

“I had a fun stint at the end of the race, but it was pretty tough because I had worked the brakes a little hard and was struggling a little. We salvaged a good result and kept the points lead which is fantastic. Luck certainly fell our way right at the finish when two of the BMWs had to pit on the last lap. Considering the day was looking pretty grim at one stage, it is fantastic to be fourth and continue the strong run for James and I in the championship. Overall, it has been a brilliant result for the entire team – the Ford Mustang is just a fantastic car.”

James Gue

“We certainly had our share of trouble and it was unfortunate to have to make a couple of early pit stops after flat-spotting a tire. Luckily it didn’t hurt us too badly and we just kept pressing on for the rest of the race and tried to keep out of trouble. The number of yellow flags probably helped us a little as well. Another top five finish is great for Gunnar and my championship hopes and if we weren’t to win – then it is great that Scotty and David got to victory lane. It was pretty entertaining out there today – I am very happy with the result.