News

Mustang FR500C on the Pace in Rainy Practice in Virginia

ALTON, VA (October 7th, 2005) – David Empringham’s championship chances of clinching the Grand Am Cup Driver’s title continue to look strong after the Ford Racing Technology/Multimatic Motorpsorts star dominated with team-mate Scott Maxwell at a rainy Virginia International Raceway today.

The #05 Ford Mustang FR500C was fastest in both sessions with team-mates Gunnar Jeannette and James Gue equally as impressive – both taking turns at the top of the practice timesheet during both sessions.

Empringham needs a 10th place or better to clinch the driver’s championship while a 1-2 Multimatic Ford Mustang victory would wrestle the manufacturer’s and team’s championship from BMW as well.

Today’s opening practice session was held in heavy rain as the circuit was struck by the remnants of hurricane “Tammy”. The afternoon second practice gave the teams the chance to try the circuit on slicks as the rain abated and dry line began to form.

The Multimatic Motorsports team will have one final practice session tomorrow morning at 9.00am following by qualifying at 11.00am. The 200-mile final round of the 2005 Grand Am Cup Championship will greet the green flag at 1.50pm.

“We really had an awesome day. Today’s success we can really put down to our driving talent,” Multimatic Vice President Larry Holt said.

“We gave the guys a reasonable car but the conditions were very tricky out there. It was wet, drying and then dry – I could have given them anything and they would have done a great job.

“David was constantly a second and half to two seconds quicker than anybody out there when the track was drying and Scotty did the same in the morning in the rain.

“Gunnar and James were only just behind. Gunnar was very quick on slicks before David even tried them and James also took his turn at the top of the timing screen early in the session. Today was 100 per cent down to the drivers – they did a great job.”

In conjunction with the final round of the Grand Am Cup Championship, Multimatic Motorsports has launched a new website (pictured right) which features the complete history of the Toronto-based squad as well as dedicated sections for Multimatic’s Rolex Series and Grand Am Cup programs.

The new website has been specially developed with an online content management system which can be specifically adapted for any motorsport application. Multimatic’s new online website development application will be available for sale to other motorsport teams throughout the world.

Quotes

Scott Maxwell

“We had an excellent day today to be P1 in both sessions – one was soaking wet and one started to dry out so that is a very good sign for us. We have a set-up which seems to like the track regardless of the conditions. Usually you have a totally different set-up for different conditions like that and we really didn’t change the car very much at all. If it starts to dry out or get wet during the race I don’t think we will have a problem at all. The cars feels strong in all conditions and everybody else out there will face the same challenges.”

David Empringham

“I am cautiously optimistic about our progress so far because the car feels really good. But every time I get a little too confident we find somebody right on our tail so we just have to keep working on getting the car even better for tomorrow. The track suits the Mustang really well and I think in an ideal world we will try and qualify on the pole and try and stay up front. That will be the safest strategy for me for the championship because it can be tricky to get caught up in some drama back in the pack. We will see what kind of hand we are dealt tomorrow and give it the best shot we can.”

Gunnar Jeannette

“Another mixed weather session for us this afternoon – that seems to be the pattern throughout this weekend. The car continued to feel really good. It can be pretty tricky as the conditions change but we are certainly getting a handle on it. Our car was P1 for the majority of the second session and I think we will certainly have the speed in the race. The Mustang FR500C is really strong on the long up hill straightaway here and it seems to like fast sweeping corners like the but the fast esses here.”

James Gue

“Today the conditions varied throughout the day and we were chasing the setup with that a bit. We had a full wet session in the morning and the car was really good. If anything I think the car is even more competitive when it is wet and I wouldn’t be upset if it rained during the race. But either way, wet or dry, I think we are in very good shape so far. If the weather changes during the race it will obviously be difficult for everyone if you start wet and go dry or the other way round. But we have had a few sessions like that this weekend so we certainly are not unprepared for it.”