Traffic the Key to Success for Multimatic in Laguna Seca Mustang Challenge

MONTEREY, CA (April 29th, 2005) – The two Ford Racing Technology Mustang FR500C racecars faced late afternoon peak-hour traffic as the Grand-Am Cup Championship hit the track for the first time at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca this afternoon.

With 71 cars entered for this weekend, finding a clear lap around the 2.238 mile racetrack proved to be the toughest challenge for the Multimatic Motorsports #05 and #55 machines driven by Canadians Scott Maxwell/David Empringham and young American stars, Gunnar Jeannette/James Gue.

With one car for every 166 feet of racetrack, Maxwell and Empringham were fortunate to be able to find a clear lap to stop the clock at 1 minute, 40.005 seconds – fourth fastest on the day.

Jeannette and Gue were not so lucky – their fastest lap of 1:42.731 left them back in 28th position on the time sheet. Gue was also unlucky to damage the front of the #55 Mustang when he was part of a group of cars which made contact trying to avoid another spun car.

Both combinations will get the chance to make improvements tomorrow morning in final practice at 8.40am before taking to the track for qualifying at 11.45am.

Tomorrow’s 90 lap race kicks off at 2.45pm.

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

“I have only raced here a couple of times before but the circuit is beautiful. It is very challenging and you rarely get a chance to rest anywhere. I am still learning little tricks with every extra lap I do. I am very happy with the car although it was tough to find a clear lap out there. The big difference is where you catch the traffic, that can make a huge difference and really hold you up if you are in the wrong spot. Tomorrow you have to be agressive, but you have to be patient as well. I really think we are going to see a lot of yellow flag periods during the race.”

David Empringham

“This is my first race here since 1997 and the first time I have raced here with a roof over my head. The car is pretty strong, but we still have some work to do tomorrow morning to work on our race package. Scotty was able to put in a strong time on fresh tires, while I concentrated on our race set-up later in the session. The car is great through the fast sections of the course and stops and turns pretty well for the corkscrew. The corkscrew is actually a lot easier than people make it out to be. It really is only a second gear corner that drops off quickly.”

Gunnar Jeannette

“Our time today really wasn’t anywhere near what we could do. Both of us had a really bad run with the traffic – everytime I thought I would be able to put down a strong lap, traffic would make a mess of the lap. With 71 cars entered for this weekend’s race – traffic is going to play a huge role. A lot of the straights here actually are curved so it is not as easy as other circuits to just power by the slower class cars. Having said that, it is still great to be back to a proper road course, rather than running on the infield road courses.”

James Gue

“Gunnar and I will be looking to bounce back tomorrow, and hopefully pull out a clean lap when it counts in qualifying. I ended up in a couple of scraps today with traffic turning in on me and I also damaged the nose when a car spun and three or four of us all checked up to try to miss him and we all hit nose-to-tail. Scotty and David showed the Mustang is still pretty quick around here, but the BMWs are going to be very strong in the race tomorrow. Qualifying will be a little easier because we only have the GS cars on the track at that time – rather than the entire 71 car field.”