Andretti Green Racing missed out on a potential victory in the Generac 500 after being forced out of the latest round of the American Le Mans Series at Road America in the closing stages.
Franck Montagny and new team-mate James Rossiter had put in a strong performance at the wheel of the XM Satellite-backed Acura to look well placed for either a class or overall win with barely ten minutes remaining but contact with the GT2 Drayson-Barwell Aston Martin put the car into retirement.
Montagny had started the race from the second spot on the grid and dialled the XM Acura in before handing over the driving duties to Rossiter for his race debut in the LMP2 car. After a stint of an hour and ten minutes, the Briton turned the wheel back over to Montagny who set his sights on the finish.
Montagny battled his way to the front of the pack, but contact with the Aston Martin at the end of the long backstretch on the 96th lap saw him sustain too much damage to continue.
“I was side by side with the Aston Martin and he just ran into the side of me,” the Frenchman said afterwards. “His front wheel hit my front wheel. The XM Acura was getting better and better. We were just coming off a restart and I was fighting for the overall lead, and then he hit me. That was it. It is very, very disappointing for the team and very, very disappointing for myself.”
Rossiter meanwhile admitted that, while the end result was disappointing, he was pleased with his time at the wheel.
“My stint was good,” he said. “It was very enjoyable. Franck made a couple of adjustments to the car before I got in that cured the issues we were having, so the XM Acura was great. This was still a bit of a warm-up for me as I didn't have many laps in the car before the race, but it was a great first experience. I'm very disappointed for the team today, but I'm definitely looking forward to Mosport.”