Grand AM » 07 June 2007
Grand-Am: Enge joins Carpentier at Samax.
Tomas Enge will join SAMAX Motorsport team driver Patrick Carpentier for the upcoming Six Hours of the Glen, round six of the 14-race Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series, scheduled to start this Saturday.
A regular competitor in the 24 Hours of Le Mans since 2002, this will be the Czech drivers' second start of the 2007 season with the South Florida-based SAMAX Motorsport team.
Team owner Peter Baron is pleased to have Enge link up with the team for this endurance race. Baron also announced that Antoine Bessette would be on hand this weekend as the team's third driver.
“I'm glad to have both drivers on board for this weekend's race,” said Baron. “Patrick and Tomas will share the bulk of the work and we will get Antoine involve at some point. Negotiations are still going on to have Antoine drive with us in five or six races this year.
"This is our first long race since Daytona, and I think that teams will be more cautious in the first five hours. It will be smarter to have a car in good shape for the last hour, but it will also be important to be on the lead lap.”
This will be Carpentier's second visit to the Glen. In the 2005 Indy Racing League contest at the Western New York racetrack, he was running fourth with 10 laps to go when he lost fifth gear. The French Canadian driver managed to complete the race in 10th place overall.
This season, Carpentier, who missed the Virginia race, is 10th overall in the Rolex DP Driver Standings with 106 points. Scott Pruett leads the points chase with 148.
“This our first long distance race since Daytona,” said the Canadian. “This six-hour meeting should be fun because we will have plenty of track time. The last four events were short, two and a half hour sprint races, but if the last Daytona event is any indication of the pace of the upcoming Watkins Glen race, drivers could be going at full speed and the only strategy would be to go flat out for six hours. Tomas is a very fast driver and this will make it interesting for the team.”
Enge tested last Sunday at Le Mans for the upcoming 24 Hours of Le Mans. The LMGT1 Aston Martin DBR9 posted the second quickest class time in the test session. Enge then returned to America. Following the race, Enge will head back to France.
“Competing on both sides of the Atlantic in such a short period of time can be tough, but I've done it before,” said Enge, who finished with a solid sixth place finish when he co-drove the second SAMAX Pontiac Riley at the Rolex 24 at Daytona last January. “It was a dream come true to drive at the Daytona classic and I found that the Daytona Prototype really suited my driving style.
“It is unfortunate that we could not fight for a podium finish at the end. We had a few on track incidents, which cost us several laps, but we hung on there to cross the finish line after 24 hours. Now I'm hoping to get a chance to go for the win this time. With Patrick, we will do whatever it takes to get that win and I believe we're capable of achieving this!”
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