Ruhlman set to run 2007 Mexico city race in #3 Preformed line products southard motorsports prototype

#3 Preformed Line Products Daytona Prototype


MEXICO CITY(Jan. 27, 2007) – This weekend marks the return of the Grand-Am Daytona Prototype cars to Mexico City for the second race of the 2007 Rolex Cup season--the Mexico City 250 at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriquez.  Ready to follow up last month's Rolex 24 At Daytona is the No.3 Preformed Line Products Daytona Prototype of Southard Motorsports, featuring drivers Shane Lewis and Randy Ruhlman.  The pair will share the driving duties of the Southard Motorsports Lexus Riley for the Saturday, March 3rd, Mexico City Rolex Sports Car Series race.

Shane Lewis and Randy Ruhlman both drove the recently redesigned Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in 2006 Grand-Am competition.  The track presents some challenges, including some rhythmic driving sections, that Ruhlman says, "You definitely don't want to get behind in these sections of the track.  We're going to have to drive smoothly and have a good set up, because if you do get behind, you're going to be behind for four or five more turns, and that'll be costly in time and in track position."

Lewis agrees, "Randy’s right.  It is so important to have a really good car for the fast sweeping corners here in Mexico.  We will be working with our engineer, Kris Mellon, to find the perfect combination.  It'll be fun to get out there and get back to the basics of a quick car and a strong set up.  I’m also looking forward to putting our new Lexus power plant through its paces.  With the Daytona 24 hour behind us, we can now get to the business of flat out sprint races."

On-track activities get started on Thursday with two practice sessions on the 2.788-mile track.  Qualifying is scheduled for Friday at 11 a.m. with the 250-mile race slated to begin at 3:15 p.m. CT.  Live television coverage will begin Saturday, March 3rd on SPEED at 4 p.m. ET (1 p.m. PT). 

Shane Lewis is a four-year veteran of the Southard Motorsports and part of the team's two Grand-Am podium finishes last year.  Randy Ruhlman joined the team this year after running last year in Daytona Prototypes and following a successful career in the Trans-Am Series. 

The No. 3 Preformed Line Products Daytona Prototype is campaigned by Southard Motorsports of Powell, Ohio.  The Riley chassis is powered by Lexus engines with technical expertise by TRD Engineering and carries sponsorship from Preformed Line Products from Mayfield Village, Ohio.

Southard Motorsports reflects the goals and dedication of its owners, Steve and Martha Southard, both former drivers themselves in Historic and Professional racing.  One of only two teams to have competed in every Grand American Rolex Daytona Prototype Sports Car event since 2004, they have shown the continuity and commitment that are hallmark to all winning programs and the team was pivotal in winning the inaugural Jim Truman Driver's Award.  Southard Motorsports' experience and knowledge was highlighted by last year's successful Daytona Prototype season, as they captured two podium finishes, a third at the prestigious Long Beach Grand Prix and another third at Phoenix.

Earning its first-ever Manufacturer’s Championship in 2006, Lexus registered seven victories on the way to capturing the Daytona Prototype crown and scored it’s first-ever triumph in the prestigious 2006 Rolex 24 At Daytona.  Over the past three seasons and forty Rolex Series events, Lexus-powered entries have taken twenty-one pole positions and won sixteen races, including the 2007 Rolex 24 At Daytona.

Preformed Line Products (PLP) is an international manufacturer and supplier of hardware and support systems for the communications and energy industries. Products include COYOTE® Fiber Optics and VORTEX® Vibration Dampers used in the telecommunications, cable and energy industries.  Manufacturing facilities are located worldwide in the USA, Canada, China, Brazil, Mexico, England, Spain, South Africa, Australia and Thailand.