Derhaag Motorsports and drivers Ruhlman and Bingham ready for final races of 2006 Daytona Prototype season
Birmingham, AL (July 25, 2006) – With the first ten races of the season behind them, Derhaag Motorsports and drivers Randy Ruhlman and Chris Bingham and are looking forward to getting back to the action in the #40 Preformed Line Products Pontiac Riley for the final four races in the 2006 Grand American Daytona Prototype Series. The team heads to the steamy hill country of northern Alabama and the beautiful, 2.3-mile Barber Park Raceway for a three-hour race on Sunday afternoon, July 30th.
The Derhaag Motorsports team joined the 2006 Rolex Cup Daytona Prototype Series after a race-winning 2005 season in the Trans-Am Series, making the switch in late December. The teamwork and determination that made them the top Championship contender in Trans-Am gave the team a boost, as they faced the first half of the Daytona Prototype season and the obstacles of a new car, new series and new tracks. Having successfully finishing all (but one) race so far, including the important Rolex 24 At Daytona and securing a top-ten finish at the Grand Prix of Long Beach, the team has had its share of successes and struggles through the first ten races of the season, .
"Since we started the season out so late, we've been playing catch up all year to most of the field," says former Trans-Am winner Randy Ruhlman who, along with former Grand Am champion Chris Bingham, drives the #40 Preformed Line Products Daytona Prototype. "There are a lot of teams with years of Daytona Prototype experience, along with some incredible driving talent out here. Our team's been on a steep learning curve. We’ve basically had to completely change our mind set this year as a team, to change from our years of experience with the big V-8 rear wheel power of the Corvette to the more nimble, downforce style of the Daytona Prototype car. As a driver, I've had to do that too."
"It was great to get back to Daytona again in the Prototype and know what to expect," continues Ruhlman. "This final part of the season with Birmingham coming up and then Watkins Glen on the NASCAR Cup weekend will be great. We've done some things to improve the handling of the car during these few weeks off, and we should have the power problem fixed. Now Chris and I will be able to go out there and drive, and get the car back up where we'd like it to be."
The Daytona Prototypes and Grand American Road Racing Association return to racing action this weekend, July 28-30 at Barber Motorsports Park, outside of Birmingham, Alabama. The Rolex Series presented by Crown Royal Special Reserve Porsche 250 presented by Bradley Arant starts Sunday, July 30 at 2 p.m. CT. The race will air live on SPEED Channel at 3 p.m. ET.
Randy Ruhlman just came off a successful 2005 season in the Trans-Am Series with wins at both the Cleveland Grand Prix and the Long Beach Grand Prix. Chris Bingham, the two-time Grand American GTS champion, was a top competitor in Daytona Prototypes last year.
Ruhlman was named the 2005 BBS "Most Improved Driver of the Year", won the 2005 Cleveland Grand Prix Trans-Am race and Long Beach Grand Prix, and was runner up for the 2005 Trans-Am Drivers' Championship. Ruhlman makes the record books as fourth in Top Ten finishes in Trans-Am history. Ruhlman from Greensboro, NC has been a professional race car driver since his Rookie year in Trans-Am in 1990 and has extensive racing experience, predominantly in road racing in the Trans-Am Series, as well as in IMSA, ASA and the NASCAR short track series.
Bingham, of Bellevue, Washington, is a professional racing driver with an impressive resume and years of experience. He has competed in the Busch Grand National Series, open wheel racing in Indy Lights, as well as IRL, and has extensive endurance racing experience. As a two-time Rolex Sports Car Series GTS champion, Bingham was nominated as one of the "Best Road Racers of the Year" in 2002. He made his return to full time Rolex Series racing in 2004, piloting the #15 CB Motorsports car, before joining the Derhaag Motorsports team for 2006.
Derhaag Motorsports Pontiac Riley carries primary sponsorship from Preformed Line Products with additional sponsorship logos of Coyote Closures®, Park Place Ltd, KeyBank and McDonald Financial Group.
Preformed Line Products (PLP) is an international manufacturer and supplier of hardware and support systems for the communications and energy industries. Products include the COYOTE® Closure and GUY-GRIP® Dead-End 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.