Promising Mexico City weekend for Derhaag Motorsports Daytona Prototype program, ends early
MEXICO CITY(March 4, 2006) – The #40 Preformed Line Products Derhaag Motorsports Daytona Prototype had a very promising weekend at the Mexico City Grand American race at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez. The car started in the eighth row and moved up quickly with Randy Ruhlman at the helm for the first stint of the 250-mile race at the 2.518-mile 8-turn track. Traffic was a problem throughout the day and finally took its toll. Chris Bingham, who took over driving duties midway, wound up the victim of a slower car, which ended the #40 Preformed Line Products Daytona Prototype's day early.
The first two days of testing saw the team develop several updates to the car since their successful debut at the Rolex 24 At Daytona. The benefits of these updates was realized in qualifying where Randy Ruhlman positioned the #40 car fifteenth position in the twenty five car Daytona Prototype field. His qualifying time was the fastest time the car had run all weekend.
In front of a full chalet of Preformed Line Products Mexico guests, Ruhlman advanced in the opening laps and kept the car in contention, until he was hit in the rear wheel after passing a slower GT car. Although no damage was apparent immediately, after five more laps Ruhlman began to complain about an ever-increasing vibration. This intensified until the 48th lap, when the vibration increased to such a degree that safety began to be a concern. Thankfully this coincided with the first yellow of the race, and the team made a stop for tires, fuel and the driver change.
After a smooth and quick driver change under a continuing yellow, Bingham took over driving duties. With heavy traffic from the outset, Bingham quickly showed his pace with fast times and began to gain positions. After passing cars safely for more than twenty-five laps, Bingham was poised to bring the #40 car home to another good finish when misfortune ensued after a pass on a slow car.
The day ended prematurely, as Bingham, who was turning his fastest laps, made a clean pass on a considerably slower Daytona Prototype car. Bingham had made several passing attempts over the prior laps, and finally had a clear opportunity to pass on the inside of Turn Seven and Eight. With the cars side-by-side in Turn Eight, the other car closed the door, pushing #40 Derhaag Motorsports car into the wall. The resulting contact sent both cars careening across the track into the opposite wall, unfortunately ending the day for both cars.
Although not taking the checkered flag, the #40 Preformed Line Products Pontiac Riley scored valuable points at the Mexico City race and will be ready for the next race. The Derhaag Motorsports team will have the damaged car repaired and ready to take the track at the next Grand American Rolex Cup race at Homestead on March 25th, where the veteran drivers look forward to continuing the progress of this new Daytona Prototype program.
The 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.
Cleveland-based KeyCorp is one of the nation’s largest bank-based financial services companies, with assets of approximately $92 billion. Key companies provide investment management, retail and commercial banking, consumer finance, and investment banking products and services to individuals and companies throughout the United States and, for certain businesses, internationally.
McDonald Financial Group offers comprehensive financial services to affluent individuals from 87 offices in 15 states. As part of Cleveland-based KeyCorp (NYSE: KEY), McDonald Financial Group combines the capabilities of McDonald Investments Inc.'s Private Client Group, member NASD/NYSE/SIPC, and Key PrivateBank. McDonald Financial Group offers banking, estate planning, financial planning, retirement planning, brokerage, trust, individual asset management, insurance advice and services, and charitable giving counsel.
Park Place Ltd is an authorized Lotus, Superformance & Vintage Speedster dealer, specializing in marketing a vast array of pre-owned Luxury, Sports, Collectable, and Special Interest Automobiles.
For further information about the drivers, sponsor, team, please visit the following links:
Derhaag Motorsports http://www.derhaag.com/
Randy Ruhlman http://www.randyruhlman.com/
Chris Bingham http://www.chrisbingham.com/
Preformed Line Products http://www.preformed.com/
McDonald Financial Group http://www.key.com/mfg
Park Place Ltd. http://www.parkplaceltd.com