Ruhlman and Cochet in the #40 Preformed Line Products Daytona Prototype at Barber Motorsports Park -- Final Race Report
Birmingham, AL (July 31, 2006) – The Derhaag Motorsports #40 Preformed Line Products Pontiac Riley with drivers Jonathan Cochet and Randy Ruhlman took the start at yesterday's three-hour Grand American Daytona Prototype race at Barber Motorsports Park. Though rain and extreme humidity made on and off track conditions uncomfortable throughout the weekend, the practice and qualifying sessions had the team excited about the prospects for the race, as the handling and power problems of previous races seemed to have been overcome.
The driver lineup of the #40 Daytona Prototype for Round Eleven of the Rolex Cup presented by Crown Royal had team driver Randy Ruhlman joined by Renault F1 demonstration driver, Frenchman Jonathan Cochet. Cochet had a good qualifying session and was scheduled to drive the first stint of the three-hour race at the 2.3-mile track with Ruhlman scheduled to take over driving duties at the first fuel and tire stop.
As the car, starting in the 8th row of the 43-car combined DP and GT field, accelerated past the flag stand to take the green flag, Cochet found himself on the outside of Turn One for the start. In an attempt to avoid contact with other cars, Cochet chose to drop two wheels into the grass. Instead of an anticipated slide and loss of a couple of positions, the car came to an abrupt 4G stop as the nose buried itself in the wet mud and what looked to be one of the teams most promising chances came to an very unexpected and disappointing end.
The Grand American Daytona Prototypes head next to the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup weekend at Watkins Glen for the Royal Crown 200 at The Glen. The Rolex Series presented by Crown Royal Special race starts Friday, August 11th at 6:30 p.m. ET. The race will air same day, tape delayed until 9 p.m. ET on SPEED Channel.
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. Jonathan Cochet is currently a Formula One demonstration driver for Renault and a top competitor in Daytona Prototypes this year.
Cochet has an extensive resume of driving in Europe and Japan. He won the Formula Renault Championship over current Champ Car driver Sebastian Bourdais and went on to win the Formula Three Championship in the following years. After spending time with Alain Prost's Formula One team as a test driver, Jonathan Cochet has wide-ranging experience driving in competitions from Formula Renault to LMP1 to Grand American Rolex Cup Daytona Prototypes. He has driven with Team Oreca and the Courage Competition team at Le Mans, also working in the development of their car. Currently residing in Paris, France, Cochet is a full-time driver in the Grand American Daytona Prototype Series with Tuttle Team Racing.
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.
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.
For further information about the drivers, sponsor, team, please visit the following links:
Derhaag Motorsports http://www.derhaag.com/
Jonathan Cochet http://www.jonathancochet.net/
Preformed Line Products http://www.preformed.com