Southard Motorsports heads straight to Watkins Glen after Montreal race
Watkins Glen, NY (Aug. 8, 2007) -- Back on the road, Shane Lewis and Randy Ruhlman continue their journey to Watkins Glen International Raceway for Round 12 of the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Special Reserve. With just three races remaining in this year’s series, this popular duo is determined to drive the Southard Motorsports No. 3 Preformed Line Products Lexus Riley to a top finish on August 10.
The Watkins Glen event follows directly on the heels of the Prototype race at Montreal's Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve. “Our race at Montreal didn’t quite pan out the way we would have liked,” explains Lewis. “We got tangled up a couple of times early in the race and that played havoc with our handling package. Enough that it kept us from getting the result we wanted.....but that’s all part of racing. The crew has our Lexus back in tip-top shape and we are ready for Watkins Glen.”
This weekend's event marks the second time the Grand-Am Sports Car Series has junketed to The Glen this season. The first time out was for the 6-Hour race in June which utilized the full long course. This time, running for 200 miles with a two-hour time limit, competitors will tackle the 2.45-mile, 12-turn short course.
“The race in June was an endurance event,” explains Ruhlman. “This one's a flat out sprint race. Both kinds of events are great, especially at a place like The Glen. The short course, without the boot section, is a lot faster. That makes it demanding and fun. There are a couple of other challenges here this weekend, too. The race starts with hot daytime track temperatures then goes into the cooler evening. We expect that the track will change a lot. Tire management and staying on track will be important to our success. But also the forecast is calling for possible showers on Friday, so that could be a completely different kind of challenge. Either way I think we'll have a good race and it will be a good show for the fans and sponsors."
The Crown Royal 200 at The Glen will take the Green Flag at 6:30 p.m. (ET) on Friday, Aug. 10. Qualifying is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. ET Thursday. Same day coverage of the event will begin at 8:00 p.m. ET on Friday, Aug 10on SPEED TV.
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.
Shane Lewis is widely considered to be one of the sports leading development drivers and has competed in twenty-four 24 Hour Races--nine-times in the Rolex 24 At Daytona, three-times at Le Mans and twice at Nürburgring. An instructor at The Mid-Ohio School and always a fan favorite, Shane Lewis, resident of Florida, earned two Daytona Prototype podium finishes with Southard Motorsports in 2006, at the Long Beach Grand Prix and Phoenix. He has multiple wins in the Rolex Sports Car Series and Grand-Am KONI Challenge Series, as well as the IMSA Supercar Championship and the SCCA Pro Series World Challenge. Lewis was the 1998 Professional Sports Car Racing Rising Star award winner.
Randy Ruhlman, a veteran of the popular Trans-Am Series, has extensive racing experience. Ruhlman makes the record books as fourth in Top Ten finishes in Trans-Am history and was the top American driver in the 2005 Trans-Am Drivers' Championship, holding the points lead throughout the season and scoring a pair of wins--the season opener at the Long Beach Grand Prix and the Cleveland Grand Prix. He was named the 2005 BBS "Most Improved Driver of the Year". Concentrating most recently on road racing, Ruhlman spent many years driving the ovals and road courses of the ASA and the NASCAR short track series. In 2006, Ruhlman, a native of Greensboro, NC, drove the No. 40 Preformed Line Products Daytona Prototype for Derhaag Motorsports.
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. The team recently announced an alliance with the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption to increase visibility and awareness for the Foundation and its programs.
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.