Motorsport News - US
Jeff Segal GRAND AM Rolex Sports Car Indy Review
30th July 2012
Jeff Segal Takes Eighth-Straight GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series Top-Five Finish with Emil Assentato and AIM Autosport Team FXDD at Indy
Team Carries Prancing Horse Honors in No. 69 AIM Autosport Team FXDD Ferrari 458 Italia Grand Am at Inaugural Brickyard Grand Prix at Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Jeff Segal scored his eighth-straight GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series top-five finish Friday in the inaugural Brickyard Grand Prix at Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS), co-driving with teammate Emil Assentato in the No. 69 AIM Autosport Team FXDD Ferrari 458 Italia Grand Am.
Segal drove the No. 69 AIM Autosport Team FXDD Ferrari across the finish line Friday for the teams first fifth-place result of season after finishing no lower than fourth in the last seven races leading into Indy. The eight-race run extended a Rolex Series-leading streak of top-five showings that Segal and his teammates have been building for four months.
The Brickyard Grand Prix was the first headline sports car race run at IMS in the more than 100-year history of the famous facility but competitors quickly realized how tough the track could be. Two rain showers, including one at the race start, made Assentatos opening stint on the already slick IMS racing surface a handful. Segal encountered some sketchy wet-weather racing as well when he took control of the No. 69 Ferrari early in the races second hour.
Under the circumstances it was a good finish, Segal said. It was hard work, it was messy, there were a couple of really tricky moments in the rain, particularly when we were on slicks, even behind the safety car it was really, really tricky.
Segal stayed in touch with the leaders from the onset of his shift but soon realized even the quick AIM Autosport Team FXDD Ferrari was a bit outmatched on the 2.534-mile IMS road course.
At the end we were in it within a shout but we just didnt quite have the speed of the Porsches, which seem to have gotten their top end back, and the BMW is really, really difficult. We kind of had to hold station, couldnt afford to take any risks and make a dive bomb pass up the inside of those guys, so fifth-place works.
The Indy result also saw Segal gain more ground in the 2012 GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series GT championship that he, Assentato and the No. 69 AIM Autosport Team FXDD team have led since their first race win in Aprils Grand Prix of Miami. Segal and his teammates have a total of three victories this season, including New Jersey Motorsports Park one race after Miami and Road America last month, which also leads the Rolex Series in the all-important race-win category. Segal and the first-year AIM Autosport Team FXDD Ferrari program also have a GT-class-best six podium finishes in the seasons first nine races, a run matched only by the powerhouse TELMEX/Chip Ganassi Racing Daytona Prototype team.
These kinds of results have been the goal but it hasnt been totally unexpected, Segal said. We are sort of fulfilling our ambition there. To finish fifth on one hand is pleasing, because it was a good points day, but it is disappointing because we were looking at the podium and we could have, should have been there. I think any time that you are looking at a fifth place and a good points day as a bit of a disappointment means you are having a good season.
Segal, Assentato and the No. 69 Autosport Team FXDD leave Indy with a season-high 26-point lead in the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series GT Championship standings. Segal and Assentato have 276 points to top the driver standings while the No. 69 AIM Autosport Team FXDD Ferrari 458 Italia Grand Am leads the team championship with the same points total.
Next up for Segal, Assentato, AIM Autosport Team FXDD and the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series is Round 10 of the 2012 season on the NASCAR short course at Watkins Glen International where the Continental Tire 200 presented by Dunn Tire will run Saturday, August 11. The race can be seen live on SPEED at 6 p.m. EDT/3 p.m. PDT.
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