Rolex/Koni - Daytona, Watkins Glen Report PDF Print E-mail
Written by James Gué   
Wednesday, 09 July 2008 22:33

Daytona Beach, FL - This past fourth of July weekend, July 3-5 was the 9th round of the Grand-Am Rolex Series in Daytona Beach, Florida, as well as the 4th round of the Grand-Am Koni Challenge Series in Watkins Glen, New York. The Brumos Porsche 250 Rolex race was held on the evening of July 3rd on the 3.56 mile road course inside the Daytona International Speedway, as a support race for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. The Koni race was held on July 5th as a support race for the Indy Racing League at the Watkins Glen International Raceway. In the course of 3 days James Gué competed in both the Rolex race as well the Koni Challenge Series. The week started with a single day event at Daytona, which didn't finish till 10:30pm on Thursday, July 3rd, and then Gué hopped on a plane at 6am on July 4th to head to Watkins Glen for practice that Friday afternoon. In the Rolex race Gué raced for Stevenson Motorsports in the #97 Crawford built GT Corvette, he was teamed with former Indy Racing League driver Jeff Bucknum. In the Koni Challenge race Gué was in the #37 JBS Motorsports Mustang FR500C with regular co-driver Bret Seafuse.

For Gué and Bucknum the day was off to a good start, posting top 5 times in the opening sessions. Gué qualified the car in the 5th position out of 23 GT cars. At the start Gué had a great opening lap, moving up to the 2nd position by the 2nd turn. Gué maintained his position in the top 5 until a scheduled stop at lap 11 dropped the car down the running order. An hour and a half into the race Gué cycled back to the top 4 before handing off to co driver Jeff Bucknum. Bucknum continued to hold position in the 4th place until an incident with 10 laps to go took the #97 car out of the race resulting in a 18th place finish.

After a late night and an early flight Gué finally made it to Watkins Glen for the Friday afternoon practice. With only 2 practice sessions prior to qualifying and 73 cars competing between the two classes clear track time was at a premium. In addition to the traffic the #37 car had to fight through some engine problems. Seafuse qualified in the 19th position, and in his opening stint moved up to 10th. Unfortunately, 1 1/2 of the 2 1/2 hour race was held under caution due to the high number of accidents. At the one hour mark Gué took over the driving duties in the 27th place and in the end moved up to the 9th position.

Gué commented: "It was a really busy weekend; it was obviously very disappointing to be running so well in Daytona and not to come away with a result. It was good to run up front and to be back in the Stevenson car. Then to head to Watkins for the home race for JBS Motorsports and finish in the top ten was really good. Some guy got really lucky with the strategy, and it paid off for them, but we are still focused on the championship and couldn't really afford to risk having a bad result. I just want to thank both the Stevenson and JBS crews."