6 Heures du Mont-Tremblant Race Report
May 23, 2004 - The 6 Heures du Mont-Tremblant got under way on Sunday,
23rd after race week preparations that included a Promoter Test day on
Thursday, two Practice Sessions on Friday and a Final Practice and
Qualifying Session on Saturday.
For many teams and drivers, including Howard-Boss Motorsports and the CITGO
Racing drivers Milka Duno, Andy Wallace and Jan Lammers, all wished that
they had a least an extra day of testing and practices. For many, including
this team, this was the first visit to a circuit that has most definitely
earned its reputation as challenging.
All three pre-race days saw multiple delays each and every
day, each and
every session - due to the newness of the circuit to the drivers and
As with any track, but most certainly this one, the more time a team
drivers have to learn the track and set-up the car is critical.
Even with this handicap, Milka, Andy and Jan felt as though they were
progress and that their #2 CITGO-branded Pontiac Crawford Daytona Prototype
was getting better and better each session, each day.
Race day rain was being projected all week, and Sunday morning delivered
cloudy skies and cold temperatures. But this was not to last for long
sky soon cleared and the sun became very hot - causing teams to quickly
adjust their preparations accordingly.
The scheduled 11:00am start passed and the green flag dropped at 11:10
with Milka behind the wheel. Rolex Sports Car Series rules dictate
qualifying driver starts the race. Milka had qualified the car on Saturday
in the 14th position on the grid.
With team strategy wisely using the first caution of the race, Milka
the car over to Andy after approximately one hour, having bettered
position by 2 - to 12th overall. Over the next 2 hours Andy amazingly
increased the team's position from 12th to 3rd overall. Again using
caution period to pit Andy handed the car to his teammate Jan for his
first stint in the car.
Jan was able to advance as high as 2nd overall when, with
one hour remaining, he made slight contact with the #6 Daytona Prototype
need to make a green flag pit stop. Andy got in to finish the last
minutes of the race, only to bring the car back into the pits, again
green and just minutes later, because he felt as though the left rear
punctured. It turned out that it was only rubber build-up on the tire
surface, so with a quick top off of fuel and a complete new set of
Andy was back out. With the slight contact, and the two green flag
stops, this was just enough to put the car 5th overall and finishing
position as well.
"It was a really good race and I want to thank CITGO for the opportunity,"
said Milka. "We were on a steep learning curve from the minute we arrived
and we ended up being so very close. As always my teammate Andy performed
amazingly, as did Jan - who was great. As I had said before it is a very
challenging track and I thought we did very well for our first time here -
as a team and with the CITGO Pontiac Crawford Daytona Prototype."
"I had a great time here," said Jan. "Milka did very well and Andy did a
solid job - as he always does. Prior to the race today I had never done more
than 20km in the car, so I had to be competitive right from the very start
when I got in the car. I felt bad because I made contact with one car, but I
feel a lot better now that Andy has told me that he touched a few himself.
When he took over the car he felt initially that there was something broken
on the car, but that turned out only to be pickup on the tires. I'd like to
thank CITGO and the great guys here at Howard-Boss Motorsports for the
opportunity to drive with Milka and Andy."
"I had a fantastic time in the car - and many thanks to CITGO," said Andy."It
was really great. This Rolex Series is really something. There is such good racing
out there on the track. For the whole 6 hours you're racing somebody. I've got
marks all down both sides of the car. I mean it is
unbelievable. The team, as always, did a great job. All week we were
sneaking up on the best set-up - and we're almost there. We're so, so very
close, and the car is fantastic. I'm very happy with my two teammates Milka
and Jan. I can't wait for the next race."
CITGO, based in Tulsa, Okla., is a refiner, transporter and marketer of
transportation fuels, lubricants, petrochemicals, refined waxes, asphalt and
other industrial products. The company is owned by PDV America, Inc.,
an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A.,
the national oil company of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. For
more information on CITGO visit www.citgo.com .
Additional information on drivers Milka Duno and Andy Wallace is available
at www.milkaduno.com and www.andywallace.com ,
respectively. For more
information on the Grand American Sports Car Series please visitwww.grandamerican.com .