Regulars Braved The Baja 1000

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16 and KONI Challenge Series teams and drivers braved the Baja 1000 last weekend in Mexico, with eighth- and 12th-place finishes by several regulars.

KONI Challenge Series co-champion and Rolex Series regular Joe Foster finished eighth in the race, in a car he shared with Rick Skelton and Patrick Dempsey.

Meanwhile, Ellis - whose team consisted of Marcelo Abello, Fraser Wellon, Frank Rossi, SPEEDCOM's Toto Lassally, and sports car veteran Jeff Courtney - finished 12th. The team started fourth in its class and ran in the top five throughout the daylight hours, before the nighttime hours took its toll. The car experienced a flat tire, twice got stuck in the silt, had a wheel bearing come apart and broke a front upright going through a technical rocky section.

Ellis compared the race to the Rolex 24 At Daytona, at least in regards to running without problems during a long race.

"We felt we had the pace to finish much higher but found the top finishers were the ones that encountered the least problems and made the fewest mistakes," he said. "Not so different than the Rolex 24 At Daytona.

"To sum it up, experience in this type of racing and at this event in particular is a big advantage," Ellis concluded. "We learned a lot and will be much more competitive next year!"

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