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Grand Am GT - Segal/Assentato Look Toward Montreal

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MONTREAL, Aug. 16, 2012: Jeff Segal, co-driver Emil Assentato and AIM Autosport Team FXDD bring the GT-class points lead and the best race-win record in the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series to the familiar territory of Circuit Gilles Villeneuve this weekend for the Montreal 200, August 16 – 18, where they will race a repaired and ready No. 69 AIM Autosport Team FXDD Ferrari 458 Italia Grand Am.

Round 11 of 13 races on the 2012 GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series schedule, the Montreal 200 is a timed two-hour sprint that can be seen in same-day coverage on SPEED this Saturday, August 18, at 7 p.m. EDT/4 p.m. PDT.

Segal and his teammates dodged a major bullet in last Saturday’s Continental Tire 200 at Watkins Glen International where an accident at the race start didn’t stop the No. 69 Ferrari team from fighting back to a seventh-place finish. Although the result was the lowest finish since an eighth-place showing in the season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona, Segal and the AIM Autosport Team FXDD squad remain the only GT class team to finish every race in the top-10 this year (actually, the top-eight for the No. 69), a solid run that also includes a Rolex Series-leading tally of three race wins.

“It is still amazing to think that we were able to get a seventh-place finish after seeing Emil spinning into Turn 1 at the race start, but you never give up or quit in racing,” Segal said. “AIM Autosport Team FXDD did a great job getting our Ferrari fixed and to the finish line at The Glen as well as this week with a complete repair job working at Ferrari Quebec to get ready for Montreal. This is a big race for us, we did lose a little ground in our points lead at the Glen, but we will certainly try to get that back this weekend with another win.”

AIM Autosport Team FXDD is based in Ontario and is the only fulltime Canadian team competing in the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series. Segal and the team also have several ties to Quebec.

“It’s not quite a home race, but Montreal is a track that I really enjoy going to, and we have a lot of support from within Montreal,” Segal said. “A sponsor that has been with us all season, Ferrari Quebec, it’s their home race and they will have a presence at the track, which is great.”

Segal traveled straight to Montreal from Watkins Glen last Sunday.

“Earlier this week, Monday, Tuesday and today, I was at Mont Tremblant instructing at the Ferrari Driving Experience before heading to race our Ferrari at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. So, lots of Ferrari connections in this area and a big weekend for us.”

Segal has extensive experience on the 2.709-mile Villeneuve circuit on Montreal’s Ile Notre Dame but returns with some unknowns with the first-year AIM Autosport Team FXDD Ferrari program.

“I am not really sure how the car will perform at Montreal,” Segal said. “I have kind of mixed feelings about it. Our biggest strengths should be good there but our biggest weakness is going to be exploited there. We are really good on the brakes, and it is a very demanding track for brakes, so we should be excellent there, I would hope, but there are also a lot of long straightaways and top speed is not our friend as we saw at Indianapolis. So, I am not sure how we will do, to be determined.”