Concept Carz Home Concepts and PrototypesAbout Follow ConceptCarz on Facebook Follow ConceptCarz on Twitter RSS News Feed
 
 Automotive NewsArrow PictureDP Season Championship Hangs in Balance; GT Champions Crowned 
DP Season Championship Hangs in Balance; GT Champions CrownedAddThis Social Bookmark Button

DP Season Championship Hangs in Balance; GT Champions Crowned  The track at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca felt more like a boxing ring as the gloves came off for the penultimate race of the 2012 GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series. From the drop of the green flag, through most of the race, teams were in full combat mode as the series championship title remained within grasping reach of several. Spectacular conditions at the track only served to enhance the fan enjoyment of the two hour and 45 minute sprint race for the 10 Daytona Prototypes and 17 Grand Touring cars.

Starting from pole position, the #90 Spirit of Daytona Racing Corvette DP carried through to win their third race of the season while also becoming the only team to achieve three DP wins thus far in the 2012 GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series. Richard Westbrook (London, England) and Antonio Garcia (Madrid, Spain) saw their two previous wins also arise from pole starts: at Barber Motorsports Park and the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

'Richard drove a brilliant two stints and half the job was done by him,' said Garcia, who drove the final laps of the race and brought the car in with fuel running low. 'This is our third win this year and I put it down to fuel strategy. It was a great day for us and I am thrilled to have won today. I knew it was going to be a difficult race and we had to rely on the team and follow team directions. It was an awesome day for a race and I am very happy.'

'We got here nice and early and got rid of the jet lag,' said Westbrook who explained that strategy and track position are very important at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca because overtaking is so difficult. 'This track has been good for us. We needed a trouble free weekend and that's what we got. I knew at some point that we had a good chance of winning, but I was basically hoping that we would stay fast enough and nobody would go off and bring out the yellow. Our tires held up pretty good and that was a pleasant surprise. This track is very slippery and really sensitive to temperature changes. We were essentially going into the unknown in the race because we have never done a long run on these tires during practice. It was key for us, and I am sure it was key for the #99 car as well and I believe that is how we got back into the lead at the end.'

DP Season Championship Hangs in Balance; GT Champions Crowned  

Asked about the recently announced merger of GRAND-AM and the American Le Mans Series, Westbrook commented: 'As far as the merger with ALMS there is nothing I can think of that is negative, I can only think of pluses. It's a brilliant thing for sports car racing on this side of the pond and if they get it right, sports car racing in North America will be the biggest thing in the world and rightly so.'

Second across the finish line were the defending race winners, Jon Fogarty (Bend, Ore.) and Alex Gurney (Irvine, Calif.), in the #99 GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing Corvette DP, followed by the #8 Starworks Motorsports Ford Riley driven by Ryan Dalziel (Orlando, Fla.) and Alex Tagliani (Montreal, CAN).

Finishing sixth in the DP class were series points leaders Memo Rojas (Mexico City, Mexico) and Scott Pruett (Auburn, Calif.) driving the #01 Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates BMW Riley. 'We have to keep our eye on the big picture with the championship on the line,' said Pruett before the start of the race. 'We're racing real close with the #8 Starworks car, so we'll keep that in our sights the whole time. Yes we want to win the race, and yes we want to be up front as much as we can, but at the end of the day it's about points and winning the championship.' While Pruett and Rojas had wanted to finish ahead of the #8 Starworks car in order to not loose points in the championship, they ultimately were able to retain their position as series standings leaders. The DP championship winners will now be determined at the 14th and final race of GRAND-AM's 2012 Rolex Sports Car Series which will be run Saturday, September 29, at Lime Rock Park in Lakeville, Conn.

In the GT class, Dane Cameron brought the #43 Team Sahlen Mazda RX-8 across the finish to win the GT class. The 23-year old California native (Newport Beach), a driving school instructor currently residing in Sonoma, was overcome with emotion following the race. 'I have no words,' said Cameron, who shared driving duty with Wayne Nonnamaker (North Canton, Ohio). 'We were fast all weekend. We were up front all day….we won at home!'

The 2010 series champions in the GT class came into this race holding the lead in the standings and needing to leave MRLS with a 35 point lead in order to put a lock on the 2012 championship. The winners of the Grand Prix of Miami, the Global Barter 250 and Road America, Emil Assentato (Locust Valley, N.Y.) and Jeff Segal (Miami, Fla.), driving the #69 AIM Autosport Team FXDD Ferrari 458, put up a second-place finish that resulted in a 39-point cushion and made them mathematically unbeatable.

It's unbelievable to win the championship again, it's the second time in two years,' said Assentato who admitted he was really looking forward to going to Lime Rock and enjoying it. 'Without Jeff and the support we get from FXDD and AIM Autosport and all the work they did this year, it wouldn't be possible… it's a total team effort and it was a fantastic job everybody did. I can't believe we won the championship here, it is so exciting; no words can describe how I feel right now.'

'I hope the fact that we won the championship sinks in shortly,' added Segal. 'It is so unbelievable that we have won it twice in three years and it is so great that we won it for Ferrari upon their return…. unbelievable. There was never a dull moment during the race from the very start. There was lots of contact and no shortage of close moments right to the end of the race. I just want to sit down now and calm down a little bit.'

The third spot on the GT podium was taken by Andy Lally (Northport, N.Y.) at the wheel of the #44 Magnus Racing Porsche GT3 Cup car with co-driver and team owner John Potter (Salt Lake City, Utah). The pair won the first ever North American Endurance Challenge earlier in the season based on their class wins at the Rolex 24 At Daytona and the Brickyard Grand Prix.

Prior to the start Potter was predicting a tough race. 'The Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series always has tough competition. We have a great car setup for the long run because like everyone else we've been having some tire wear issues so the goal is to outlast everyone else. The third year is here and it has been with a great group of guys all putting in amazing efforts and all with amazing abilities. Little things have kept us from reaching the top level in past years so it's nice to let people see where we finally are and what this group of people is capable of.'

'I haven't had the kind of experience as a driver that other drivers here today have had, such as my co-driver Andy Lally. I started off with the Skip Barber School and race series, then with the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series with other teams, and then I formed my own team, Magnus Racing, and you can say it was an accelerated path to get here. It may not have been the easiest path, but it has paid off in the end.'

Alessandro Balzan (Rovigo, Italy), who made his debut in the series and won the class pole position in the #63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 458, finished fourth in the class with co-driver Olivier Beretta (Monaco). The team is using this event to warm up for the 2013 GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series and their auspicious start this late in the 2012 season will undoubtedly make them a team to watch at the 2013 Rolex 24 at Daytona.

The 2012 GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series will conclude on Saturday, September 29, at Lime Rock Park in Lakeville, Conn.

   Recent Articles
Sir Stirling Moss to be Featured Guest on Saturday of Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion  Sir Stirling Moss to be Featured Guest on Saturday of Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion

• Legendary Driver to Participate in Q&A and Celebratory Parade Laps


MONTEREY, Calif., April 15, 2014 — Arguably the greatest all-around racing driver of his time and a true icon of the motor racing world, Sir Stirling Moss will be the honored guest at the Picnic in the Park at the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion on Saturday, August 16. Historian Murray Smith will conduct the always engaging noontime session in the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca marketplace where fans may bring t....
ROAD AMERICA SIGNS POTAWATOMI BINGO CASINO OF MILWAUKEE AS OFFICIAL GAMING PARTNER

ELKHART LAKE, Wis., April 14, 2014 - Road America announced today a partnership with Potawatomi Bingo Casino of Milwaukee as the Official Gaming Partner of Road America. As part of the partnership, the Potawatomi Bingo Casino brand and its offerings will be showcased within several new campaigns at Road America including special entertainment offerings at the casino for race fans as they travel through Milwaukee.

'We are thrilled to be the Official Gaming Partner of Road America, a fa....
IMSA STATEMENT ON APPOINTMENT OF MARCO MATTIACCI TO FERRARI FORMULA 1 POST

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (April 15, 2014) – 'On behalf of everyone at the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA), I'd like to congratulate Marco Mattiacci on being chosen as the new principal of the Ferrari Formula 1 team,' said IMSA CEO Ed Bennett.

'Marco has been a tremendous partner with us, with great savvy and integrity for many years. While in his position as president and CEO of Ferrari North America, his active support of the Ferrari Challenge, GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Serie....
2013 GT ACADEMY WINNER MCMILLEN SOLID IN BLANCPAIN SERIES DEBUT AT MONZA  2013 GT ACADEMY WINNER MCMILLEN SOLID IN BLANCPAIN SERIES DEBUT AT MONZA

Oregonian has GT-R as high as second in class, takes fifth in pro series debut

MONZA, Italy
– Since his GT Academy win last September, Nick McMillen has spent a lot of time on the track. His all-GT Academy team finished second in class in a 370Z NISMO at the Dubai 24 hours, and he's raced numerous times in GT4 in Europe. But his inaugural Blancpain Endurance Series race in a GT3 Nissan GT-R in the three-hour sprint at Monza last weekend felt different.

'This is the big league....
McLAREN GT CUSTOMER TEAM ART GRAND PRIX TAKES DOUBLE PODIUM IN THE OPENING ROUND OF THE BLANCPAIN ENDURANCE SERIES  McLAREN GT CUSTOMER TEAM ART GRAND PRIX TAKES DOUBLE PODIUM IN THE OPENING ROUND OF THE BLANCPAIN ENDURANCE SERIES

The 2014 Blancpain Endurance Series got underway this weekend at the Autodromo Nazionale di Monza, Italy, with McLaren GT present for the third consecutive year. Customer teams ART Grand Prix and Boutsen-Ginion Racing both fielded a two car line-up with the 12C GT3, and showed early pace during the weekend when McLaren GT factory driver Alvaro Parente claimed pole position for ART Grand Prix. Despite the hard-fought race with a grid of 38 cars, the 12C GT3 completed a lights-to-flag victory, and....
CORVETTE C7.R SCORES BREAKTHROUGH FIRST GTLM VICTORY IN TEQUILA PATRÓN SPORTS CAR SHOWCASE AT LONG BEACH

◾Magnussen, Garcia Lead All But Two Laps In No. 3 Corvette Racing Corvette C7.R

LONG BEACH, Calif. (April 12, 2014)
– Corvette Racing entered Saturday's Tequila Patrón Sports Car Showcase with the goal of proving its new Corvette C7.R was ready to win races in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship's competitive GT Le Mans (GTLM) class.

Mission accomplished. From the pole position to the checkered flag, co-drivers Antonio Garcia and Jan Magnussen dominated the GTLM field under sunn....
2015 Acura TLX GT Race Car
2015 Acura TLX GT Race Car  2015 Acura TLX GT Race Car  2015 Acura TLX GT Race Car  2015 Acura TLX GT Race Car  2015 Acura TLX GT Race Car  
2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06
2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06  2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06  2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06  2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06  2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06  
2015 Nissan GT-R Nismo
2015 Nissan GT-R Nismo  2015 Nissan GT-R Nismo  2015 Nissan GT-R Nismo  2015 Nissan GT-R Nismo  2015 Nissan GT-R Nismo  
2015 Porsche 918 Spyder
2015 Porsche 918 Spyder  2015 Porsche 918 Spyder  2015 Porsche 918 Spyder  2015 Porsche 918 Spyder  2015 Porsche 918 Spyder  
2014 Acura MDX
2014 Acura MDX  2014 Acura MDX  2014 Acura MDX  2014 Acura MDX  2014 Acura MDX  
2014 Aston Martin V12 Vantage S
2014 Aston Martin V12 Vantage S  2014 Aston Martin V12 Vantage S  2014 Aston Martin V12 Vantage S  2014 Aston Martin V12 Vantage S  2014 Aston Martin V12 Vantage S  
2014 Bentley Continental GT Speed
2014 Bentley Continental GT Speed  2014 Bentley Continental GT Speed  2014 Bentley Continental GT Speed  2014 Bentley Continental GT Speed  2014 Bentley Continental GT Speed  
2014 Bentley Flying Spur
2014 Bentley Flying Spur  2014 Bentley Flying Spur  2014 Bentley Flying Spur  2014 Bentley Flying Spur  2014 Bentley Flying Spur  
2014 BMW M235i Racer
2014 BMW M235i Racer  2014 BMW M235i Racer  2014 BMW M235i Racer  
2014 Chevrolet Camaro Z28 Indy 500 Pace Car
2014 Chevrolet Camaro Z28 Indy 500 Pace Car  2014 Chevrolet Camaro Z28 Indy 500 Pace Car  2014 Chevrolet Camaro Z28 Indy 500 Pace Car  2014 Chevrolet Camaro Z28 Indy 500 Pace Car  2014 Chevrolet Camaro Z28 Indy 500 Pace Car