Skip to main content

DP Season Championship Hangs in Balance; GT Champions Crowned
AddThis Social Bookmark Button
Company press release.

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
NISSAN NAMED A PRESENTING SPONSOR OF 'WINNING: THE RACING LIFE OF PAUL NEWMAN' CHARITY SCREENING PREMIERES

◾Nissan's rich history in motorsports highlighted throughout the new documentary film focusing on the racing activities of actor/philanthropist Paul Newman
◾Many of Newman's many motorsports victories and championships came behind the wheel of Nissan and Datsun vehicles
◾Los Angeles and Indianapolis charity previews include film showing, after parties and displays of vintage motorsports vehicles; events benefit Racing for Cancer and The Indy Family Foundation
◾Also on display at the April 16 ....
NEW DRIVER PAIRINGS IN THE PORSCHE 911 RSR AT SPA AND MONTEREY

• Tudor United SportsCar Championship, Round 4 of 10, Monterey, California


Stuttgart, April 14, 2015. The Porsche Manthey squad tackles the six-hour race on the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium on May 2 with different driver combinations. Porsche works drivers Frédéric Makowiecki (France) and Richard Lietz (Austria) join forces at the wheel of the 470 hp Porsche 911 RSR (No. 92) to contest round two of the World Endurance Championship (WEC) for sports cars. Porsche junior....
THE LAMBORGHINI HURACÁN GT3 WINS AT ITS DEBUT MONZA OPENER FOR BLANCPAIN ENDURANCE SERIES

Sant'Agata Bolognese, 12 April 2015. The Lamborghini Huracán GT3 made an astonishing debut winning the Monza 3hrs race opener of the Blancpain Endurance Series. The car lined up by Grasser Racing Team and driven by the trio made up by Fabio Babini (ITA), Andrew Palmer (USA) and Jeroen Mul (NDL) ruled the race. Babini took the lead around the minute 20 and along with Palmer and Mul led till the chequered flag a 60-cars line-up made up by the best international teams and drivers.

After....
BMW TEAM RLL - SPORTS CAR SHOWCASE AT LONG BEACH PREVIEW

Woodcliff Lake, N.J. – April 13, 2015… BMW Team RLL carries the momentum of two fourth-place finishes for the No. 24 BMW Z4 GTLM car at the Rolex 24 At Daytona and the 12 Hours of Sebring and a second-place finish at Daytona for the No. 25 machine to the April 18th TUDOR United SportsCar Championship Sports Car Showcase. As part of the Long Beach Grand Prix weekend, the race is the shortest of the year at only 100 minutes, and is held on the 1.968-mile, 11-turn temporary street course - t....
David Brown Automotive Speedback GT set to dazzle international audience at world-renowned Techno Classica Essen

• Following Speedback's highly successful appearance at Retro Classics in Stuttgart, the car will now feature at a second leading German show
• Over 190,000 visitors from around the world expected to descend on the Essen show as Speedback showcases the best of British craftsmanship
• Show appearance rounds off Speedback's recent 1st anniversary celebrations

Coventry (April 2015): Hot on the heels of Speedback GT's recent showing at Retro Classics in Stuttgart, David Brown Automotive....
BENTLEY BRINGS HOME THE SILVERWARE FROM MONZA

•Car #7 makes a strong start to the season with a second-in-class* finish
•Car #8 also scores championship points, finishing eighth-in-class*
•Bentley Team M-Sport looks forward to home race at Silverstone

(Monza, Italy, 12th April 2015) Bentley Team M-Sport made a strong start to its 2015 European season, with the #7 Continental GT3 of British trio Guy Smith, Andy Meyrick and Steven Kane finishing a provisional second-in-class (fourth overall) in the opening round of the Blancpain E....
MAZDA POWERS THE BEST TO THE TOP

- 82 Mazda-Powered Entries Scheduled to Compete During Grand Prix of Louisiana Weekend -- Ongoing Multi-Million Dollar Investment by Mazda to Grow the Sport -

IRVINE, Calif. (April 8, 2015) – Mazda will have its racecars in a total of four series on the schedule this weekend at the inaugural Grand Prix of Louisiana, including two each from the Mazda SportsCar Racing Academy and the Mazda Road to Indy. Mazda engines will power more than 60 percent of all of the racecars in the Ne....
American Honda Lends Support to RRDC Evening with Bobby Unser in Long Beach

HILLIARD, Ohio (April 6, 2015) - American Honda Motor Co., Inc., will support the RRDC Evening with Bobby Unser presented by Firestone by hosting the cocktail reception for the sixth consecutive year at the Road Racing Drivers Club's seventh annual West Coast banquet, held prior to the 41st Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach (Calif.).

'American Honda is profoundly pleased to support the Road Racing Drivers Club in its salute to racing legend Bobby Unser,' said John Mendel, Executive Vice ....
2016 Audi R8 V10
2016 Audi R8 V10  2016 Audi R8 V10  2016 Audi R8 V10  2016 Audi R8 V10  2016 Audi R8 V10  
2016 Audi R8 V10 plus
2016 Audi R8 V10 plus  2016 Audi R8 V10 plus  2016 Audi R8 V10 plus  2016 Audi R8 V10 plus  2016 Audi R8 V10 plus  
2016 Lexus GS F
2016 Lexus GS F  2016 Lexus GS F  2016 Lexus GS F  2016 Lexus GS F  2016 Lexus GS F  
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 Aston Martin Lagonda Taraf
2015 Aston Martin Lagonda Taraf  2015 Aston Martin Lagonda Taraf  2015 Aston Martin Lagonda Taraf  2015 Aston Martin Lagonda Taraf  
2015 Aston Martin V12 Vantage S
2015 Aston Martin V12 Vantage S  2015 Aston Martin V12 Vantage S  2015 Aston Martin V12 Vantage S  2015 Aston Martin V12 Vantage S  2015 Aston Martin V12 Vantage S  
2015 Audi R8 LMS
2015 Audi R8 LMS  2015 Audi R8 LMS  
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 Dodge Viper SRT
2015 Dodge Viper SRT  2015 Dodge Viper SRT  2015 Dodge Viper SRT  2015 Dodge Viper SRT  2015 Dodge Viper SRT  
2015 Kia Pirelli World Challenge GTS Optima
2015 Kia Pirelli World Challenge GTS Optima  2015 Kia Pirelli World Challenge GTS Optima  2015 Kia Pirelli World Challenge GTS Optima  2015 Kia Pirelli World Challenge GTS Optima  2015 Kia Pirelli World Challenge GTS Optima