Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (CGRFS) and drivers Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas finished third in Round 2 of the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series at the GRAND-AM of The Americas presented by GAINSCO and TOTAL at Circuit of the Americas. It was the GRAND-AM series’ first visit to the track that hosted Formula 1 in November of 2012.

#01 Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates BMW Riley: Scott Pruett, Memo Rojas
#01 Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates BMW Riley: Scott Pruett, Memo Rojas

Photo by: Mike Geng

Rojas started on the second row after qualifying the No. 01 TELMEX Dinan-Prepared BMW Riley third on the 3.4-mile permanent road course. He made a bold move from third to first in the first turn of the race, and then extended his lead to over seven seconds until a caution period at the 34-minute mark of the 2 hour, 45-minute event.

Rojas pit from the lead under caution and rejoined the field in fourth when the race resumed at the 53-minute mark. He regained the lead at the 1:12 mark until pitting for a driver change with just over an hour remaining.

Pruett took the helm and had contact with the race-leading No.10 Corvette on his out lap, which sent him airborne off a curb and broke the front nose off the car. The No.01 car dropped to 10th after pitting as a result of the incident. The team then pit from seventh under yellow for a fuel-only stop with 50 minutes to go and rejoined the field fourth.

Good to the finish on fuel, Pruett resumed with 30 minutes to go and picked-off third place with 15 minutes to go. The race-leading No. 8 car spun off track shortly after, promoting Pruett to second, which setup up a three-car battle to the finish. Pruett made an attempt for the lead with two laps to go but got stuck in traffic and had to settle for third place.

Scott Pruett: “What a great facility and an unbelievable track. There were a lot of unknowns coming here for the first time, especially in terms of what you were going to run with down force levels and such.

It’s really unfortunate for the team and what happened as we had a great car. Memo did an outstanding job but I got forced onto the curb and into the rocks on my out lap, and ultimately had to pit for a new nose. The team did an great job repairing the car and getting us back into contention”

Memo Rojas: “It’s tough to stay out of trouble out there and we had a great car today. Every step we took with the car this weekend, the setup got better. We had a great run out there but it looked like Scott got caught up in something and it’s a shame.”