By: Pat Jennings, Sportscar series reporter
- Bob Stallings Racing's 1st 2011 series victory
- Pruett, Angelelli take 2nd & 3rd
- Brumos Racing claims GT Class win
Alex Gurney, Jon Fogarty win at Laguna Seca
Gainsco Racing’s Alex Gurney and Jon Fogarty took advantage of a rare Ganassi Racing miscue Saturday at Laguna Seca to win their first Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series race in almost year. The pivotal moment in the 107-lap event came on lap 80, when Scott Pruett’s race leading Ganassi Racing BMW Riley stopped for tires and fuel. Pruett accidentally overshot his pit box during the stop, resulting in a longer than normal stay in the pit lane. He re-entered the contest in third, trailing Gurney’s Chevrolet Riley and Ryan Dalziel’s Starworks Motorsport Ford Riley.
This is the one we wanted to win.
Gurney pitted for tires and fuel one lap later (along with Dalziel), rejoining the race just over a second and a half ahead of Pruett and just over six seconds in front of SunTrust Racing’s Max Angelelli, whose team had led 57 of the first 59 laps. Gurney survived two late-race cautions and stiff challenges from both Pruett and Angelelli to cross the finish line just over half a second ahead of the Ganassi car, while Angelelli hung on for third.
Dalziel ended up fourth and Oswaldo Negri and John Pew rounded out the top-five in the Michael Shank Ford Riley.
“We have been pushing really hard all year, and it hasn’t gone our way, but we finally got something good with the car,” Gurney said after the race. “The speed was close and by the end of the race the car was really, really good. Luckily, we had the track position, we just fought hard, and it couldn’t be better. This is the one we wanted to win.”
“The team did a fantastic job,” Fogarty added. “As a whole, as a collective, the Gainsco guys were on top today. We executed really all around, that’s what you have to do in Grand-Am to win, and we did. We didn’t make any mistakes. We had a fast car too, that’s always helpful, and a lot of good calls, smart calls. We pitted early to avoid some GT traffic and we gained a couple of seconds there. After the last round of pit stops, we were in the front and Alex did a stellar job, wrung everything out of the car, set the fastest race lap and won us the race. It was just awesome.”
Pruett and his teammate, Memo Rojas, now hold a 26-point lead over Angelelli and Ricky Taylor in the Daytona Prototype drivers’ championship with four races remaining on the schedule.
Leh Keen and Andrew Davis shared the win in the GT class for the second time this season in the No. 59 Brumos Racing Porsche. Jeff Segal and Emil Assentato finished second in the No. 69 SpeedSource Mazda RX-8, followed by Jonathan Bomarito and Sylvain Tremblay sharing another SpeedSource Mazda. Keen and Davis now hold a 10-point lead over Jordan Taylor and Bill Lester, who finished 10th in the Autohaus Chevrolet Camaro, in the GT class drivers’ standings. Taylor lost a lap in the race when the team had to fix a broken tail light.
The next Rolex Series race is Sunday, July 24 at New Jersey Motorsports Park.