GRAND-AM Recognizes Top Rolex Series Drivers And Teams With Rolex Series Champions Awards Presented By SunTrust
Ganassi, AIM Autosport Big Winners At Gotham Hall In New York
NEW YORK (Oct. 1, 2012) – GRAND-AM Road Racing basked in the bright lights of Broadway in Monday evening’s Rolex Champion Awards presented by SunTrust at Gotham Hall in downtown Manhattan.
Winning top honors with their third consecutive Daytona Prototype championship were drivers Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas with TELMEX Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates. AIM Autosport Team FXDD with Ferrari celebrated the first championship for the Ferrari 458 Italia in GRAND-AM competition, with drivers Jeff Segal and Emil Assentato winning the GT title.
“Racing and winning never get old – even though I do,” said the 52-year-old Pruett, who earned his 11th championship dating back to 1986. “They say that with adversity comes strength. We had our share of adversity this year, and I believe it made our team even stronger and closer.” While celebrating the many accomplishments of the past season, the banquet had a forwardlooking tone following the recent merger of GRAND-AM and the American Le Mans Series – which will run as a single entity beginning in 2014.
“We’ve come a long way since GRAND-AM was first announced here in New York City in 1999,” said sanctioning body founder Jim France. “The strides we’re making have gotten stronger and faster with each passing year. I would like to propose a toast to the future of North American sports car racing.”Scott Atherton, president and CEO of the American Le Mans Series, presented honors to the top Pro-Am drivers in the respective classes. Alex Popow – winner of GRAND-AM’s inaugural race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in July for Starworks Motorsport – won the Jim Trueman Award as top Pro-Am driver in the Daytona Prototype class, while Assentato won the Bob Akin Award in GT.
Jim Campbell, Chevrolet U.S. Vice President of Performance Vehicles and Motorsports, accepted the DP manufacturer championship. Ferrari North America President Marco Mattiaci accepted the GT manufacturer championship for Ferrari. Bill Riley received the DP constructor award on behalf of Riley Technologies for the ninth consecutive year.
Also recognized throughout the evening included the Monticello Motor Club Rookie of the Year award, Dr. Jim Norman; TOTAL Performance Specialties Pole Award given to the top pole winners in the DP (Jon Fogarty) and GT (John Edwards) classes; Ricky Taylor and Max Angelelli won the SunTrust Improve Your Position Award in DP with Segal and Assentato winning the award in GT; and Starworks Motorsport won the Sunoco Fuel 5000 accolade for having the most combined entries in 2012 competition.
Daytona International Speedway president Joie Chitwood III, Watkins Glen International president Michael Printup and Indianapolis Motor Speedway vice president of operations Mel Harder came on stage to discuss the inaugural first season and the exciting possibilities ahead.
SPEED’s Leigh Diffey was the master of ceremonies with musical entertainment was provided by singer/songwriter Edwin McCain. Brian Williams from NBC Nightly News welcomed guests with a special video.
The 2013 Rolex Series season will open in January with the 51st running of the Rolex 24 At Daytona.
Source: Grand-Am Road Racing