Grand-AM Watkins Glen Race Report

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Watkins Glen International

Ricky Taylor held off Scott Pruett by 3.839 seconds Saturday to win the 30th Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen, ending one winning streak while continuing another.

Taylor was joined by Max Angelelli in the No. 10 SunTrust Chevrolet/Dallara, winning his second consecutive Rolex Series race from the pole.

Pruett and Memo Rojas were seeking their fourth consecutive victory in the event – the second-longest race on the GRAND-AM Rolex Series schedule. An off-track excursion by Paul Dalla Lana in the closing minutes led to the fifth and final caution, setting the stage for a three-lap sprint to the checkered flag. Running as the closing driver for the first time with SunTrust Racing, the 21-year-old driver from Apopka, Fla., resident was able to pull away from Pruett to take his third career DP victory – and 17th for Angelelli.

Victory lane: Wayne Taylor leaps off the podium like a rock star
Victory lane: Wayne Taylor leaps off the podium like a rock star

Photo by: Ted Rossino

Pruett and Rojas failed to win for the third consecutive event, after the drivers of the No. 01 TELMEX BMW/Riley won 12 of 14 races over a two-year stretch. They retained the points lead, while Taylor and Angelelli continued to gain ground by moving up to second, 19 points back (193-174).

Alex Gurney and Jon Fogarty finished a solid third in the No, 99 GAINSCO Auto Insurance Chevrolet/Riley, followed by Ozz Negri and John Pew in the No. 60 Crown Royal XR Ford/Riley.

Leh Keen and Andrew Davis led Brumos Racing to its first victory in the production-based GT class, co-driving the No. 59 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup. It was the team’s first victory at Watkins Glen since 2003, when David Donohue helped the team win in the debut of the DP class in the Sahlen’s Six Hours.

The final caution helped Keen gain nearly a lap on Tommy Milner – co-driving with Jordan Taylor and Bill Lester in the No. 88 Autohaus Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro – and Jeff Segal, who teamed with Emil Assentato in the No. 69 FXDD Mazda RX-8.

Milner held off Segal to finish second, allowing GT pole winner Jordan Taylor and Lester to score their third consecutive top-two finish. That boosted Taylor and Lester to a three-point lead in the GT points standings over Keen and Davis (165-162). Dalla Lana and Bill Auberlen held the lead coming into the event but finished 11th in the No. 94 Turner Motorsport BMW M3, and are now third in the points.

The Surprises
- Burt Frisselle joined Action Express Racing and helped David Donohue and Darren Law finish fifth in the No. 5 Porsche/Riley. It was the team’s fifth-straight top-five finish.

- Guy Cosmo made his first Rolex Series appearance since the 2010 Rolex At Daytona. He finished third in the No. 69 FXDD Mazda RX-8, joining defending series champions Jeff Segal and Emil Assentato.

- Coming off a GT victory at Lime Rock Park, Robin Liddell qualified second in the No. 57 Stevenson Automotive Group Chevrolet Camaro. His car was badly damaged in a Lap 5 incident when a car spun directly in front of him. The team managed to repair it so that he was able to return in order to score championship points.

- TRG came to The Glen with victories in the last two Rolex Series endurance races – winning the 2010 Sahlen’s Six Hours and the 2011 Rolex 24. However, Steven Bertheau was involved in an early incident and the car was retired early.

Victory lane: GT Winners Podium
Victory lane: GT Winners Podium

Photo by: Ted Rossino

“This is the best car I’ve ever driven. It’s much better (than it was at Lime Rock). We’ve been improving ourselves and everybody is going a great job. You saw what Ricky (Taylor) did today, but he does it every race.” Max Angelelli, No. 10 SunTrust Chevrolet/Dallara

“When that last caution came out, I was pretty nervous in there. Whenever you have Scott Pruett behind you, that’s as tough as it gets.” Ricky Taylor, No. 10 SunTrust Chevrolet/Dallara

“We couldn’t pace them. We were trying all kinds of things. We were changing wickers and changing the car up and trying to get more speed out of it as the race unfolded. It started out pretty wet, pretty nasty early on, but it was just kind of business as usual. We just had to look at the back of the 10 car today.” Scott Pruett, No. 01 TELMEX BMW/Riley

“To bring the 59 Brumos 911 back on the top of the podium was extremely special. To win the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen -- one of the crown jewels of endurance racing here in the United States -- means a lot, but to do it with Brumos and as a Brumos driver absolutely means the world to me.” Andrew Davis, No. 59 Brumos Porsche GT3

“We got a podium on Monday and now a win. We’re really looking good in the points for the championship, and it’s something that we’re really going to have to consider.” Leh Keen, No. 59 Brumos Porsche GT3

“Running down to the Brumos pit to congratulate them was so much fun. I really can’t say how happy we are as a team to see Brumos win this race at a track that meant so much to Bob Snodgrass and that organization.” David Donohue, No. 5 Action Express Racing Porsche/Riley and former Brumos Racing driver, winning for team in 2003 Sahlen’s Six Hours.

“We’re definitely on a run these last few races. Our number one objective was to lead the championship if at all possible, and we’ve accomplished that.” – Bill Lester, No. 88 Autohaus Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro

The Next Race:
The GRAND-AM Rolex Series pays its first visit in a decade to Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis., for the June 25 running of the Road America 250. The Rolex Series competed on the historic 4.048-mile circuit in 2000 and 2001. Kevin Doran’s team won both events, with Didier Theys, Mauro Baldi and Fredy Leinhard driving his Judd/Ferrari. Current Action Express Racing teammates Darren Law and Terry Borcheller were class winners at the circuit during GRAND-AM’s inaugural 2000 season. The Rolex Series will share the circuit with the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge – running a Friday evening event – and the NASCAR Nationwide Series.

-source: grand-am

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Series GRANDAM
Tags autohaus, gt, prototype, suntrust