Laguna Seca: GM Racing race report

Podium Finish For Pontiac at Laguna Seca Pontiac power takes second through sixth; race won by Diaz/Pruett MONTEREY, Calif. - In the first-ever Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series race at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, Pontiac-powered cars ...

Podium Finish For Pontiac at Laguna Seca
Pontiac power takes second through sixth; race won by Diaz/Pruett

MONTEREY, Calif. - In the first-ever Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series race at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, Pontiac-powered cars placed second through sixth in a yellow flag finish with 97 laps run. Second and third were taken by Butch Leitzinger/Elliot Forbes-Robinson driving the #4 Howard-Boss Motorsports Pontiac Crawford and Terry Borcheller/Ralf Kelleners in the #54 Kodak-Bell Pontiac Doran, respectively. First place was claimed by the duo of Scott Pruett and Luis Diaz in the #01 CompUSA Lexus Riley.

"The longer it went the better it would have been," said Butch Leitzinger, who drove the second stint of the race to a podium finish. "Pruett was definitely very fast but we were pretty even. I wish we could have had a green flag for the last couple of laps; I may have had a chance to pass. We've had three podium finishes so far this year, but I was really hoping for a win today."

Although the final laps were run under caution after the #15 Lexus lost its nose and passing was not allowed, Daytona Prototype Pontiacs led much of the race and Leitzinger was in first place from lap 45 until Pruett passed him in the corkscrew on lap 69. Jorg Bergmeister in the #66 TRG Pontiac Riley led prior to lap 45 for much of the race, but finished tenth after being damaged through contact with the #19 BMW Riley. The #54 Pontiac Doran moved up later in the race and managed a third-place finish, their best this season.

"We definitely had more power than we did at Fontana," said Terry Borcheller. "At the end of the race when I needed to get by the lapped #02 car, that power definitely helped me. I don't know if the #02 had a problem or what, but our motor helped us pass and we're glad that it's up to where it should be. We really struggled the last few races for a number of reasons, but we've made a big jump forward with this race-lowering weight and getting the power where it should be. The car is still heavy, and when we get rid of that weight we'll be where we want to be."

The SunTrust Pontiac team drivers Max Angelelli and Wayne Taylor still lead the standings after finishing fourth today and Pontiac is first ahead of Lexus in points for the engine manufacturers championship. Six out of the top ten finishers were Pontiacs.

In other GM Racing news here at Laguna Seca this weekend, the #00 Chevy Cobalt in the ST class of the Grand-Am Cup Series driven by Jim Holtom and Jamie Holtom finished fifth in class. The #32 Chevy Cobalt driven by Tom Lepper and Bo Roach finished 14th in class, and the #48 Cobalt of Rod Strub and Ed Magner finished 16th out of the 25 in their class.

Jamie Holtom ran as high as third in class with 30 minutes remaining in the race; a strategic pit stop on lap 29 put him in the top three but he was passed with eight laps remaining. This is the second top-five finish this season for the Cobalts; they have four top ten finishes this season.

-gm racing-

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Butch Leitzinger , Scott Pruett , Wayne Taylor , Luis Diaz , Terry Borcheller , Jörg Bergmeister , Max Angelelli , Jim Holtom , Bo Roach