Busy Week Takes Rolex Series To Season's Midway Point After four free weekends, Monday's Memorial Day Classic at Lime Rock Park opens up the busiest week of the Rolex Series season. Because only five days later, Saturday's Sahlen's Six Hours...
Busy Week Takes Rolex Series To Season's Midway Point
After four free weekends, Monday's Memorial Day Classic at Lime Rock Park opens up the busiest week of the Rolex Series season.
Because only five days later, Saturday's Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen at Watkins Glen International will take the series to the midway point of the 2010 campaign.
The visit to the scenic Lakeville, Conn., circuit will be a one-day event. Practice begins at 9 a.m. ET, with qualifying at 11:55 a.m. and the green flag waving around 2 p.m. (SPEED, live).
With Tuesday as a travel day, teams then head west to Watkins Glen, where the paddock opens Wednesday morning to give participants two days to work on their equipment. Rolex Series practice begins at 9:30 a.m. ET Friday, with qualifying at 2:50 p.m. and evening practice at 6:30 p.m. The race takes the green flag at 2 p.m. Saturday. Live SPEED coverage runs from 2-4 p.m. and 6-8:30 p.m.
The two events will take the 2010 Rolex Series season to the midway point. The second half of the 12-race season opens with the June 19 running of the EMCO Gears Classic at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, followed by the July 3 Brumos Porsche 250 at Daytona International Speedway, the same day as the Coke Zero 400 Powered by Coca-Cola NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race.
Pruett: 'DP Debut At Lime Rock Park A Unique Opportunity'
Scott Pruett (No. 01 TELMEX BMW Riley) feels the pressure will be on all of the Daytona Prototype teams when they unload at Lime Rock Park for Monday's Memorial Day Classic, the first event for the Rolex Series' premier class at the 1.5-mile Connecticut circuit.
"I feel it's going to be a unique opportunity for everyone," said Pruett who will join co-driver Memo Rojas in the two-hour, 45-minute event. "It's a one-day event, which means as a team you have to be ready to roll right when you come off the truck - and the Ganassi team continually shows a lot of ability in that respect."
Pruett discounts missing the one-day special Rolex Series test at the circuit back in April, when Rojas shared the No. 01 BMW Riley with Joey Hand.
"That test was quite short because of the rain and very cold weather," Pruett said. "So basically, no one's been there before."
Pruett and Rojas are looking to establish a Rolex Series record with a fourth consecutive overall victory at the event, and pad their points lead in the process.
"That would be very exciting, but at the same time we have to be smart," Pruett said. "That's what we've been doing all year, and we just have to continue doing the same thing."
Jimmie Johnson Set For Sahlen's Six Hours Of The Glen
Four-time reigning NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion Jimmie Johnson is gearing up to make his second start of the 2010 season with GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing and its team of two-time champion drivers Alex Gurney and Jon Fogarty (No. 99 GAINSCO Chevrolet Riley).
The June 5 Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen will take place on the full 3.4-mile Watkins Glen International road course in Watkins Glen, N.Y.
The Sahlen's Six Hours marks the first time Johnson has made more than one start in a season with the GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing team and only his second time running multiple GRAND-AM Rolex Series races in a year. The Sahlen's Six Hour will also be Johnson's first start in any series at The Glen's long course that has played host to some of the greatest racecar drivers of all time since opening in the 1950s.
"I always look forward to racing with Alex, Jon and the GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing team," said Johnson, who drives the No. 48 Lowe's Chevy for Hendrick Motorsports in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
"We've tried to make some things come together for other races and it's just never worked out so I'm very excited that we were able to make this happen," Johnson added. "I think most people know how much I want to win on a road course and also in a GRAND-AM car. It would be pretty cool if we could pull it off. I know Alex and Jon have won this race before and I hope we're able to do it again."
Team Owner Reese Steps In To Co-Drive With Edwards At Lime Rock
Banner Racing team owner Leighton Reese (No. 07 LRPG Corvette) did not have to look far to find a new driver when he heard that Scott Russell would not be available to compete in the Memorial Day Classic at Lime Rock Park. Reese penciled his own name in the lineup, joining Paul Edwards.
Russell, a five-time winner of motorcycle's Daytona 200, has a commitment with SPEED to join the network's broadcast team for an AMA Pro Racing event at New Jersey Motorsports Park.
Both Reese and Edwards know a bit about winning at the tricky Connecticut circuit. He co-drove to victory there in 2007, joined by Tim Lewis Jr. in the Banner Racing Pontiac GXP, while Edwards and Kelly Collins (No. 28 drove to an overall victory in 2008, the last race for the Rolex Series at Lime Rock Park.
"I've never driven this car as a Corvette, but I've raced it a bit when it was a Pontiac," Reese said. "I haven't been at Lime Rock since they repaved it, but our Pratt & Miller Chassis has always shined at that circuit."
While Reese is entered as a third driver at Watkins Glen, he expects Edwards and Russell to go the distance without assistance.
There will be a number of "Hometown Heroes" in the GT ranks in the Memorial Day Classic. Ted Marsh Racing owner Ted Marsh (No. 31 Whelen's Corvette) is from Old Lyme, Conn., and driver Eric Curran is from Holyoke, Mass. Turner Motorsport (No. 94 Turner Motorsport BMW M6), driven by Bill Auberlen and Paul Dalla Lana, is based in Amesbury, Mass. Emil Assentato (No. 69 FXDD Mazda RX-8), GT co-points leader, is from Locust Valley, N.Y. He and co-driver Jeff Segal have won twice this season.