Montreal: Lexus preview

OH CANADA -- As the Rolex Sports Car Series heads to Montreal this weekend, there's only one team that won't have to travel across the border - AIM Autosport, the only Canadian-based team in the series. Not surprisingly, the team heads to Montreal...

OH CANADA -- As the Rolex Sports Car Series heads to Montreal this weekend, there's only one team that won't have to travel across the border - AIM Autosport, the only Canadian-based team in the series. Not surprisingly, the team heads to Montreal with vast experience on the 2.708-mile road course.

When the prototypes hit the track on Thursday, it will mark the fifth different series AIM has competed in at Montreal. More impressive, the team has won in three different classes, including a victory by team principal Andrew Bordin in the 2003 Canadian Formula Ford event. Other victories have come with Andrew Ranger in Fran-Am competition, as well as Kevin Lacroix in Formula BMW in 2005. AIM team driver and Toronto native Mark Wilkins has made three starts in Montreal, never finishing worse than sixth.

DRIVERS BRING MONTREAL EXPERIENCE -- No less than seven Lexus-powered Grand-Am drivers have already competed at Montreal. Three of the drivers have at least one top-three podium finish to their credit in the Quebec city. Memo Rojas won the 2003 Barber Dodge race from the pole, as well as finished second in 2002. Canadian Michael Valiante started on the front row in Toyota Atlantic competition no less than three times at Montreal. Valiante's best finish was a second in 2001 and he never finished below seventh. Randy Ruhlman qualified second and placed third in the 2005 Trans-Am event. Other Lexus-powered drivers that have competed at Montreal include Oswaldo Negri, Mark Patterson, John Pew and Mark Wilkins.

PRUETT ON TOP -- Scott Pruett continues to lead the championship heading into Round 11 at Montreal this weekend. The Chip Ganassi Racing driver has been on the top of the leader board after all but one round this season. He'll take an 11-point advantage north of the border. Pruett's attempting to win his seventh title in nine full seasons of sports car racing since 1986. The Northern California native also became the Rolex Sports Car Series' all-time leader in wins earlier this year at Iowa with 14.6 + 60 = Top 10 For Shank -- After earning sixth and seventh-place finishes at Barber, Michael Shank Racing has now placed both of their entries into the top-10 in five of the last six races. The strong run has put the #6 Playboy Lexus/Riley driven by Ian James and John Pew, and the #60 Lexus/Riley driven by Oswaldo Negri and Mark Patterson into a tie for seventh overall in the team championship.

GANASSI ON TOP OF TEAM STANDINGS - Scott Pruett isn't the only one in the midst of a championship fight in the Lexus camp. Chip Ganassi Racing continues to maintain an 11-point lead in the hunt for a third team title in the last four years.

To date, Lexus and its teams and drivers have earned four Rolex Series championships since entering the series in 2004. Pruett and Max Papis won the 2004 Driver's Championship, Ganassi won the 2004 and 2006 team titles, and Lexus registered the 2006 Manufacturer's Championship.

-credit: Lexus Motorsports

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Series Grand-Am
Drivers Max Papis , Scott Pruett , Michael Valiante , Randy Ruhlman , Ian James , Memo Rojas , Andrew Bordin , Oswaldo Negri Jr. , Chip Ganassi , Andrew Ranger , Mark Wilkins , John Pew , Mark Patterson , Kevin Lacroix , Michael Shank
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing , Michael Shank Racing