Phoenix: GM Racing GT race report

Another GT Class Victory For Pontiac With GTO.R Production-based Race Cars Take First and Fourth at Phoenix PHOENIX - An unusual caution-free race saw Pontiac the winner of the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series GT class, with Paul Edwards...

Another GT Class Victory For Pontiac With GTO.R
Production-based Race Cars Take First and Fourth at Phoenix

PHOENIX - An unusual caution-free race saw Pontiac the winner of the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series GT class, with Paul Edwards and Jan Magnussen in the #64 TRG GTO.R taking the checkered flag. The night race, run at picturesque Phoenix International Raceway, continued the entire 152 laps without a single crash or serious incident. Unlike most Rolex Series races, this GT event ran separately from the Daytona Prototype class, which has higher top speeds and therefore creates tricky situations when slower cars get in the way of faster ones. Tonight, however, probably the most apprehensive point of the evening for the crew of #64 car was a fueling stop which took longer than expected.

"It was a pretty good battle; we were a lot faster on the banking than the BMW," said Edwards, who started the race from the pole position he won yesterday. "We were able to hold it tight and really get a run out of them. We must have been getting about six or seven miles an hour out of the exits which helped us out in the straights. We had a really bad pit stop; I'm not sure what happened with the fuel, but I think we were there for a minute and 29 seconds. We'll have to look at that and make it better because that hurt us a lot."

What helped the team, however, was the excellent fuel economy the production-based Pontiac V-8 engine offered both cars. Only one pit stop was enough to keep the car going for the entire race.

"Our engine is very competitive in respect to fuel economy," said Norman Peralta, engine project manager for Pontiac's Grand American V-8. "We had no fuel issues whatsoever and we could have gone several more laps. Additionally, the engine we just ran for this race now has over 1,000 miles on it. The same went for the #65 car before we changed the motor. These are both great attributes for a racing engine."

The #65 car of Marc Bunting and Andy Lally had another consistent night of racing and finished a respectable fourth after starting from the eighth spot on the grid. The result gives the pair their third fourth-place finish since first racing the GTO.R in late June, when both cars entered the series. Their best to date was a second-place finish scored two weeks ago at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

"We ran a solid race; we were trying to conserve tires early on," said Marc Bunting. "We had no DP cars to worry about, which made the track much easier to navigate. Unfortunately, not too many other cars stopped either. We're now only 21 points behind the overall driver points leader with three races to go. If we gain seven points a race we can still win the championship."

-gm racing-

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Paul Edwards , Jan Magnussen , Andy Lally , Marc Bunting