Austin, Texas - After taking the firm’s record ninth consecutive Rolex 24 At Daytona victory to open the 2013 GRAND-AM season, the switch to Rolex Series sprint racing saw a similar outcome as teams competing with Daytona Prototypes from Riley Technologies finished 1-2-3 in the inaugural GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series event at the Circuit of the Americas this weekend.
“This is by far the biggest win we have ever had in the United States, right here at home in Texas, and ranks right up there with our first ever win in Mexico City back in 2007, said GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Team Owner Bob Stallings.
“But in terms of degree of difficulty this was by far the sweetest win, and just how magical is this? We had hundreds of agents and guests out here, we had the pole, we were the race’s lead presenting sponsor, we are in Texas, we are a Texas team and it has been a long time since we won. What a perfect race to make a comeback!”
After nearly three hours of hard-fought Rolex Sports Car Series competition that saw five lead changes and drama right through the closing moments of the race, Gurney took the checkered flag by less than half a second over the No. 2 Ford-Riley of Ryan Dalziel, with the No. 01 Telmex BMW-Riley of Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas finishing third after leading the opening stages of the race.
Rolex fans have become accustomed to seeing frequent side-to-side contact in the field, and Riley DP machines have a long history of standing up to those impacts and racing to the finish.
After Memo Rojas led 33 laps, he turned the car over to teammate Pruett, who was forced into a curb on his out lap as he fought for the lead of the race.
The contact with the curb launched the Telmex machine airborne for a moment at top speed before slamming back down to the ground.
Many expected that the huge impact with the ground, would end the race for the defending series champions. But Pruett instead made a quick stop for a new nose, and continued on. The car was not only strong enough to rejoin the fray, but also threatened to take the win until the final corners of the race.