Grand-Am road Racing press release
Rolex 24 Winner Michael Shank Racing With Curb Agajanian Holds Early DP Lead In North American Endurance Championship Presented By VISITFLORIDA.com
- New Three-Race Competition Continues At Watkins Glen, Indianapolis
* Magnus Racing Leads GT Class Standings
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 6, 2012) – Winning the 50th Anniversary Rolex 24 At Daytona gave Michael Shank Racing with Curb Agajanian a head start on capturing GRAND-AM’s newest crown jewel, the inaugural North American Endurance Championship presented by VISITFLORIDA.com.
The NAEC encompasses the three longest races in the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series, held at three of the most historic racing facilities in the world. The championship battle continues in the Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen at Watkins Glen International on July 1; it concludes with the Super Weekend at the Brickyard on July 27, GRAND-AM’s historic first event at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Ozz Negri, John Pew, AJ Allmendinger and Justin Wilson won the Daytona milestone event co-driving the No. 60 Liveon.com Ford/Riley. With NAEC points awarded on a 5-4-3-2 basis at four increments during the Rolex 24, the team accumulated 16 points to come away leading the Daytona Prototype class standings, two more than Starworks Motorsport. Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates is third with 13 points.
In the production-based GT class standings, Magnus Racing leads, also with 16 points, one more than Brumos Racing. Magnus’ No. 44 Porsche GT3 – co-driven by Andy Lally, John Potter, Rene Rast and Richard Lietz – got the Rolex 24 class victory, the organization’s first win in the Rolex Series.
The three events are scored uniquely, enabling teams to score a maximum of 20 and minimum of eight points at each race. Points at Watkins Glen will be awarded at the three-hour mark and the finish, with a two-time multiplier. The three-hour Indianapolis race awards points at the finish with a four-time multiplier.
The NAEC will be crowned on the Victory Podium at Indianapolis Motor Speedway following GRAND-AM’s debut event on the Brickyard’s 2.605-mile road course. The DP champion team will receive $100,000, with the GT champion team getting $50,000.
“We’ll run as hard as we can,” said Rolex 24 winning car owner Michael Shank. ‘Winning the Rolex 24 was epic, and the response has been incredible. We’ll be ready to go for Watkins Glen and Indianapolis. We haven’t had much time yet to plan our strategy yet, but we’ve got a separate championship in our series now, and we definitely want to win that thing.”
Starworks owner Peter Baron adjusted his Rolex 24 lineup in order to be leading at the halfway point.
“Any championship is awesome, but especially one that combines our three biggest races of the year,” Baron said. “Those are the races that are at the top of our wish list. We always want to do well at Watkins Glen’s six-hour race, but now we have an added incentive to do so. We plan on having two extra pro drivers to help out both of our cars at the Glen.”
Round 2 of the 2012 Rolex Series will be the Porsche 250 at Barber Motorsports Park, March 31 in Birmingham, Ala. All series races are televised on SPEED and broadcast on the Motor Racing Network.