Smooth sailing for CGR at Mont-Tremblant

Smooth sailing for CGR at Mont-Tremblant

Max Papis and Scott Pruett went into today's race the Mont-Tremblant circuit with the desire to give the Chip Ganassi Racing team their first ever win in the Grand American Rolex Series and they did just that! The two veteran sportscar...

Max Papis and Scott Pruett went into today's race the Mont-Tremblant circuit with the desire to give the Chip Ganassi Racing team their first ever win in the Grand American Rolex Series and they did just that! The two veteran sportscar endurance drivers brought to the table this year a combination of past experience in many forms of racing from openwheel racing to stockcars.

Max Papis and Scott Pruett celebrate victory.
Photo by Eric Gilbert.
Chip Ganassi's ability to sign on top drivers in any form of racing was a major plus for Lexus when he put the dynamic duo in the team's debut entry in the Rolex Series. That paid off for the team today when they scored the team's first victory in endurance racing.

"Incredible job by Scott (Pruett) and the CompUSA Ghip Ganassi team," exclaimed a very happy Mad Max. "We would have been even more pressured during the six hours if not for the crew, the pit stops were perfect also."

Prior to congratulating his teammate with the words "Awesome job!", Papis added, "We are her for one goal - to win."

And win they did, they did not have to lead every lap or even take the lead in turn one, after all this was a six hour race at the 2.65-mile road course nestled in the mountain resort town in the Quebec province. The polesitter's knew how to pace themselves and could only hope for a mechanical failure free race.

"I didn't expect it (the win)," explained Pruett at the end of the race. "The guys did a great job and so did Max. The last pitstop we could have timed better, it was a bit edgy. I am happy for the team, Max, Chip and Lexus (myself included) - this win feels great."

Pruett was referring to the final minutes with the sudden move by the Doran-Lista Racing team. Jan Magnussen got behind the wheel after Didier Theys climbed out and made the move on the second place Daytona Prototype belonging to Bell Motorsports. Theys and Magnussen could taste the possible victory.

In the final 40 minutes, Doran-Lista moved up from sixth to third, then second as the overtook the Bell team. And then a full-course caution when John Lloyd lost control of the Cegwa Sport Lexus DP and hit the guardrail driver's left. Lloyd was okay but the race only had around five minutes remaining. The officials could not get the incident cleared in time for a final sprint to the finish.

That ended the challenge of Magnussen as the race ended under yellow. "Why it took so long to clear, I have no idea," said the disappointed Dane. "I was looking forward to getting around the lap car and having a run at Pruett. It would have been fun."

#21 Prototype Technology Group BMW M3: Bill Auberlen, Boris Said.
Photo by Eric Gilbert.
The GT win went to the Prototype Technology Group BMW M3 duo of Bill Auberlen and Boris Said. A dynamic combination of two top-notch drivers in a class by themselves. And even with the typical ups and downs of endurance racing, they survive.

"It made me so nervous, the end of the race," Auberlen said as he watched the final lap under yellow. "The race was going so good and if had been a sprint, we had The Racers Group right behind just as the yellow came out so..."

"But Boris brought it home, so now we can celebrate," added Auberlen.

The Scuderia Ferrari of Washington Maserati GT came home in third.

The No. 36 TPC Racing took home the laurels in the SCS class, the Porsche GT3 Cup did not have to check their mirrors as they had a nice cushion for the win over their No. 38 team car. Third belonged to the Canadian team: Powell Motorsport.

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Series GRANDAM