Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series Races Back into Action with Virginia International Raceway's Bosch Engineering 250 DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (April 21, 2009) - A three-month break for the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask...
Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series Races Back into Action with Virginia International Raceway's Bosch Engineering 250
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (April 21, 2009) - A three-month break for the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16 comes to an end with the Saturday, April 25 running of the Bosch Engineering 250 at Virginia International Raceway in Danville, Va.
Round 2 of the 2009 season is set to take the green flag for two hours, 45 minutes of action at 2:30 p.m. ET. The race will be televised live on SPEED.
Brumos Racing captured Daytona Prototype honors in Round 1 of the 2009 campaign, with David Donohue and Darren Law - joined by guest drivers Antonio Garcia and Buddy Rice - winning the Rolex 24 At Daytona by .167-seconds, the closest finish in the 47-year history of the event.
"As my dad would say, the parking meter goes back to zero at midnight," said Donohue, whose father - the late Mark Donohue - won the 1969 edition of the Daytona endurance classic. "It's back to square one. Our guys have been working very hard for seven seasons now; there's no letting up in this business. We'll do the best we can at VIR. We're at the point where we know what to expect when we show up at a race track - especially one we've been to before."
Brumos Racing returns a solid two-car effort to VIR, with Joao Barbosa and JC France co-driving the team's flagship No. 59 Porsche Riley. The pair were joined by Terry Borcheller and American legend Hurley Haywood in finishing third in the Rolex 24.
TELMEX Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates is the defending winner of the Bosch Engineering 250, with Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas returning to the No. 01 Lexus Riley. They are also the 2009 Daytona Prototype co-champions and lead the point standings, due to a post-inspection penalty to the winning car following the Rolex 24. Joined by Juan Pablo Montoya, Pruett and Rojas finished second in January's season opener.
"Virginia is one of my favorite tracks," Rojas said. "It is a true driver's track, full of challenging corners and elevation changes, so I really, really enjoy driving there. I know we have a good car there, and we are able to have a good set up where I know we can be quick."
Last year, Rojas and Pruett won the Bosch Engineering 250 despite very trying circumstances. It was their third victory in four races, after winning the Rolex 24 At Daytona and at Homestead-Miami Speedway in addition to finishing second at Mexico City. Pruett held off Ryan Dalziel by .548 seconds, continuing the trend in close finishes in Rolex Series races.
"We got the pole at Virginia last year, but unfortunately we were disqualified from qualifying for a penalty in the technical inspection," said Rojas, who started 18th. "We started the race from the pit lane, actually, because the team did not want to risk an accident at the start. We ended up winning, and it was really one of the best races we had all season - starting from dead last and battling all the way to the front - thanks to an awesome drive by Scott and myself, and also great strategy by the team."
The Brumos and Ganassi teams face strong challenges by the remainder of 17-car Daytona Prototype field, with Michael Shank Racing, Krohn Racing, GAINSCO Bob Stallings Racing, SunTrust Racing, Doran Racing, Penske Racing, Spirit of Daytona Racing, Childress-Howard Motorsports, Orbit Racing, AIM Autosport, Supercar Life Racing and Beyer Racing also filing entries.
Pontiacs, Mazdas Challenge Porsche in GT
TRG opened the 2009 GT class campaign with a one-two sweep in the Rolex 24 At Daytona, with its No. 67 Porsche GT3 led by Andy Lally and Justin Marks defeating teammates Spencer Pumpelly and Ted Ballou in the No. 66 car.
The pair returns to VIR as part of a four-car entry for Kevin Buckler's California-based team. John Potter and Craig Stanton co-drive the team's No. 65 Porsche, with Josemanuel Gutierrez and Scott Schroeder in the No. 68. A year ago, Pumpelly finished second in the Bosch Engineering 250.
Other significant Porsches include a pair of entries by Farnbacher Loles Racing, with drivers including Dirk Werner, Leh Keen and Eric Lux, and an expected entry from Battery Tender/MCM Racing for South African champion Hennie Groenewald and Dion von Moltke. Andrew Davis and Robin Liddell are the defending GT winners of the Bosch Engineering 250, and return in the No. 57 Stevenson Motorsports/Bryan Mark Pontiac GXP.R. They are joined by defending GT champions Kelly Collins and Paul Edwards in the No. 07 Banner Racing Pontiac GXP.R, along with Pontiac entries from PR1 Motorsports and Battery Tender/MCM Racing.
Leading the Mazda effort is a two-car entry by SpeedSource for Sylvain Tremblay, Nick Ham, Emil Assentato and Jeff Segal. Patrick Dempsey will make his VIR Rolex Series debut if his Grey's Anatomy schedule permits, joining Joe Foster in the No. 40 Dempsey Racing Mazda RX-8 that finished a season-best fifth here in 2008. Bryce Miller, GT winner here in 2007, joins Dane Cameron in the No. 30 Racers Edge Motorsports Mazda RX-8.
Completing the 17-car GT entry are two Corvettes fielded by Team Sahlen for Joe Sahlen, along with Joe, Will and Wayne Nonnamaker.
Practice for the Bosch Engineering 250 gets underway at 9 a.m. Friday, with qualifying beginning at 4 p.m. Friday. For live timing and scoring and weekend updates, visit www.grand-am.com. Twitter updates are also available at Twitter.com/RolexSeries.