Watkins Glen II: Lexus race report

GANASSI DUO WIN WATKINS GLEN TO LEAD THREE LEXUS-POWERED CARS IN TOP-10 WATKINS GLEN, NY (Aug. 11, 2006) -- Scott Pruett made a pass for the lead on Lap 43 in his CompUSA Lexus-Riley and was never headed as he and co-driver Luis Diaz won Friday...

GANASSI DUO WIN WATKINS GLEN TO LEAD THREE LEXUS-POWERED CARS IN TOP-10

WATKINS GLEN, NY (Aug. 11, 2006) -- Scott Pruett made a pass for the lead on Lap 43 in his CompUSA Lexus-Riley and was never headed as he and co-driver Luis Diaz won Friday night's Crown Royal 200 Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series race at Watkins Glen International.

Diaz started the race in fourth and never fell below that position on the way to handing off the car to Pruett in second-place on a full-course caution. Within a few laps, Pruett made his eventual race-winning pass on Guy Cosmo and then held off a strong challenge from Max Angelelli to earn his fourth victory of the season and the fifth for Ganassi Racing.

The strong run by Pruett and Diaz was just one of three impressive efforts registered by Lexus-powered entries as Michael Shank Racing (MSR) registered top-10 finishes by each of its entries for the fourth consecutive race.

Oswaldo Negri and Mark Patterson continued their impressive performances at Watkins Glen with a fourth-place finish in the #60 Flight Options Lexus-Riley. They climbed from the 16th-starting position to earn their fourth top-five of the season and their fifth consecutive top-10 finish.

Joining Negri and Patterson in the top-10 were MSR teammates Mike Borkowski and Burt Frisselle, who logged a 10th-place finish in their #6 Playboy Racing Lexus-Riley despite battling clutch problems. With the result, Borkowski notched a unique feat in registering his fourth top-10 finish in a row with three different co-drivers.

With five wins this season, Lexus-powered entries have now won 13 races in 38 Rolex Series events since entering the series in 2004. The manufacturer heads into the final two races of the season trailing by just one point in the race for its first Daytona Prototype Manufacturer's Championship.

The Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif., is set to host the penultimate round of the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series on Sat., Aug. 26. SPEED will televise the race on a one-day delay basis on Aug. 27.

Scott Pruett: "It was awesome. The car was great and the engine ran flawlessly. Consider that the last thing you want to do is introduce a new engine in the middle of the season, but it was something that Grand Am really forced us into. But the way the Lexus and TRD guys reacted to come up with a great engine package to bring us to victory circle in just the second race is awesome. This engine doesn't have much time on it and there's still a lot of things we want to improve on it and I know that the Lexus guys will." Burt Frisselle, #6 Playboy Racing/Mears Lexus-Riley: "I'm just bummed I wasn 't able to do more with the car because it was really good, but the clutch problem meant that I was losing out under braking because it was just taking longer to get the downshifts done. But I'm happy to get a top ten here and it' s been great to be back with these guys, and I am really looking forward to racing this car again at Miller (Salt Lake City)."

Oswaldo Negri, #60 Flight Options Lexus-Riley: "This is awesome. Mark did another fantastic job at the start, and the car was strong enough to make some moves forward, so I'm really pleased with the result. Plus, it's my daughter Nahalia's birthday, so it was already a great day for me even before the race started."

Mark Patterson, #60 Flight Options Lexus-Riley: "The car was fantastic, and compared to where we were at Barber just starting out with the new Lexus, we have already moved well ahead. The car just got better as the laps went on, and I was really able to make up ground and fight and defend when I needed to, and Oz just did the rest of the work from there. A real credit to this team I think for the job they do, and it was quite a treat I think for our guests from Flight Options."

-credit: lexus

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Scott Pruett , Guy Cosmo , Luis Diaz , Max Angelelli , Burt Frisselle , Oswaldo Negri Jr. , Mark Patterson , Michael Shank
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing , Michael Shank Racing