Watkins Glen: Series round five preview

SAHLEN'S SIX HOURS OF THE GLEN GOOD DAYTONA PROTOTYPE CHAMPIONSHIP INDICATOR DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (June 2, 2009) - The road to the Daytona Prototype championships goes through Watkins Glen International, host of Saturday's Sahlen's Six Hours...

SAHLEN'S SIX HOURS OF THE GLEN GOOD DAYTONA PROTOTYPE CHAMPIONSHIP INDICATOR

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (June 2, 2009) - The road to the Daytona Prototype championships goes through Watkins Glen International, host of Saturday's Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen, Round 5 of the 2009 Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16.

The past three winners of the Sahlen's Six Hours - and four of the last five -- have gone on to capture the Daytona Prototype title. The race takes the green flag at 2:15 p.m. Saturday, and will be televised live on SPEED from 2-4 p.m. ET, and from 6-8:30 p.m.

That statistic favors Alex Gurney and Jon Fogarty, who currently lead the standings by eight points (119-111) over David Donohue and Darren Law. The drivers of Bob Stallings' No. 99 GAINSCO Pontiac Riley won seven races - including both races at The Glen - en route to the 2007 Daytona Prototype crown. They are also the only multiple winners this season, coming on top at Virginia International Raceway and Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

"We're starting to think about the championship," Gurney admitted following his victory at Mazda Raceway. "We're coming to a lot of tracks that we've had success at. We've had a lot of success at Watkins Glen, and we've always had a good car there, so we're looking forward to it. Over the years, we've learned how hard it is to get two points on somebody, so eight points is pretty good."

Winless in 2009, Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas co-drove to victory at the Sahlen's Six Hours and five other races en route to winning the 2008 championship in the No. 01 TELMEX Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates Lexus Riley. Pruett also shared the 2004 Daytona Prototype title - the same year he won the Sahlen's Six Hours with Max Papis. They currently are ranked fourth in the standings, 14 behind Gurney and Fogarty.

Krohn Racing's Jorg Bermeister also won the Sahlen's Six Hours and the Daytona Prototype crown. He joined Boris Said in winning the endurance classic in 2006, one year after Tracy Krohn and Nic Jonsson gave the team its first victory in a wet 2005 event. Jonsson and Ricardo Zonta will be looking to give Krohn Racing its third triumph in the classic, sharing the No. 76 Ford Lola. The pair won earlier this season at New Jersey Motorsports Park.

Another former winner of the Sahlen's Six Hours is Brumos Racing, returning a two-car lineup. Donohue - winner of the 2003 Sahlen's Six Hour - joins 2009 Rolex 24 At Daytona co-winner Law in the No. 58 Porsche Riley. Hurley Haywood, a six-time class winner in the Six Hours of The Glen, joins Brumos regulars Joao Barbosa and JC France in the No. 59.

The most recent Rolex Series winners at The Glen were Mark Wilkins and Brian Frisselle, who led all but three laps in dominating the Crown Royal 200 on The Glen's short course last August. Wilkins returns to the No. 61 AIM Autosport Ford Riley, and will co-drive this weekend with Burt Frisselle and 2002 Indianapolis 500 polesitter Bruno Junqueira, who will be making his Rolex Series debut. Brian Frisselle now co-drives the No. 10 SunTrust Racing Ford Dallara with Max Angelelli. They are third in the standings on the strength of three top-four finishes.

Pumpelly Holds One-Point Lead in GT

Spencer Pumpelly enters the Sahlen's Six Hours with a one-point lead (117-116) in the hotly-contested Acxiom GT championship chase. Pumpelly and Ted Ballou have a pair of second-place finishes this season, in the Rolex 24 and at New Jersey, in TRG's No. 66 AXA/Mitchell Rubber Porsche GT3. This weekend, Pumpelly will drive with Craig Stanton and John Potter.

Pumpelly leads Leh Keen and Dirk Werner, co-drivers of the No. No. 87 Farnbacher Loles Racing Porsche GT3, by one point (117-116). Keen and Werner won at New Jersey Motorsports Park and finished third in the most recent race at Mazda Raceway.

Emil Assentato, Jeff Segal and Nick Longhi are the defending GT winners of the event, returning in SpeedSource's No. 69 FXDD Mazda RX-8. Their teammates, Sylvain Tremblay and Nick Ham, won at Mazda Raceway, and will be joined at The Glen by David Haskell in SpeedSource's No. 70 Mazda/Castrol Syntec Mazda RX-8.

In addition to Pumpelly, who won the 2007 Sahlen's Six Hours, fellow race co-winner Andy Lally will drive TRG's No. 67 Construct Corp./No Fear Energy Drinks Porsche GT3 with Justin Marks. Lally and Marks were part of a five-driver Rolex 24 winning team in January.

Practice for the Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen begins Thursday afternoon, with qualifying Friday at 1:15 p.m. The race takes the green flag at 2:15 p.m. Saturday. The weekend also includes the two-and-a-half hour KONI Sports Car Challenge race, TheGlen.com 200, at 4 p.m. Friday. For additional information, visit www.grand-am.com, or go to www.twitter.com/RolexSeries for weekend updates.

-credit: grand-am

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing , Krohn Racing , SpeedSource