Fontana: Toyota Lexus race report

JTORRANCE, Calif. (April 3, 2005) -- Despite running without power-steering, Scott Pruett (CompUSA Lexus-Riley) overcame a late-race yellow and a hard-charging Max Angelelli to win the closest Grand American Road Racing Daytona Prototype race in...

JTORRANCE, Calif. (April 3, 2005) -- Despite running without power-steering, Scott Pruett (CompUSA Lexus-Riley) overcame a late-race yellow and a hard-charging Max Angelelli to win the closest Grand American Road Racing Daytona Prototype race in history by .09 seconds in today's Grand American 400 at the California Speedway. JAfter Luis Diaz won his first career pole and the #01 Lexus' 13th in 15 Daytona Prototype starts, problems set in almost immediately for the CompUSA Lexus as Diaz' mount began to suffer power steering problems just before the race began.

A caution flag roughly 45 minutes into the event allowed the team to work on the car and remove debris caught up in an off-road excursion. In addition, defending series champion Pruett climbed into the car that had fallen well back into the field.

With a little more than an hour remaining, Pruett had driven his Lexus-powered entry back into the top three and with approximately 37 minutes remaining he took the race lead. The veteran proceeded to pull out to a five-second lead, but a late-race yellow with approximately 20 minutes remaining bunched the field once again. Pruett pulled away again after the re-start, but ran into heavy traffic in the final laps allowing Angelelli to close. Balked by slower traffic, Pruett dove inside coming off the final turn, while his competitor went to the outside. The Lexus then powered to the high side of the track to win by less than a tenth of a second.

The victory was the fifth over the past two seasons for the Ganassi Racing team, and the sixth overall for Lexus. The win came at the site of last season's championship-clinching victory for Pruett and the Ganassi squad.

Cort Wagner and Stefan Johansson combined to finish sixth in the New Century Mortgage Lexus. Chris Bingham and Hugo Guenette combined to place 13th in the debut for CB Motorsports. Matteo Bobbi and Fabrizio Gollin registered a 14th-place finish after their second consecutive front-row qualifying effort on Saturday in their Crown Royal Special Reserve Lexus-Doran.

The Rolex Sports Car Series and the Lexus Daytona Prototype program return to action for the U.S. Sports Car Invitational May 1 at Laguna Seca. The race will be televised live on SPEED at 3 p.m. EDT.

-cgr-

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Chris Bingham , Hugo Guénette , Stefan Johansson , Scott Pruett , Luis Diaz , Matteo Bobbi , Max Angelelli , Cort Wagner