Alex Gurney and Jon Fogarty dominated the twelfth round of the Rolex Sports Car Series Friday evening at Watkins Glen International, starting from the pole, leading the most laps, turning the race's fastest lap, and driving the Bob Stallings...
Alex Gurney and Jon Fogarty dominated the twelfth round of the Rolex Sports Car Series Friday evening at Watkins Glen International, starting from the pole, leading the most laps, turning the race's fastest lap, and driving the Bob Stallings Racing Pontiac Riley to victory for the sixth time this season. Having won five of the last seven races, the duo are now only four points behind Max Angelelli and Scott Pruett in the Daytona Prototype drivers' championship with two events remaining. They also tied a Rolex Series record for most wins in a season.
Fogarty led the first 34 laps of the 82-lap race, opening up an eleven- second gap on second place before handing the car over to Gurney on Lap 34, during the race's second caution. Gurney led the 21-car field back to the green flag on Lap 41 and then simply drove away from everyone else, including second place Angelelli - one of the fastest drivers in the series, to take his second win of the year at Watkins Glen. Gurney and Fogarty are the first drivers to win twice in the same season at the Glen.
"It was a perfect day for the team, really," said Gurney. "Jon did an excellent job in qualifying and pretty much smoked everybody. He had a good opening stint and we had a good pit stop around the 45-minute mark. I was a little worried about Max and Scott - the toughest guys out there. But as soon as I was able to pull away on the (second) restart, I felt better. We were just really hooked up for sure."
"We nailed it," added Fogarty. "The car was really good on the out laps and it was similar to what I had in qualifying, where I could open it up from the get go. I was lucky enough to be able to open a gap early and run a consistent pace and bring it home in one piece. It was a good car and great race."
Angelelli and Memo Gidley survived a collision with Matt Connolly's Pontiac Chase on Lap 16 and last lap contact with Colin Braun to come home second in the SunTrust Racing Pontiac Riley, 1.757 seconds behind Gurney. But after the race, Angelelli had some harsh words for Braun and his car owner, Tracy Krohn, who Angelelli believed was blocking him on the last lap.
"What can I say," asked Angelelli, who had to be prevented from confronting Braun at the end of the race. "I think it was just a poor performance from the Krohn team - the entire team, both cars. And the way that Tracy Krohn handled himself the last lap just undermines our sport. It was very ugly and I was very mad. On the last lap, losing a position like under that condition was something I couldn't stand. I overtook (Colin) and I just felt a couple of cars hit me and they told me that he had spun and it made me very happy. It is what he deserved."
The No. 01 Ganassi Racing Lexus Riley of Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas finished third, followed by the No. 91 Pontiac Riley of Jim Mathews and Marc Goosens and the No. 58 Brumos Porsche Riley of Darren Law and David Donohue. Pruett, the championship leader coming into the race, is now tied with Angelelli in the driver's standings.
The Rolex Series returns to the track on August 25 at Infineon Raceway.