Pontiac Sweeps Grand-Am Podium in Mexico City GAINSCO Wins First Race The GAINSCO Pontiac Riley team posted their first Daytona Prototype (DP) victory today in round two of the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal ...
Pontiac Sweeps Grand-Am Podium in Mexico City
GAINSCO Wins First Race
The GAINSCO Pontiac Riley team posted their first Daytona Prototype (DP) victory today in round two of the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Special Reserve held at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City.
Jon Fogarty and his No. 99 teammate Alex Gurney drove a hard race chasing the No. 75 Krohn Racing Pontiac Riley all day to finally pass for the lead for good with two laps remaining. The duo swapped the lead with the Krohn car three times in the final 13 laps to claim their first DP victory.
"I was chasing the 75 car and making up time with every lap," Gurney said. "The car worked great on old tires as we saw after Jon's long first stint. I was able to get through traffic and catch them and get passed. Then it was my turn to get caught up in traffic and Papis went by again. He then over cooked turn one and I passed for the win. This is a great win for our team owner Bob Stallings, it is well deserved by the entire team."
Colin Braun started the No. 75 Krohn Pontiac from pole and drove to a commanding lead, some 18-seconds, before handing over to teammate Max Papis. Papis gave-up time to Alex Gurney and eventually went a little too hot into turn one on lap 98 to relinquish the lead to the No. 99 and come home in second.
"We were doing a great job and hitting the mark every lap, Colin was just plain fast," Papis explained. "I was catching traffic at all of the wrong places and it cost me a lot of time. Alex was coming and went by and I started to really push and then he hit traffic and I was able to get back by for the lead. I made a mistake into turn-one. I let the team down today. I drove as hard as I could. I gave everything in my heart on the track, that is my one mistake for the season."
The No. 10 SunTrust Pontiac Riley had to overcome an early drive-thru penalty awarded to Jan Magnussen for unnecessary contact in the esses. Max Angelelli soon took over the Pontiac powered DP car to cross the line in third, completing an all Pontiac DP podium.
"It was difficult for me as I lost power steering early in my stint and I was really struggling," Angelelli said. "This series is tough racing all of the time, flat out. This weekend was good considering our early drive-thru and we were able to come away with a third place which is good for our championship position."
In GT, contact was the rule of the day for the Banner Racing GXP.R racers. On lap 14 teammates Kelly Collins and Leighton Reese came together in turn one, sending Collins into the grass and Reese carrying on with heavy front damage. At the finish the No. 07 of Collins and Paul Edwards finished 10th, with Reese and co-driver Tim Lewis coming to the line in 14th in their No. 06 GXP.R.
"I did the big no-no for a two car team, when I hit my teammate," Reese said. "I had been getting a little better run off of the last turn and was able to really tuck-up behind Kelly and draft down the straight. We went into one and Kelly was off the line, because he was running a little hot. Another GT car came up I got in the marbles and hit Kelly. It took us out of the top five and made it a tough day."
Collins and Edwards were able to come back from the contact on lap 14 and run as high as fifth place. With four laps remaining Edwards was hit by a DP car going into turn one, turning him around and causing a right-rear puncture and completing a long day.
"Kelly did a great job to gather things back-up and keep going after the early contact," Edwards said. "I got in and we were the fastest GT car on the track, thanks to a consistently handling car. There were only a few laps remaining when a DP car hit me and just powered me off the track. We had a top five-finish go down the drain."
Round three of the Grand-Am series will be run at Homestead-Miami Speedway on March 24th.
-credit: gm racing