Pontiac Wins GT Class, Nets Rolex Series Titles Final Rolex Series Race in Mexico Ends with GT Class Win and Daytona Prototype Drivers, Team and Manufacturers Championships for Pontiac MEXICO CITY - Pontiac wrapped up its 2005 season of the...
Pontiac Wins GT Class, Nets Rolex Series Titles
Final Rolex Series Race in Mexico Ends with GT Class Win and Daytona Prototype Drivers, Team and Manufacturers Championships for Pontiac
MEXICO CITY - Pontiac wrapped up its 2005 season of the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series with a GT class win and all three Daytona Prototype (DP) championships. With the #64 TRG Pontiac GTO.R of Jan Magnussen and Paul Edwards taking the checkered flag in the GT class, the GTO.Rs' victories (#65 sister car included) total four; an impressive tally for the mid-season entrants. The DP win went to Memo Gidley and Michael McDowell in their #19 Finlay Motorsports BMW Riley, but second place was claimed by Wayne Taylor and Max Angelelli in the #10 SunTrust Pontiac Riley, who took drivers and team titles today. Pontiac also ends the season with a manufacturers championship - its second consecutive title.
"Wayne and I are very, very thrilled with our season," said Max Angelelli. "The #10 SunTrust Pontiac Riley completed every lap of every race in 2005 on the way to our championships. I'm also pleased with our performance today - we didn't really do anything different than usual. Our championship was decided today and we still raced as hard as we could."
Angelelli and Taylor had such a strong season (five wins and five additional podiums) that all the pair needed to do to clinch team and driver championships was each turn a lap under the green flag. However, there was another championship at stake for Pontiac this season - a GT drivers title for Andy Lally and Mark Bunting of the #65 TRG Pontiac GTO.R. As the last laps of the race went by, Lally was locked in a heated battle with the #80 Porsche of Craig Stanton and David Murry. Lally was on Murry's back bumper for several laps and finally managed to pass before contact from Murry put Lally in a spin and effectively gave Murry the advantage to finish in front of the GTO.R. Due to Stanton and Murry's finish ahead of the GTO.R, Stanton won the GT drivers championship over Bunting and Lally by only one point - but TRG still managed a GT team championship, thanks in part to the production-based GTO.R.
"I went in and we had contact and I put the pass on him," said Lally. "I had about five car lengths on him going into the stadium turn and then he hit me from behind - it was a silly move. It is tough it that it went that way at the end. We were battling hard for the last 20 laps and then the ugly finish. Marc did a great job to keep us up there at the beginning, it turned out all wrong."
Pontiac ends the season with 10 DP wins in 14 races and never finished lower than second - a series record. It has also swept the podium five times, an achievement no other brand has done in the Rolex Series. Pontiac and its teams now have roughly three months to prepare for next season, which kicks off with the world-class Rolex 24 At Daytona endurance race on January 28-29.