Lexus Looks To Repeat Grand-Am Win In Mexico City TORRANCE, Calif. (Feb. 27, 2007) -- After registering a second consecutive Rolex 24 Hours victory, Lexus will now be looking toward a second straight Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series victory in...
Lexus Looks To Repeat Grand-Am Win In Mexico City
TORRANCE, Calif. (Feb. 27, 2007) -- After registering a second consecutive Rolex 24 Hours victory, Lexus will now be looking toward a second straight Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series victory in Mexico City this Saturday, March 2.
A year ago, it was Scott Pruett and Luis Diaz driving to a dominating victory at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez. After winning the pole, the pair went on to lead all 100 laps -- marking the first time in Daytona Prototype history that a car led wire-to-wire. This year, Pruett returns in the defending race champion #01 Telmex Lexus-Riley, but he will be joined by Mexico City's Memo Rojas, who will be making his hometown debut.
"This is a huge event and I'm really excited about racing in Mexico City," said Rojas. "I was born there, but I've never raced there. I only did the one season of car racing in Mexico -- and we didn't race in Mexico City. It will be really fun to see the crowd. They are very excited about auto racing."
After placing first and third the past two seasons at Mexico City, the Ganassi entry must be considered one of the pre-race favorites. Yet, the #01 isn't the only Lexus-powered prototype to enjoy success in Mexico.
Michael Shank Racing earned a third at last season's foray south of the border. Oswaldo Negri and Mark Patterson return behind the wheel of the #60 Flight Options Lexus-Riley after placing ninth at the Rolex 24, with Ian James and Henri Zogaib sharing the #6 Michael Shank Racing Lexus-Riley.
While the Ganassi and Shank squads have each been on the podium in Mexico, AIM Autosport will be making its circuit debut on the track in just its third Rolex Series event. The team's #61 Exchange Traded Gold Lexus-Riley was the surprise success of the Rolex 24 with a fifth-place finish in their first-ever 24-hour event. Mark Wilkins and Brian Frisselle will campaign the car. Frisselle qualified on the front row in Mexico City last season.
Rounding out the five-car Lexus-powered contingent is the Southard Racing #3 Preformed Line Products Lexus-Riley driven by Shane Lewis and Randy Ruhlman. The team earned a pair of podium finishes last season.
At the season-opening Rolex 24, Lexus-powered Daytona Prototypes led a race-high and overwhelming 505 of the 668 laps run at Daytona, with the winning #01 Lexus, driven by Pruett, Juan Montoya and Salvador Duran, never having fallen out of the top-three after the third hour. With the victory at Daytona, Lexus-powered entries have won 16 races in 41 Rolex Series events since entering the series in 2004.