Pruett, Rojas Seek Record-Tying Seventh Victory DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas (No. 01 TELMEX BMW/Riley) rebounded from a post-race infraction from the recent event at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course to score a commanding victory in ...
Pruett, Rojas Seek Record-Tying Seventh Victory
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas (No. 01 TELMEX BMW/Riley) rebounded from a post-race infraction from the recent event at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course to score a commanding victory in the recent Brumos Porsche 250 at Daytona, increasing their lead in the Daytona Prototype championship to 13 points (235-222) with four races remaining in the GRAND-AM Rolex Series season.
After opening the season with a second-place finish in the Rolex 24 At Daytona, the TELMEX Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates drivers won six of the next seven races - with Rojas' first-lap off-track excursion at Lime Rock Park the lone blemish on their record.
This weekend, they will seek to score their seventh victory of the season, which would tie Alex Gurney and Jon Fogarty (No. 99 GAINSCO Chevrolet/Riley) for the all-time record. They also look to score a record fourth consecutive overall victory-although their last attempt at that mark resulted in a last-place finish at Lime Rock.
Pruett leads all drivers with 28 victories in the 100 Daytona Prototype races to date, while Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates leads GRAND-AM's premier division with 29 triumphs.
"Going back to New Jersey last year was fantastic," said Pruett, who was involved in a spectacular accident during opening testing prior to the 2008 event. "The weekend was incredible - with fans cheering all the way to the checkered flag despite the horrific rain. I look forward to going back."
Krohn Racing Returns Lola To Scene Of First DP Victory
Krohn Racing gave the Proto-Auto Lola its first victory in Rolex Series Daytona Prototype competition last spring at New Jersey Motorsports Park, when Nic Jönsson (No. 75 Krohn Racing Ford/Lola) and Ricardo Zonta won the rain-soaked NJMP 250.
Jönsson and Zonta backed up that victory in more favorable conditions later in the season, winning at Watkins Glen International.
This weekend, Jonsson will co-drive the No. 75 Krohn Racing Ford/Lola with car owner Tracy Krohn.
"It's a different time of the year, and hopefully it will be sunny for all the spectators enjoying the very close racing," Jönsson said. "We were very quick at New Jersey the last two years, and won there last year. I thought our Proto-Auto Ford/Lola is very suited to that track and we're hopeful that Tracy Krohn and I can do it again. The car runs very well in the rain, but I think we also should be very strong in dry conditions-and I hope it stays dry for the fans."
Jonsson and Krohn finished sixth in the recent Brumos Porsche 250, losing two positions in the closing laps. It was their best outing since placing fourth in the season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona.
While Krohn did not race at NJMP last season, he posted his best outing of 2008 at Thunderbolt Raceway with an eighth-place finish.
Buckler Brings Back Daytona Winners Lally, Valentine For Encore
Andy Lally (No. 66 TRG Porsche GT3) got a major boost in his bid to capture the Rolex Series GT championship when TRG owner Kevin Buckler announced he would field the No. 66 Porsche GT3 in the New Jersey Motorsports Park 250 presented by Crown Royal.
Lally will be reunited with RJ Valentine, with whom he co-drove to victory in the recent Brumos Porsche 250. Valentine had not raced in a year-and-a-half.
Lally has won his last three starts for TRG, winning with Ted Ballou at Virginia International Raceway and with Bob Doyle and Spencer Pumpelly in the Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen.
In a bid to remain competitive in the GT championship, Lally has also raced with Matt Connolly Motorsports, Banner Racing and Team Sahlen this season.
Entering the New Jersey event, Lally is second in the championship, nine points behind co-leaders Emil Assentato and Jeff Segal (No. 69 FXDD Mazda RX-8). After opening the year with a 15th-place finish in the Rolex 24, the SpeedSource combination won back-to-back races at Homestead-Miami Speedway and Barber Motorsports Park, followed by second at Virginia and third at Lime Rock Park.
Segal and Assentato have maintained their lead with fourth-place finishes in the last three events. Sylvain Tremblay (No. 70 Castrol Syntec Mazda RX-8) was their major threat for the title before a DNF at Mid-Ohio.
Jordan Taylor Has Seven Consecutive Front Row Starts
Jordan Taylor (No. 30 Racers Edge Motorsports Mazda RX-8) takes a streak of seven straight front-row GT starts into the NJMP 250.
The 19-year-old son of two-time Rolex 24 At Daytona winner Wayne Taylor was edged out for the GT pole on the final lap of qualifying for the recent Brumos Porsche 250 by Sylvain Tremblay (No. 70 Castrol Syntec Mazda RX-8), giving him four outside front row starts to go with his Rolex Series leading three pole positions.
Taylor, a University of Central Florida student, won his first career pole at VIR and backed it up with poles at Lime Rock and Mid-Ohio.
Taylor will co-drive at NJMP with Dave Lacey. His best finish this season was second at Barber Motorsports Park. This will be the second GT start of the season for Lacey, a 42-year-old Canadian who was born in South Africa.
Lacey, who raced for Dempsey Racing/Team Seattle at the 2010 Rolex 24, is also entered to co-drive with Taylor at Watkins Glen.
Other Taylor Also Fast: Ricky Taylor (No. 10 SunTrust Ford/Dallara), Jordan's 20-year-old brother, won his second DP pole of the season at Daytona. He scored his first career pole in the No. 10 at Barber Motorsports Park, and won his first race at Lime Rock Park, co-driving with Max Angelelli. Angelelli has finished second in both of his DP races at NJMP.
First Race For Dalziel, Starworks At NJMP: The NJMP 250 will be Ryan Dalziel's (No. 8 Corsa Car Care BMW/Riley) first race at New Jersey Motorsports Park. It will also be the first race there for car owner Peter Baron. Bill Lester, (No. 7 Flex-Box BMW/Riley), has raced at NJMP, but not since 2008.
Dempsey Looks To Return
Patrick Dempsey (No. 40 Mazda USA Mazda RX-8 GT) is wrapping up a film project in Louisiana but hopes to be back behind the wheel again before the end of the season.
"I had a great opportunity to do four races in a row at the start of the season and I am sure to be back for at least a couple more before the season is out," Dempsey said.
"In the meantime, I am very pleased with the progress of the team and the speed that both of our cars are showing. I am sure Leh (Keen) and James (Gue) (No. 41 Team Seattle/Global Diving Mazda RX-8) will win a race at some point when the breaks fall their way. Joe (Foster) and Charles (Espenlaub) also continue to impress in the older No. 40 car as we work hard on the sponsorship partnerships we need to get that car updated or replaced. I look forward to getting back as soon as possible."
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