Pruett/Papis Give Lexus First Prototype Win; Move Into Championship Lead MONT-TREMBLANT, Quebec, Canada (May 23, 2004) -- After dominating early, the CompUSA Lexus driven by Scott Pruett and Max Papis had to rally late in the race to take the...
Pruett/Papis Give Lexus First Prototype Win; Move Into Championship Lead
MONT-TREMBLANT, Quebec, Canada (May 23, 2004) -- After dominating early, the CompUSA Lexus driven by Scott Pruett and Max Papis had to rally late in the race to take the lead on the way to winning the 6 Heures du Circuit Mont-Tremblant and give Lexus its first-ever Rolex Series Daytona Prototype victory.
Not only did Lexus earn its first victory, but with Jan Magnussen's (Doran-Lista Racing Lexus) move from fourth to second in the last hour, it gave Lexus its first one-two finish in the process. Magnussen co-drove with Didier Theys, with the duo leading more than 30 laps in the process.
The two Lexus-powered cars led all but two of the first 134 laps, with Pruett building up a 46-second lead at one point. Back-to-back yellow flags caused the Lexus cars to finally give up the point position on Lap 135. Pruett regained the lead briefly on Lap 161, but took the lead for good on Lap 175 of the 200-lap event.
"It's great to give Lexus its first win in endurance racing and now we're headed in the right direction," said Papis. "Everyone with the CompUSA Chip Ganassi Racing team is focused on one thing -- winning."
In addition to the top-two finishers, Michael Shank Racing continued its strong run with a sixth-place finish and led the race at one point. The second CompUSA Ganassi Lexus was running fourth before losing a wheel just after a re-start on the way to a 10th-place finish with Jimmy Morales and Luis Diaz. The Cegwa Sport OzExe team with Darius Grala, John Lloyd and Mike Borkowski had been challenging for a top-10 finish before a late-race incident that resulted in a 12th-place finish.
With the victory, Pruett and Papis, who also won their fourth consecutive pole on Saturday, moved into the series points lead with 135 points. In addition, Lexus closed to within six points of the Manufacturer's Championship lead. Two Lexus-powered teams also are in the top three in the team points race. The #01 CompUSA Ganassi Racing Lexus team moves into the top spot with Michael Shank Racing in third, just eight points behind the Ganassi squad.
The Rolex Series returns to action on June 20 for the Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen at Watkins Glen. SPEED will have live coverage.