Pruett, Rojas Clinch DP Title With 8th Win MONTREAL, Quebec, Canada (Aug. 28, 2010) - The Montreal 200 on Saturday marked another milestone in what has been a dream season for Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas in the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series...
Pruett, Rojas Clinch DP Title With 8th Win
MONTREAL, Quebec, Canada (Aug. 28, 2010) - The Montreal 200 on Saturday marked another milestone in what has been a dream season for Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas in the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16.
Pruett more than half of the two-hour, 62-lap race, while holding off Alex Gurney to give the team its first victory at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, its record-setting eighth triumph of the season, and in the process, clinching the team Daytona Prototype championship.
While Pruett and Rojas enter the Sept. 11 season-ending Utah 250 at Miller Motorsports Park with an insurmountable 35-point lead (337-304) over Ricky Taylor and Max Angelelli, both drivers need to drive 30 minutes to share their second driving championship in three seasons. If one meets that minimum and the other doesn't, a solo champion will be crowned. And ... if both fail to meet the minimum time in the car, they will still share the title.
Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates also clinched its fourth DP team championship with the victory. Pruett won the 2004 title with Max Papis - Ganassi's first year in the Rolex Series - while Pruett and Luis Diaz led Ganassi to the 2006 team title. Ganassi also won the title with Pruett and Rojas in 2008.
"What a glorious day!" Pruett said. "This has been one of those races that it's been difficult for us to get our hands around. It's exciting for us as a team to wrestle it to the ground today. It's truly been a dream season, and it takes some of the stress off going into Salt Lake City. That's another of those races where we've never been to victory lane."
Gurney finished second, 2.005 seconds behind, in the No. 99 GAINSCO Chevrolet/Riley started from the pole by Jon Fogarty. The defending DP champs entered the race sharing the record for most victories in a season, winning seven races and the championship in 2007.
Taylor and Angelelli finished third in the No. 10 SunTrust Ford/Dallara, another four seconds back. While they can mathematically tie for the championship in the Salt Lake City finale, the Ganassi team would prevail on the tiebreaker for winning more races.
David Donohue and Darren Law placed fourth in the No. 59 Brumos Porsche/Riley, followed by Antonio Garcia and Buddy Rice in the No. 90 Spirit of Daytona Porsche/Coyote.
Paul Edwards came back from being nearly a lap down to win in the production-based GT class, giving the Banner Racing Corvette its first victory of the season in the No. 07 Airjax.com/Mobil 1 Chevrolet Corvette. Co-driver Scott Russell - a former World Superbike champion and five-time winner of the Daytona 200 - scored his first victory on four wheels.
Edwards took the lead with five minutes racing, passing both Stevenson Corvettes of Robin Liddell and Ronnie Bremer on the same lap. The Banner Racing team also collected a record $35,000 Pirelli P-Zero Club bonus for being a first-time eligiblewinner for the first time in seven races.
Bremer and Gunther Schaldach finished second in the Stevenson Motorsports No. 97 Lala Motorsports/Von Allmer Capital Partner Chevrolet Camaro, while Liddell and Andrew Davis took third in the Stevenson No. 57 BryanMark Financial/Vin Solutions Chevy Camaro.
Jeff Segal and Emil Assentato finished fourth for the fifth time this season in the No. 69 FXDD Mazda RX-8, opening up an eight-point lead (318-310) over SpeedSource teammate Sylvain Tremblay in the championship. Tremblay, who shares the No. 70 Castrol Syntec Mazda RX-8 with Jonathan Bomarito, finished seventh.
Ryan Dalziel entered the race second DP in the championship - 26 points behind the leaders - but did not drive in the race after co-driver Mike Forest parked the No. 8 Corsa Car Care BMW/Riley with a broken ring and pinion after eight laps.
The lone Canadian-based DP was eliminated on the second lap when Burt Frisselle spun in his own oil on the second lap and spun into the guardrail approaching Turn 11, ending the day for the No. 61 Pacific Mobile/BioSign Ford/Riley co-driven by Mark Wilkins.
The third caution waved just before the one-hour mark when Mark Patterson spun the No. 77 McDonald's/South African Airways/PR Newswire Ford/Dallara into the tire barrier in Turn 4 while trying to hold off race leader Fogarty. Dion von Moltke was able to return to the race in the Doran Racing entry.
The race leaders took advantage of the caution for Patterson's incident to pit and change drivers. The final caution waved with 30 minutes remaining, setting up a 17-minute sprint to the finish.
Practice and qualifying for the season-ending Utah 250 will be held on Friday, Sept. 10. The season finale is set to take the green flag at 2 p.m. MT (SPEED, live). Also joining the series will be the GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge, which is completing its 10-race season with the Salt Lake City 200.