Pontiac Grand-Am DP Teams Head to Infineon For Pentultimate Race SunTrust And GAINSCO Looking To Keep Momentum Going Pontiac Daytona Prototype (DP) teams are headed to Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, California for round 13 of the 2007 Grand-Am Rolex ...
Pontiac Grand-Am DP Teams Head to Infineon For Pentultimate Race SunTrust And GAINSCO Looking To Keep Momentum Going
Pontiac Daytona Prototype (DP) teams are headed to Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, California for round 13 of the 2007 Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Special Reserve. This is the penultimate round for the series and will be pivotal in the point standings for the season ending championship. Seven Pontiac powered teams will take to the 2.52-mile, 12-turn Infineon Raceway road course located at the gateway to wine country.
. GAINSCO Pontiac has won seven times in '07
. GAINSCO Pontiac has nine pole positions on the season
. GAINSCO Pontiac has started on pole or the front row every race
. SunTrust Wayne Taylor Racing's Max Angelelli tied for points lead
. GAINSCO's Alex Gurney and Jon Fogarty four points out of lead
. Pontiac has a 12 for 12 pole qualifying streak
. Pontiac has locked up the manufacturers title for 2007
GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing returns to the site of one of their more disappointing runs in 2006. The Texas team only completed 20 laps and were classified in 25th place as a result of contact early in the race. Drivers Jon Fogarty and Alex Gurney are just four points out of the championship with 350 and have won seven races on the strength of nine pole positions this year. This record has helped Pontiac to a perfect 12 for 12 pole qualifying streak for 2007.
"With Jon and I both being from California, this is another home race for us and with the way things have been going, we can't wait to get to the race track," Gurney said. "I've always loved Sears Point, it might be my favorite track in the country. It has huge elevation change and so many challenging quick corners, it's really a driver's dream! Last year, Jon struggled to find a clear lap in qualifying, but quickly made his way into the lead. I felt confident at the time that it was going to be our breakthrough first win, but then Jon got caught up with a back-marker when trying to lap him and the resulting damage put us out of the race. So, in the end, I did not get to race there last year, but we are both very excited to come back and redeem ourselves. Our Pontiac Riley package should be very strong there as usual. With just one more race left in the championship after this, and with hundreds of GAINSCO agents there to cheer us on, we are very focused on winning this race."
SunTrust Wayne Taylor Racing is currently tied for the points lead with 354. Last year Max Angelelli finished fourth at Infineon. Angelelli is in a dead heat for the drivers points lead with last year's champion Scott Pruett who is the returning Infineon race winner.
"I feel very good," Angelelli said. "We are in a good spot. I'm very excited to go to the final two races in such a great position. Infineon is a track where it is very hard to overtake or predict the result because, if you remember last year, we were more or less in a position to win the race and we ended up fourth. A slight mistake on the pit stop can put you back. Or, at the same time, if you have a great pit stop, you can go to the front. Pit stops will not be everything, but it will be really important. We have a good car, as everybody figured that out at the last two races. I will have Memo with me driving, so that s another good point, and for the last race I will have Jan. I think I will have everything in place to make a good run for the championship. We just have to go out and take care of business."
The No. 39 Cheever Racing Crown Royal Special Reserve Pontiac has witnessed renewed vigor since switching over to Pontiac power in early July. The last two races have seen the Indianapolis based team running at the front and leading laps. Christian Fittipaldi along with co-drivers Antonio Garcia and Harrison Brix are making a strong run the second half of the Rolex Series season.
"The Crown Royal program is coming together and for sure Pontiac power is a plus," Fittipaldi said. "We still lack on some areas and we are working hard to improve, especially handling in the car and getting the drag down. The hardest thing right now is the consistency. We have a couple of options in mind and it's looking very attractive for next year. We actually finished seventh at Infineon last year and then got a 30 second penalty. Realistic thinking we have a top five car for Sears Point."
The No. 91 Riley-Matthews Motorsports Riley Pontiac has finished in the top four the last two races. At Montreal the team scored a second place finish. To keep the momentum going Marc Goosens and Jim Matthews placed fourth at the 200-mile race at Watkins Glen.
My first visit to Sonoma was in June of this year to race in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series," Goosens said. The team has kept working and developing the car, obviously in a positive way. That work has resulted in strong finishes at Montreal and Watkins Glen. We of course hope to continue on that basis and be competitive again in California. I have run the NASCAR course, the sports car layout has more turns, so I have no idea for the DP race. I'm 100% relying on the experience of the Riley-Matthews Motorsport team."
The Krohn Racing team will have a replacement driver in the No. 75 Krohn Racing Pontiac. Colin Braun, the team's 18-year old phenom, has been suspended for a race by Grand-Am "following a series of on-track incidents" in the last couple of races. Braun is currently listed in fifth place in the DP driver standings.
-credit: gm racing
SCC: Trois-Rivieres: AIM Autosport race report
Sears Point: AIM Autosport preview