The No. 99 GAINSCO Pontiac Daytona Prototype (DP) driven by Jon Fogarty and Alex Gurney won the penultimate Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Special Reserve Armed Forces 250 race run at Infineon Raceway today. The win...
The No. 99 GAINSCO Pontiac Daytona Prototype (DP) driven by Jon Fogarty and Alex Gurney won the penultimate Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Special Reserve Armed Forces 250 race run at Infineon Raceway today. The win gives the No. 99 team the overall points lead going into the last race in three weeks.
Fogarty started the GAINSCO Pontiac from the pole position and led up to the compulsory pit stop at the 45-minute mark. On the pit stop, Gurney got in the car and came out of the pits in second place. On lap 59, a slight error by Gurney had him going off in the carousel. The excursion through wine country cost the Californian one place. The strategy by the team on the next pit stop had him in second place after the field cycled through their stops. The only caution of the race flew with just seven minutes remaining. On the restart, Gurney passed the 58 car for the lead going into turn three to post the team's seventh victory of the season. With the win, Gurney and Fogarty now lead the series championship by just one point with 380.
"The yellow came out and that packed us up, it brought the 01 closer to me and me closer to the 58," Gurney said. "I thought it would be a good opportunity to get the win and yet keep the 01 behind. It opened up at the top of the hill and I was able to get by. I don't think I would have been able to get by without the yellow. When I went off early in my stint I thought that was it for us. It was good to be able to come back. This is special because this track was the site of my Dad's last professional race win."
The No.10 SunTrust Pontiac, with championship contender Max Angelelli, brought the car home in fourth keeping his hopes alive. Angelelli and teammate Memo Gidley had a difficult week of practice and qualifying, not showing the team's usual speed. Good pit work and an error free race has kept the team in contention, with Angelelli just three points back with 377.
"We got the best result we could have expected today," Angelelli said. "We did not have a winning car, but we still turned it into a decent day. It could have been worse. The team did a great job in the pits and helped me make up two positions on the track, which is great. The yellow came too late. We struggled in practice so fourth was a good finish. We are three points out of the championship, so we have to go to Salt Lake and win."
New comer Ricardo Zonta in the No. 75 Krohn Racing Pontiac brought the car home in fifth place. Season-long driver Nic Jonsson had the team starting from the front row and had the car upfront the first one-third of the race.
"I had fun in my first Grand-Am race," Zonta said. "We had a podium position going, but we lost some time in the pits. We are not sure what happened. It is very difficult to pass in this series. The drivers are good and the cars are all very close. The Krohn team is very good and I enjoyed racing with them. I would like to run some more, maybe in the 24 hours next year."
Jim Matthews and Marc Goosens in the No 91 Riley-Matthews Motorsports Pontiac finished sixth. The team has come to life in the last three races posting three top six finishes.
"We had another good run today," Matthews said. "Marc is awesome, he can really drive. The car was a little bit loose, but I think that goes to show how this track tends to change. The team did a great job on the pit stops and with the strategy. We took a little gamble, but it paid off and put us up toward the front."
With the victory Pontiac has claimed the 2007 Grand-Am Rolex Series Daytona Prototype manufacturers title.
-credit: gm racing