LEXUS TAKES ONE-POINT LEAD INTO GRAND-AM SERIES FINALE IN UTAH TORRANCE, Calif. (Aug. 29, 2006) -- Coming off consecutive victories, the formula for Lexus to earn the Daytona Prototype Manufacturer's Championship is simple -- win and celebrate -...
LEXUS TAKES ONE-POINT LEAD INTO GRAND-AM SERIES FINALE IN UTAH
TORRANCE, Calif. (Aug. 29, 2006) -- Coming off consecutive victories, the formula for Lexus to earn the Daytona Prototype Manufacturer's Championship is simple -- win and celebrate - as the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series heads to the new Miller Motorsports Park just outside of Salt Lake City, Utah, for the Discount Tire Sunchaser 9 Hours on Sept. 2.
Even without a race victory, Lexus can still claim the Manufacturer's Championship provided that one of the following two scenarios occurs. A Lexus-powered prototype must either finish ahead of the highest finishing Pontiac, or finish one spot behind, as long as they don't win.
This season, Lexus-powered cars have won a series-high six races (out of 13) and have led more laps than any other manufacturer with 893 circuits at the point position despite just three cars running with Lexus power-plants for the full season.
After victories at Watkins Glen and Infineon Raceway, Scott Pruett and Luis Diaz have established themselves as the most dominant duo in the series. Last weekend's Sonoma triumph gave them five wins on the season, matching the Daytona Prototype single-season record. Only two mechanical failures and a pair of on-track incidents where their #01 CompUSA Lexus-Riley was caught up in other's skirmishes keep them out of the Driver's Championship lead. In fact, Pruett and Diaz have not only won five races compared to championship leader Jorg Bergmeister's three, but the #01 car has led almost five times as many laps as that of the #76 car - 462 to just 94.
Joining Pruett and Diaz for the nine-hour event is 2003 Indy Racing League champion Scott Dixon, who led the Ganassi Racing #02 team car to victory in this year's Rolex 24 at Daytona to start the season. With two podium finishes in his last three Grand-Am races, Dixon should be a strong asset.
Michael Shank Racing provides two more Lexus-powered entries that have consistently run upfront in 2006 with the #60 Flight Options Lexus-Riley driven by Oswaldo Negri and Mark Patterson entering the finale eighth in the Team Championship point standings. Patterson also owns a commanding lead in the standings for the Jim Trueman Award. The #6 Playboy Racing Lexus team car currently sits 13th, just five points out of a top-10 finish for the season. Mike Borkowski will be joined by brothers Burt and Brian Frisselle for the nine-hour endurance test.
With six wins this season, Lexus-powered entries have now won 14 races and 18 pole positions in 39 Rolex Series events since entering the series in 2004.