GAINSCO Pontiac Wins The Glen Banner GXP.R Third In GT The Pontiac powered GAINSCO Daytona Prototype (DP) of Alex Gurney and Jon Fogarty won the Sahlen's Six Hours at The Glen Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Special ...
GAINSCO Pontiac Wins The Glen
Banner GXP.R Third In GT
The Pontiac powered GAINSCO Daytona Prototype (DP) of Alex Gurney and Jon Fogarty won the Sahlen's Six Hours at The Glen Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Special Reserve race today at Watkins Glen International. The Banner GXP.R of Kelly Collins and Paul Edwards came home third in GT.
Alex Gurney started the No. 99 GAINSCO Pontiac Riley from pole position, the team's third on the year and sixth straight for Pontiac. Gurney passed the driving duties to Fogarty who progressed to cycle through the pit stops and also lead several laps. The Texas based team was the fastest all weekend, topping the timing charts every time on the track.
"We were fast," said Fogarty. "It is great to drive a car that will just about go anywhere you point it and it sticks and accelerates. The team did a great job with pit stops and with strategy. Giving Alex the new tires on the last stop probably gave us the win. It is nice to add an endurance win to our sprint victory at Mexico City earlier in the year."
The SunTrust team persevered from a tough qualifying and practice sessions to keep their championship hopes going by finishing third. Team owner Wayne Taylor, Max Angelelli and Jonathan Cochet drove a near flawless race to finish on the bottom step of the podium.
"We had a really good car," Angelelli said. "After qualifying yesterday I was a little down, but the crew went to work and we had it fixed in the morning practice. The penalty was a tough one, without that I think we could have won. I am not sure about the call, but third is ok after that situation."
Tracy Krohn and Nic Jonsson in the No. 76 Krohn Racing Pontiac Riley posted a fifth place finish, their best so far on the season. The duo had an excellent race with strategic calls by the team keeping them in the hunt all day long.
"Car was fast for us today," Krohn said. "The setup was really good early in the stint and then after 20 laps or so it went off, maybe we had it set for the heat yesterday. The cooler weather was welcome and Nic did an excellent job to bring it home. It was good day for our team."
The Riley-Mathews Motorsport Pontiac Riley capped a strong weekend by finishing sixth. Jim Mathews, Marc Goosens and guest driver Ryan Hunter-Reay managed to lead several laps mid way through the race posting their best finish of the year.
"We did most everything right today," Mathews said. "We were able to lead some laps and had the car up toward the front all day. There was some tough luck with the pace car, but with so many yellows that made strategy important. It was a competitive six-hours with 12 cars finishing on the lead lap."
Paul Edwards and Kelly Collins in the No. 07 Banner Racing Pontiac GXP.R persevered through alternator and penalty problems to finish third in GT. The Banner GXP.R suffered an electrical problem which was zapping power from the battery. This caused the crew to change the power cell three times over the race distance sending them down two laps early in the race. Edwards and Collins were able to come back and place the GXP.R in the hunt for the win, which included overcoming a drive-thru penalty for avoidable contact. Then with just 20-minutes remaining the third battery change ended their hopes for a win.
"Well it was a great finish after all we went through," Collins said. "The Banner crew did a great job to get the batteries changed and keep us out on the track. That and some excellent strategy to make up the two laps, had our guys working hard in the pits all day. Paul ran some fast laps, setting fastest race lap in the last hour. Third is not bad for the tough luck that we had today."
In the Banner GXP.R No. 06 driven by Leighton Reese, Tim Lewis Jr. and Andy Pilgrim also looked good until a penalty late in the event dashed their podium hopes. Running in fifth at the beginning of the last hour, Pilgrim pitted for fuel and tires and accidentally hit one of the No. 07 cars tires exiting pit lane resulting in a stop-and-go, plus 60-second penalty. This gaffe knocked the team down the charts resulting in a seventh place finish.
"The penalty cost us," Lewis Jr. said. "I was getting a long brake pedal during my stint and the car would get pretty loose. I took the approach of staying out of trouble and running consistent laps so we would be in a good position the last hour. Like at Laguna, the penalty probably cost us the win."
The No. 30 Racers Edge Motorsports entry driven by Lawson Aschenbach and Drew Staveley met with an unfortunate spin and contact with the wall to retire on lap 19.
"I exited the Boot and it came around," Aschenbach said. "We had a good car, I was able to lead some laps and late in my stint I was coming out of the Boot section and the car came around and I ended up in the wall. The team tried to get us back out, but we just ran short of time."
The next event for the Grand-Am Rolex Series will be at Mid-Ohio Sportscar Course on June 24.
-credit: gm racing