Watkins Glen III: GM Racing race report

First Place For Pontiac In Both Classes At The Glen ...

First Place For Pontiac In Both Classes At The Glen

#10 SunTrust Pontiac Riley Wins Daytona Prototype Class in Heated Finish; Pontiac GTO.Rs Take First and Second Among GTs

WATKINS GLEN, NY - Crashes, glare from the setting sun and even a woodchuck couldn't stop Max Angelelli and Wayne Taylor from netting their fifth Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series victory, this time on the long course at historic Watkins Glen International in upstate New York. The pair in their #10 SunTrust Pontiac Riley Daytona Prototype (DP) was forced to deal with hazards such as multiple-car crashes and a woodchuck that ran out onto the track during Angelelli's duel for the win with rival Scott Pruett in the #01 Lexus Riley. As Pruett was trying to overtake Angelelli in the final laps of the race, the animal ran in front of the Pontiac and was struck. With his bodywork damaged from the hit, Angelelli managed to hold off Pruett for the checkered flag.

"I prefer this race; I'm really happy about the win and this is the way I want to race all the time," said Angelelli, who enjoyed the road course here in New York more than the last race in Phoenix. "I hope I can win the next two races as well for the championship.

"I did see the animal, and I was saying 'no, no, no! I didn't like that at all. There wasn't much I could do."

The #10 Pontiac was luckily not involved in a six-car crash that took all six out of the race. The #66 Pontiac, #58 Porsche, #06 Pontiac, #38 Porsche, #80 Porsche, and the #77 Ford all tangled on lap 43 and the only one to continue for a few more laps was the #80 Porsche, a GT car. The #4 Pontiac Crawford of Butch Leitzinger and Elliott Forbes-Robinson was also damaged just prior to the large crash and did not finish.

The SunTrust duo still remains on top in team and driver points, and the win by Pontiac keeps it in the lead in manufacturer points. First- and second-place finishes by the TRG Pontiac GTO.Rs help Pontiac in the GT class manufacturer standings and give GT winners Marc Bunting and Andy Lally a shot at the drivers championship. Lally drove the #65 GTO.R to victory with the #64 Pontiac GTO.R of Jan Magnussen and Paul Edwards right behind them, making it harder for the third-place #36 Porsche to close in on either second place or the lead.

"This was a great race for Marc and I; this puts us back in the battle for the championship," said Andy Lally. "My crew did a wonderful job and my teammates had my back - they were in my mirrors all day. We were missing a right rearview mirror (knocked off by contact with the wall on the first lap) so it was a little difficult in traffic. I saw Pumpelly coming and I know he's a rocket in that Porsche - those things are quick. But our GTO.R held on and this car is awesome."

This was Pontiac's tenth DP win in 12 races in this season's Rolex Series and it finished second in the two races it did not win. Pontiac has also swept the podium five times this season, a Rolex Series record. A late arrival to the GT class, Pontiac's GTO.Rs have now scored three wins with two second-place finishes as well as an additional four top-fives.

The next leg of the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series will take place at Virginia International Raceway. Televised live on SPEED TV, the 400 kilometer race will take place on October 9 at 1:00 p.m. EDT.

-gm racing-

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Paul Edwards , Jan Magnussen , Butch Leitzinger , Scott Pruett , Wayne Taylor , Elliott Forbes-Robinson , Andy Lally , Max Angelelli , Marc Bunting