GRAND-AM Announces Top 10 Moments From 2010
TELMEX Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates won its fourth team title since 2004. Ganassi (center) seen here with drivers Scott Pruett (left) and Memo Rojas (right). Photo courtesy GRAND-AM Media
The 11th season for GRAND-AM Road Racing yielded several great stories in its Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16 and Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge. Influenced by suggestions from fans, officials, teams, drivers and others in the industry, below are the top 10 stories from 2010.
Ganassi Racing's Pruett, Rojas Enjoy Record-Breaking Season: Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas enjoyed the most dominant season in GRAND-AM history, winning nine of 12 races en route to their second Daytona Prototype championship in three years - Pruett's third - while TELMEX Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates won its fourth team title since 2004. In addition to victories, the team set records for podium finishes and team laps led, and Rojas led all drivers with four poles.
SpeedSource Dominates GT Competition: SpeedSource entered three cars for the 2010 Rolex Series GT season, and all three cars won races. The team's No. 69 FXDD Mazda RX-8, with fulltime drivers Jeff Segal and Emil Assentato, won the title over team owner Sylvain Tremblay and co-driver Jonathan Bomarito, two of four drivers to win the Rolex 24 At Daytona.
First Time's A Charm For Action Express: When Brumos Racing cut back to one car, Bob Johnson formed Action Express Racing to field a Porsche/Riley for 2010. The team won its first start, as regulars Joao Barbosa and Terry Borcheller were joined by Ryan Dalziel and Mike Rockenfeller in capturing the Rolex 24 At Daytona. It also marked the first victory for a Cayenne-based Porsche V-8 engine in major international 24-hour competition.
Tiebreaker Decides ST Championship: The Street Tuner class of the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge couldn't have been closer. Compass360 Racing duo Lawson Aschenbach and David Thilenius took the title in a title-breaker of third-place finishes with BimmerWorld/GearWrench drivers Bill Heumann and Seth Thomas after the two teams ended the year tied in points with 274 each.
Dempsey Racing Wins First Rolex Series Race: The move to a two-car effort paid off for Dempsey Racing when James Gue and Leh Keen took GT honors at Watkins Glen International. The No. 41 Dempsey Racing/Team Seattle Global Diving and Salvage Mazda RX-8 also finished fourth in the team championship, the best finish for Dempsey Racing since joining the Rolex Series full time in 2008. |
Putman, Espenlaub Win Tight Grand Sport Title Chase: The Grand Sport championship of the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge went down to the final lap of the season at Miller Motorsports Park. Charles Putman and Charles Espenlaub took top honors by six points with a fifth-place finish in the No. 48 Sparco/Fall Line Motorsports BMW M3, with Espenlaub rallying late in the season finale.
Michael Shank Racing Rebounds From Devastating Fire: Michael Shank Racing rebounded in a big way from a fire that destroyed the team's No. 6 Ford/Riley at Watkins Glen International. With less than two weeks to prepare cars for the team's home state race at Mid-Ohio, MSR leased a Ford/Dallara from Doran Racing, and thrilled Buckeye fans with a 2-4 finish with two cars.
No Ride, No Problem For Hitch-Hiking Lally In GT Championship: Andy Lally made the best of a limited schedule with TRG, winning races in a Porsche at VIR, Watkins Glen and Daytona. To stay in contention for the championship, Lally also ran races in two different Corvettes and two different Mazda RX-8s. He wound up missing the penultimate round at Montreal and took seventh in the standings. (Click here for photo.)
Roush Earns 400th Victory: Jack Roush Jr. gave his father - NASCAR legend Jack Roush - his teams' 400th career professional motorsports victory in March at Homestead-Miami Speedway, with his father on hand. It was the first of two victories and six podium finishes for Roush and Billy Johnson in the No. 61 Roush Performance Ford Mustang GT.
Resurgence of Chevrolet: Chevrolet resurged from problems to give both its Daytona Prototype and GT class programs victories for the first time in seven seasons. First, Alex Gurney and Jon Fogarty earned GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing's only DP victory at New Jersey, while the Banner Racing Corvette and Stevenson Motorsports Camaro topped the final two GT races.
The start of the 2011 season is just around the corner, and Homestead-Miami Speedway will continue its rich history of sports car racing when the GRAND-AM Rolex Racing Sports Car Series returns to South Florida’s 2.3-mile road course. The Grand Prix of Miami is set for March 4-5, and will feature the Daytona Prototypes and Grand Touring classes in Race 2 of the 2011 GRAND-AM campaign.
Come the fall, Homestead-Miami Speedway will serve as host to NASCAR’s Ford Championship Weekend for the 10th consecutive year. South Florida again will be the site when NASCAR crowns its Champions in all three of its top national divisions—the Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series— the weekend of Nov. 18-20, 2011.