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Grand-Am: Pontiacs lead at mid-race.


Despite the race being placed under red flag conditions approaching the half-way point, Pontiac could justifiably claim to have been dominating at the twelve-hour mark.

Although its rivals had no chance to redress the balance, the Pontiac-powered SAMAX/CITGO Daytona Prototype was leading the race overall at half-distance, while the #07 Pontiac GXP.R of Banner Racing headed the GT class.

Having worked its way up the order, the #11 SAMAX Riley took the fight to the #01 Ganassi Racing entry, swapping the lead back and forth in the twelfth hour. Ryan Dalziel was at the wheel when the race was neutralised, having shred driving responsibilities with Darren Manning, Patrick Carpentier and Milka Duno in a near-flawless performance.

“My stints have been okay,” Duno reported, “The car is good, although I had a little contact with some slower traffic my first time out. The team and the drivers are all working very hard and we are running well up toward the front. There is a long time to go and we hope that we can keep our good luck for the rest of the race.”

Four-time NASCAR champion Jeff Gordon, together with SunTrust team-mates Wayne Taylor, Max Angelelli and Jan Magnussen were also running in the top five, after fighting back from early race gremlins.

"The race started and Max got the lead, but Wayne got in and then the car had some concerns so we had to pit to fix it," Gordon explained, "We lost some positions - in NASCAR, you would have been out of it, but we have a long way to go. We need to hang in there and not have any other problems.

“I had a great dice with Juan Pablo Montoya and the #23 car, and there are slower cars that are fighting just as hard as those guys that are battling for position, so it's a blast out there so far. It will get even more exciting when the rain comes."

Trying to get into the top ten is the #84 74 Ranch Resort Pontiac Riley of Wally Dallenbach, Katherine Legge, George Robinson and Paul Dallenbach.

“We had a tough start, and lost a nose in the Bus Stop and had to come in and put on a new one, so that put us down a little,” Paul Dallenbach said, “We are able to run 1m 47s pretty consistently, but the car is a little unstable under braking. We are coming back, but we need to make it to the morning and then start racing.”

Also heading into the top ten was the #76 of Tracy Krohn, Boris Said and Nic Jonsson.



Related Pictures

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Max Angelelli / Jordan Taylor. GRAND-AM Championship Weekend Presented by BMW at Lime Rock Park. 2013 Grand AM Rolex Sports Car Series
Max Angelelli / Jordan Taylor. Continental Tire Sports Car Festival. Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. 2013 Grand AM Rolex Sports Car Series
Action. VisitFlorida.com Sports Car 250 at Road America. Grand AM Rolex Sports Car Series [Pic credit: Grand AM]
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Max Angelelli and Jordan Taylor drive the #10 Velocity Worldwide Wayne Taylor Racing Corvette Daytona Prototype to victory Saturday, April 6, 2013 in the third race of the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama. (Photo by Brian Cleary for Chevrolet)
Max Angelelli and Jordan Taylor drive the #10 Velocity Worldwide Wayne Taylor Racing Corvette Daytona Prototype (left) to victory Saturday, April 6, 2013 in the third race of the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama. Alex Gurney and Jo Fogarty, drivers of the #99 GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing Corvette DP (right) finish in second place. (Photo by Brian Cleary for Chevrolet)
John Edwards and Robin Liddell, drivers of the # 57 Stevenson Motorsports Camaro GT.R., race to victory Saturday, April 6, 2013 in the Grand Touring (GT) class of the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama. (Photo by Brian Cleary for Chevrolet)
Juan Pablo Montoya, Memo Rojas, Scott Pruett and Charlie Kimball, co-drivers of the #01 Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates TELMEX/Target Ford BMW Riley celebrate their win in victory lane at the Rolex 24 at Daytona International Speedway on January 27, 2013 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Rolex Series action [Pic credit: Grand-Am]
Alex Popow and Sebastian Bourdais, drivers of the #2 Ford Riley, celebrate in Victory Lane after wininng the Grand-AM Rolex Sports Car Series Inaugural Brickyard Grand Prix at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 27, 2012, in Indianapolis, Ind. (Photo Credit: Tyler Barrick/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Alex Popow and Sebastien Bourdais, drivers of the #2 Soloson Ford Riley, celebrate after winning the Grand-AM Rolex Sports Car Series inaugural Brickyard Grand Prix at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 27, 2012, in Indianapolis, Ind. (Photo Credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images for NASCAR)
The winning #60 Michael Shank Racing with Curb-Agajanian Ford Riley car is brought into victory lane after a gruelling 50th anniversary Rolex 24 at Daytona. [Picture Credit: Daytona International Speedway]
Action Express win the Rolex 24 [Pic credit: Grand Am]
Derek Johnston [Pic credit: Grand Am]
Vic Elford, the 2010 Rolex 24 At Daytona Grand Marshal (Photo credit: Motorsports Images and Archives)
The No. 09 Spirit of Daytona Porsche Coyote that will be tested by 2009 Radical European Masters Champion Derek Johnston at Virginia International Raceway
Max Angelelli and Brian Friselle win at Daytona [Pic credit: Grand Am Media]
Alex Gurney/Jon Fogarty - GAINSCO Bob Stallings Racing Riley-Pontiac   [pic credit: Grand-Am]

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