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Grand-Am: Pruett leads record field to Mexico.

Daytona Prototype points leader Scott Pruett will lead a record field of 38 cars to Mexico City's famed Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez this weekend for Saturday's Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series Mexico City 400k.

Pruett, the 2004 Daytona Prototype co-champion, leads the 2007 Daytona Prototype driver standings by virtue of his victory in the season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona alongside co-drivers Juan Pablo Montoya and Mexican rising star Salvador Duran. With Montoya focusing on NASCAR competition and Duran involved in various other forms of international motorsport and not entered to compete this weekend, Pruett essentially stands alone atop the points table.

The Rolex 24 victory was the 13th overall triumph in Rolex Series competition for the Californian, tying him with James Weaver for most career overall victories. This weekend, Pruett will be joined in the #01 TELMEX Chip Ganassi Racing Lexus Riley by his full-time co-driver for the remainder of the season, Mexican racer Memo Rojas. Last year in Mexico City, Pruett started from the pole position and combined with then-co-driver Luis Diaz to lead every lap in the race en route to a wildly popular victory.

A repeat this weekend, however, is anything but a certainty for Pruett, Rojas and the Ganassi team. Leading an extremely talented list of drivers with the potential to dethrone the #01 team are Italian racing standout Max Angelelli and Danish speedster Jan Magnussen in the #10 SunTrust Pontiac Riley. Angelelli and Magnussen combined with team owner Wayne Taylor and NASCAR superstar Jeff Gordon to finish third in the Rolex 24 despite battling various mechanical issues for a goodly amount of the twice-around-the-clock event. Absent mechanical problems this weekend, Angelelli and Magnussen would be tough to beat.

Rolex 24 runners-up Patrick Carpentier and Milka Duno also cannot be overlooked in the #11 CITGO/SAMAX Pontiac Riley. While Carpentier is considered a Rolex Series “rookie,” the Canadian is no stranger to Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez with three Champ Car starts at the historic circuit. He and Duno - a three-time winner in Rolex Series competition - could also prove to be a formidable combination.

On the heels of a fourth-place performance in the Rolex 24 and armed with a potent Porsche Riley combination, JC France and sports car racing legend Hurley Haywood also head south of the border looking to continue their momentum in the #59 Brumos Racing machine. Haywood is in his final season of full-time Rolex Series competition, while France was involved in a memorable altercation following an on-track incident with driver Chris Bingham in last year's visit to Mexico City. That being the case, a strong performance this weekend would be popular for several reasons.

The upstart AIM Autosport team - with youngsters Mark Wilkins and Brian Frisselle sharing the #61 Exchange Traded Gold Lexus Riley - also looks to build more momentum following a fifth-place performance in the Rolex 24. Last year, Frisselle turned in a career-best second-place qualifying performance at Mexico City, proving he knows the quick way around the 2.5-mile road course. That could bode well for the #61 team, which is competing in just its third Rolex Series event this weekend.

While a top-five finish in the Rolex 24 was a great way to start the season for those teams mentioned previously, there are several other talented combinations that will undoubtedly play a role in the outcome of the Mexico City 400k. Certainly, one cannot look past Americans Jon Fogarty and Alex Gurney in the #99 GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing Pontiac Riley.

Gurney started the Rolex 24 from the pole position, proving yet again that he and the #99 team are among the quickest in the Rolex Series. However, Gurney and Fogarty head to Mexico still looking for their first career Rolex Series victory after coming tantalizingly close on several occasions last season.



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]
Starworks Motorsport BMW/Riley duo Brendon Hartley and Scott Mayer celebrate their first Grand AM Rolex Sports Car Series victory at Road America [Pic credit: Grand AM]
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)
John Edwards and Matt Bell, drivers of the # 9 Camaro GS.R, race to second place Saturday, April 6, 2013 in the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge race 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]
Wilkins/Frisselle - AIM Autosport [Pic credit: Grand Am]
Spencer Pumpelly - TRG Porsche [Pic credit: Grand Am]
Borcheller/Barbosa - Action Express Racing Porsche Riley [Pic credit: Grand Am Media]

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