1 January 1901
Gurney, Fogarty blitz rivals at Mid-Ohio.
As they did two weeks ago in the Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen at Watkins Glen International, #99 Bob Stallings Racing GAINSCO Pontiac Riley drivers Jon Fogarty and Alex Gurney put the pounding on fellow Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series competitors in Saturday's EMCO Gears Classic presented by KeyBank at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, leading all but six of the 111 laps in the caution-free race.
Fogarty, who set a track qualifying record on Friday, led from the pole during his stint, then watched as Gurney opened up more than a 30-second advantage in the final 20 laps, settling for a 31.629-second victory over Scott Pruett.
It marked Gurney and Fogarty's second straight Daytona Prototype victory and third of the season, a series high. Their triumph at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City, Mexico also went caution-free.
“Obviously, a great day,” said Gurney, who led 74 of the race's laps. “Just a mistake-free race. I had no problems with the strategy, great pit stops, just an awesome team effort. I hope the wins keep coming.”
Fogarty was never headed on the track as he pulled away from #39 Cheever Racing Crown Royal Special Reserve Porsche Fabcar driver Christian Fittipaldi at the drop of the green flag and held at most a two-second lead over Fittipaldi through the first 35 minutes.
But when it came time for pit stops, fellow competitors were no match. Gurney got out faster then #58 Brumos Porsche Red Bull Porsche Riley driver David Donohue, and built his lead from 10 seconds to more than 20 before having to pit again on Lap 82.
While Gurney lost the lead during that stop to Donohue, he quickly regained the point on Lap 85 when Donohue and Braun pitted for the final time. From there, it was a matter of keeping the car out of trouble. Even after his pit stop, Gurney proved the car was just as good at the end of the race as it was in the beginning, as he posted the race's fastest lap – 1m 18.485s (103.571 mph) – on the 84th circuit.
“It was excellent,” Fogarty said. “We were concerned about track position all weekend, because this is a difficult place to pass. Starting on pole was key, I was able to maintain the lead through my stint and hand it over to Alex. I gave him the car out front. There were no yellows, it stayed green the whole way, and we stayed out front. It was awesome. The motor got a little hot, but not a problem, the Pontiac was a solid piece.”
#01 TELMEX Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates co-driver Pruett, who extended his top-10 finish streak to 12 races, put pressure on Donohue in the final 10 laps before getting by when Donohue slowed to pitted for a splash of fuel. Pruett managed to bring home second for himself and co-driver Memo Rojas – who started the race fifth – and in the process increased his championship point lead to 11 over Angelelli.
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