Grand AM »

Fourth win of year for Lally, Valentine.

Despite falling a lap behind early in Saturday's Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Special Reserve GT race at Iowa Speedway, Andy Lally put the #66 TRG CRG/Maxter Porsche GT3 into the lead with 20 laps remaining in the two-and-a-half hour race and came away with the team's series-leading fourth victory of 2007.

Lally, who took over for co-driver RJ Valentine during the first 20 minutes of the race, fell as far back as 14th before charging through the field. Lally assumed the lead for a lap during the final round of pit stops, rejoined the race in second behind #87 Farnbacher Loles Motorsports IPC/Marquis Jet Porsche GT3 driver Dirk Werner, then pressured the leader for several laps before getting a run coming out of Turn 9 on Lap 165. Lally and Werner went side-by-side across the start/finish line before Lally completed the pass in Turn 1.

From there, Lally endured challenges by Tim Lewis Jr. – who passed Werner on Lap 172 – in the #06 Banner Racing/Banner Engineering Pontiac GXP.R before beating Lewis by 0.618 seconds on the 1.3-mile, nine-turn stadium road course. Lally averaged 95.995 mph in an event which saw only two caution periods, both for debris.

It was a hard-fought victory not just on the track, but in the car as well. Lally – who posted his record 50th career Grand-Am Rolex Series podium finish – fought hot conditions throughout the afternoon, stopping once just to have his TRG team pour ice down his driver suit. He also frequently stuck his hand between the window net to get air. The consolation was victory and a jump to second in points, 10 behind Werner with three races remaining.

“This place is so busy,” Lally said. “But this is what you dream for. At the end, I was seriously worried. The only thing I knew was that Dirk was hot, because we were both hanging our hands out the sides of the car trying to get some air. I don't think I was going to get by Dirk if it weren't for a couple of situations. When I saw Tim in my mirrors, I got really worried, but luckily, everything worked out well.

“This was our biggest win of the year. New team sponsor AVIVA is located here in Iowa, and they had so many people here. It was great to come out and get a victory in front of their guys.”

Valentine started the car 13th and improved several spots before pitting under the green flag. He watched as Lally fell a lap behind, but every other team made its first stop under green too, allowing Lally to make it into the top five when the first round of stops cycled through.

“As always, my job is just to come out here and hand the car off to Andy and let him take it from there,” Valentine said. “This is a great win for TRG. We are so pleased to be in victory lane once again and take second in points.”

Lewis's car owner and co-driver Leighton Reese, who started third, fell behind after a first lap skirmish with #85 Farnbacher Loles Motorsports Shoes For Crews/Recaro Porsche GT3 driver Dominik Farnbacher on the first lap. Despite spinning, Reese stayed on the lead lap, and turned the car over to Lewis after returning to the top five. Lewis never dropped out of the top five, and after getting past Werner for second, didn't have enough to run down Lally.



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
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]

Start the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.




© 1999 - 2014 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.