Grand AM » 1 January 1901
DP title race closes up in Montreal.
Max Angelelli closed the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series Daytona Prototype championship to a scant two points after taking victory at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on Friday evening.
Victory in the 68-lap, two-and-a-half hour Montreal 400k was the second of the season for the Italian, co-driver Jan Magnussen and the #10 SunTrust Racing Pontiac Riley team and, allied to results elsewhere, closed the gap to Scott Pruett to its smallest margin of the season.
Taking the lead from Antonio Garcia, Angelelli led the final 25 laps of the race, and was more than six seconds ahead of runner-up Marc Goossens before a late-race caution on lap 64 bunched the field. When the green flag flew four laps later, however, Angelelli sprinted away to win by 0.461secs.
Angelelli and Magnussen both led during the race, the Dane beating Jon Fogarty out of the pits on lap 14 and leading until the second round of pit-stops, when Fogarty retook the advantage a lap under yellow flag conditions. Angelelli then blasted out of the pits to fall in behind Garcia, while Alex Gurney, who jumped into #99 GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing Pontiac Riley, dropped to tenth after a broken wheel gun prolonged the team's stop.
Angelelli and Garcia immediately took first and second from leader Brian Frisselle, who was off sequence on pit-stops, with the Italian then passing his Spanish rival under braking in the final turn on lap 44. He was challenged only on the race's final restart but, even then, withstood any attempt to go on and take the chequered flag.
“I had a fantastic car,” Angelelli said, “I want to thank the team - they gave me a great pit-stop which gave us great position. The car was very strong and fast and I think we have found something in the car which will help us the rest of the year.”
Magnussen, who had previous experience of the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve from his time in F1, was strong during his entire stint, leading 20 laps overall as he and Angelelli added to their victory in the VIR 400k at Virginia International Raceway in April.
“We started off strong and the car came to me, which allowed me to pull up to the #99,” Magnussen said, “The team gave us a great pit-stop and we came out ahead of the #99. Our car was good on old tyres and we were able to stay out front.”
For Goossens and co-driver Jim Matthews, second was a best finish of 2007, the #91 Riley-Matthews Motorsports Pontiac Riley being a solid top five runner all afternoon in the Belgian's hands. Goossens took over from Matthews early on and made a strong pass on Pruett for third on lap 56, before putting Garcia behind him a lap later to move into second.
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