America's newest road circuit is set to hold its first professional racing meeting this weekend as the Grand-Am Rolex Series visits New Jersey Motorsports Park for the Supercar Life 250; a 250-mile race which will include both the Daytona Prototype and GT classes.
With only the season finale remaining following Sunday's race, the Supercar Life 250 will play a major role in determining the respective Rolex Series champions. Defending Daytona Prototype titlists Alex Gurney and Jon Fogarty have been able to trim the lead held by Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas from 63 to 42 points over the last two events, while in GT, three teams are battling for the lead with only the Sunchaser 1000 on September 20 at Miller Motorsports Park near Salt Lake City, Utah, following the New Jersey race.
Pruett and Rojas lead the Daytona Prototypes with six victories in addition to second and third-place finishes in the #01 TELMEX Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates Lexus Riley. However, they followed up their season-worst finish - 13th in the Crown Royal 200 at Watkins Glen International - with a sixth-place outing in last weekend's event, the Armed Forces 250 at Infineon Raceway.
While Gurney and Fogarty have won only one race this year in the #99 GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing Pontiac Riley, they have four runner-up finishes, including both of the last two rounds.
"Sonoma was a very good result and we're keeping the championship dream alive," Gurney said. "We've come through a little adversity lately and managed to put up some nice podium finishes the last few races. Everybody on the team has stayed very focused even though we haven't rolled off the trailer super quick. The championship is still up in the air with two races to go and that's important. We'll need some luck but really just one hiccup at the start of the race for the No. 01 and we are right back in it."
Michael Valiante and Max Angelelli scored their first victory of the season in dominant fashion in the #10 SunTrust Racing Pontiac Dallara at Infineon Raceway. Valiante started from the pole and led the opening 22 laps, while Angelelli paced the final 58 circuits. It was the first Rolex Series victory for Valiante, the first for the Dallara chassis in the division, and the twelfth career triumph for Angelelli.
AIM Autosport saw a two-race winning streak end at Infineon when Brian Frisselle and Mark Wilkins finished third in the #61 Exchange Traded Gold Ford Riley. Despite starting 16th, Frisselle led 17 laps midway through the event. The team has held the lead in eight of the last nine races.
Brumos Racing continues its quest for the team's first victory since 2003. David Donohue is a three-time pole winner this season - tied with Valiante for the lead in that category - and he and Darren Law have three seconds and two thirds in the team's #58 Porsche Riley. JC France and Joao Barbosa finished in the top five in four of the last six races, with Barbosa setting the fastest race lap in three of them in the #59 Brumos Racing Porsche Riley.
Looking to get back on track are Mexico City winners Jim Matthews and Marc Goossens in the #91 Riley-Matthews Motorsports Pontiac Riley, who have placed outside the top ten in six of the last seven races after opening the year with three podium finishes.