7 March 2010
Pruett wins Grand Prix of Miami
Scott Pruett holds off David Donohue in sprint to chequered flag to score second victory in Grand Prix of Miami.
Scott Pruett held off a late charge by David Donohue to win Saturday's Grand Prix of Miami, round two of the 2010 Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series.
Pruett and Memo Rojas scored their second victory in three years at Homestead-Miami Speedway in the #01 TELMEX Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates BMW Riley, holding off the #59 Brumos Porsche Riley of Donohue and pole winner Darren Law by 0.255 seconds.
"I sure didn't want to see that last caution, but I was happy for the fans," Pruett said after scoring his 23rd Rolex Series overall victory. "This is tough competition. You never know what's going to happen until the chequered flag falls. It was pretty exciting in my seat, that's for sure."
Donohue was able to pull up to the back of Pruett several times in the closing laps, but was unable to get by. Pruett managed to weave through GT traffic in the infield on the final lap, and maintained the lead through the superspeedway banking.
Alex Gurney finished third in the #99 GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing Chevrolet Riley started by Jon Fogarty. Burt Frisselle finished fourth in AIM Autosport's #61 Pacific Mobile Ford Riley, followed by Ryan Dalziel in the debut of the #8 Starworks BMW Riley started by Mike Forest, the leading Daytona Prototype Pro-Am driver in the event.
A turning point came on Lap 81 of the two-hour, 45-minute race. The cockpit of the #30 Racers Edge Motorsports Mazda RX-8 exploded into flames, and Jordan Taylor came to a stop in the middle of pit road. The blaze was quickly extinguished and the race remained under green, but Taylor's car was stopped at the centre of the pit lane when Law pitted in the race-leading #59 Brumos Racing Porsche Riley.
"There was a car on fire, there were people on pit lane, and I almost came to a stop," Law explained. "I didn't want to hit anybody. It's unfortunate, because I lost all of the gap I had gained. Up until then, I was feeling really, really good."
Taylor was uninjured in the incident, but the Mazda started by Todd Lamb was eliminated after having a strong run.
"It wasn't as big a fire as it looked," Taylor said. "It ended up being some of the insulation in the exhaust catching fire."
Donohue replaced Law on the ensuing pit stop. Pruett took the lead in the exchange and led the rest of the way.
Pruett and Rojas averaged 107.196 mph, completing 129 laps on the 2.3-mile circuit, and took the points lead by six (67-61) over Ryan Dalziel. The race remained caution-free until Lap 115, for debris in Turns 4 and 8. Law led a race-high 71 laps, followed by Pruett with 48. Other race leaders included Fogarty, who led the opening six laps, and Ryan Hunter-Reay, who led two laps in the #95 Level 5 Motorsports BMW Riley.
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