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AJR duo secure maiden victory.

Patrick Long and Mike Rockenfeller have secured their first victory in the Grand Am Rolex Series – and the first overall win for Porsche in two and a half years – after finishing on top of the podium in the Grand Prix of Homestead.

Despite starting from pole position in the #23 Crawford Porsche, Rockenfeller didn't lead for the first time until lap 16. The German turned the car over to Long for the race's middle stint and the American also found his way to the head of the field for 24 laps before handing the car back to Rockenfeller on lap 70 of the 107-lap event.

Despite a different pit strategy than the rest of the front runners, Rockenfeller managed to carve his way back toward the front, with the race's decisive moment coming on lap 89, when he passed Scott Pruett in the #01 CompUSA Chip Ganassi Racing Lexus Riley in heavy traffic entering the oval portion of the 2.3-mile Homestead-Miami Speedway road course.

Rockenfeller - who led a race-high 40 laps - would not be challenged for the remainder of the event, going on to win by 4.883 seconds.

“At the beginning I thought that the #39 car had jumped the start, but the series officials did not see it that way,” he said. “I was able to catch him and pass a few laps later and we really never looked back. The strategy calls were great today. The pit stops were timed just right and we had the fresh car when we needed it, especially at the end. The team worked hard in the preseason to get the car to Daytona where we had a good run but could not finish it, today we did finish.”

The victory marked the Porsche's return to the top step of the overall Rolex Series podium for the first time since David Donohue and Mike Borkowski won a six-hour race at Le Circuit Mont-Tremblant on September 21, 2003. It was also the first Rolex Series overall victory for Alex Job Racing/Emory Motorsports and was Alex Job Racing's first overall win in 18 years of sports car racing.

The victory follows a third-place finish by Long, Rockenfeller and Lucas Luhr in the season-opening Rolex 24 at Daytona, as the team did not compete in the Mexico City 250 earlier this month.

“We had a great car, surrounded by a great team, with great strategy on top,” Long said. “I had to be a little foxy on the restarts because I new that the #39 car was coming. I was the team player today. In the end, Mike did an awesome job in qualifying and we were able to complete what we started at Daytona. We worked hard all week on race setup and it paid off in the race with a consistent car. We knew exactly the kind of performance we would get on long runs. It's a great win for the team and for Mike and me.”

Luhr and Christian Fittipaldi came home second in the #39 Crown Royal Special Reserve/Cheever Racing Porsche Crawford for the team's best-ever Rolex Series result. Fittipaldi charged from the outside of the front row into the lead at the start of the race, and remained at the head of the field for the first 15 laps. He turned the car over to Luhr to finish the race, and the German boldly charged past Pruett for second just as the white flag waved.



Related Pictures

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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]

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