Pruett was sharing the #01 TELMEX Chip Ganassi Racing Riley-Lexus with local favourite Memo Rojas for the first time, but saw the Mexican drop back a few positions from third on the grid in the early stages. Although Rojas subsequently battled back before handing the controls to Pruett on lap 52, the American veteran only assumed fourth place following the round of pit-stops and could not improve further during his stint.
Patrick Long and Jörg Bergmeister completed the top five in the #23 Ruby Tuesday Championship Racing Crawford-Porsche, finishing one lap behind the race winners but rewarding the team's hard work making substantial repairs to the car's front suspension after Bergmeister crashed in Thursday practice.
The Brumos Racing team secured another solid finish, this time with the David Donohue/Darren Law Red Bull Riley-Porsche coming home in sixth spot, ahead of the #61 Exchange Traded Gold/AIM Autosport Riley-Lexus of Brian Frisselle and Mark Wilkins, which earned the SunTrust 'Improve Your Position Award' after starting 18th.
The second Krohn entry of owner-driver Tracy Krohn and Nic Jonsson claimed eighth ahead of the two Michael Shank Racing cars, the #60 Mark Patterson/Oswaldo Negri Jr machine just getting the better of the #6 driven by Ian James and Henri Zogaib.
There was disappointment, however, for the second Brumos entry, crewed by Hurley Haywood and JC France, and the Cheever Racing car of Christian Fittipaldi and Harrison Brix, which were both forced to retire before half-distance.
GAINSCO's historic first win was matched in the GT class as SpeedSource team owner Tremblay and co-driver Ham scored their first-career victory with the #70 Mazdaspeed RX-8.
Tremblay took over from Ham on lap 55 and led a class-high 42 laps to beat Dominik Farnbacher's #85 Farnbacher Loles Porsche GT3 by 22.284secs after 92 laps of typically close-fought GT action. The race ran without a full-course caution, putting extra pressure on the SpeedSource crew during the driver change and pit-stop. But the Florida-based team worked flawlessly, sending Tremblay - the most successful driver in Grand-Am KONI Challenge Series history - back on track with a comfortable lead.
“Taking on this Rolex Series programme was a big challenge,” Tremblay admitted, “All of the people at SpeedSource that put in all these hours to get this programme to where it is so, to come here and win for Mazda is a great achievement. This was a great weekend.”
Ham started the #70 machine from the class pole, but quickly fell to fourth in the opening laps. The Englishman battled back, however, gradually moving back up the leader board, before retaking the point position on lap 13 and leading 37 laps until the changeover to Tremblay.
“The main concern at the start was not to get into any racing battles,” Ham explained, “We knew we had a really good car here, and we knew that once we got heat in the tyres, we'd be fine. I just wanted to run clean laps during my stint and hand Tremblay the car with a chance to win. This Mazda RX-8 really loves this track - [engineer] David Haskell did a great job setting it up, and the whole team did an awesome job all weekend.”
Click on relevant pic to enlarge
the conversation - Add your comment
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.