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Sigalsport stars take back-to-front win.

In only their eighth Daytona Prototype start together, Team Sigalsport BMW Riley co-drivers Bill Auberlen and Matthew Alhadeff registered their maiden Grand-Am victory in the Grand Prix of Miami – after starting right towards the back of the grid.

With just 11 laps remaining, Auberlen swept to the inside of 2005 Daytona Prototype co-champion Max Angelelli in the SunTrust Pontiac Riley in Turn Six and emerged with a lead he would hold to the chequered flag, crossing the line with an advantage of a scant 1.759 seconds after 91 laps of racing and having begun the race down in 15th on the grid. What's more, the result marked the first success for BMW since the 2005 season finale in Mexico City.

“First of all, it feels unbelievable,” the two-time Rolex Series GT champion expressed afterwards. “It came earlier than I even expected. I knew we had a learning curve with the car – the team had a gelling curve, where everybody has to come together – but it's all coming together so fast. We've got a good motor programme now and everything is good, so to win this is one of the best wins I've ever had. It was one of the hardest-fought wins I've ever had too.

“As far as the pass on Angelelli goes, on the re-start before that I was much faster than him, but it was like he drove in his mirrors. Everywhere I went, that's where he wound up. I was like, 'I can't go by, so I have to make myself invisible'. If you put a Daytona Prototype right behind another one, they can't see you. I tucked right up behind him to where I knew he couldn't see me, waited for his brake lights to come on, and when he did that I went just a second longer. It was too much for him. For him to do it, we would have had to wreck. I passed him, went out and the car was strong.”

For Alhadeff, who drove the first 21 laps before turning the car over to Auberlen under the day's second of seven full-course cautions, the win signalled his maiden professional race victory in his eighth Daytona Prototype start and 26th overall Rolex Series start in a career that began only two years ago.

“This is one of the greatest days of my entire life,” the 25-year-old enthused. “I'm so happy for the whole team, for my family and for myself. We've been working so hard to do this. We've been there a couple of times and it's gotten taken away from us for whatever reason. Now, we finally did it. It was a well-deserved finish, because we struggled in the beginning with some of the things that happened on the track and a pit-stop that wasn't that great, but everybody just pulled through. Bill Auberlen, man, that guy is unbelievable.”

Angelelli and co-driver Jan Magnussen held on to claim second for their best result of the season to-date, after coming home third in each of the opening two races. Magnussen began from pole position and led the first 21 laps before handing the car over to his Italian team-mate. Interestingly, the No. 10 machine has never won a race in which it has started from pole position.

“Obviously, I'm very happy for the team,” Magnussen said. “It looked for a while there like we were going to win this race, but Bill was very strong at the end and got a run on Max after the re-start. From my point of view, I didn't do that many laps, but I got away cleanly at the start and got a big gap. Everybody else was fighting behind me. I had a clean run. My car today was just great. Then I gave it over to Max and it was a really exciting race until the finish.”

Angelelli led for 15 laps before surrendering the lead to Auberlen. It was the tenth consecutive race in which he and Magnussen have finished inside the top five, and the result enabled them to move to within one point of Daytona Prototype points leader Scott Pruett.



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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