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Fogarty, Gurney win Laguna Festival of Speed

Jon Fogarty passed Scott Pruett at the entrance to the Corkscrew with 22 laps remaining and held on to give the #99 GAINSCO Pontiac Riley its second Grand-Am Rolex Series victory of the season in the Verizon Festival of Speed at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

Fogarty started and finished the 106-lap race, run under sunny skies and in 91-degree temperatures, while team-mate Alex Gurney drove the middle shift to give the team its tenth Rolex Series victory as it beat the polesitting #01 TELMEX Lexus Riley to the line by 7.228secs. However, while the success may have been the GAINSCO pairing's tenth together, it was the first time that Fogarty had been at the wheel when the flag fell.

"We weren't sure if I had been in the car the required 30 minutes to score points," he explained, "We considered leaving Alex in, but we figured, since it's early in the season, it was important for both of us to score points. Alex definitely took his pride when the team asked him to get out of the car. It wasn't our usual driver change, but we recouped thing and it worked out."

Polewinner Memo Rojas led the an event-high 44 laps for the #01, with Pruett pacing a further 20 as the champions tried to secure their first victory of the season, but Fogarty made his pass for the lead moments before the fourth and final caution, and then slowly pulled away after the final restart. Fogarty and Gurney are the only drivers with multiple DP victories this season.

"Scott got caught up in traffic in turn six - and your momentum gets killed at that part of the track," the double Atlantic champion revealed, "I had a good run and made it three-wide at that point. I got off into the gravel, but I was able to get back on the tarmac and out-braked him. I really almost didn't make it.

"He left me.... some room, but we got by and I stayed on the track. He left me just enough room down the front straight and knew he got boxed going through turn six. There's not much he could do. I think we had the pace on the #01 guys today, and that bodes well for the future, I think."

"We got caught up behind a GT car and had our momentum broken," Pruett confirmed, "It was good, hard racing. He got his nose in there and I couldn't do anything about it."

The victory allowed Fogarty and Gurney to take the Daytona Prototype points lead as Rolex 24 winners Darren Law and David Donohue could only finish eighth in the Brumos Porsche Riley, and drop eight points behind in the standings.

Behind Pruett, Max Angelelli finished third in the #10 SunTrust Ford Dallara started by Brian Frisselle, and was followed home by his co-driver's brother Burt (# 61 AIM Autosport Ford Riley) as he and team-mate Mark Wilkins claimed their best finish of 2009. Angelelli, however, felt that he could have been looking at possible runner-up honours.



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Alex Gurney/Jon Fogarty - GAINSCO Bob Stallings Racing Riley-Pontiac   [pic credit: Grand-Am]
Max Angelelli / Jordan Taylor. Continental Tire Sports Car Festival. Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. 2013 Grand AM Rolex Sports Car Series
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)
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)
Fogarty/Gurney - GAINSCO Racing [Pic credit: Grand Am]
Henri Richard/Rene Villeneuve - Polizei 144 TRG Porsche GT3   [pic credit: Grand-Am]
Romain Dumas/Timo Bernhard - Verizon Wireless Team Penske Riley-Porsche   [pic credit: Grand-Am]
Scott Pruett/Memo Rojas - TELMEX Chip Ganassi Racing Riley-Lexus   [pic credit: Grand-Am]
Scott Pruett/Memo Rojas - TELMEX Chip Ganassi Racing Riley-Lexus   [pic credit: Grand-Am]
The GAINSCO Racing entry at Daytona [Pic credit: Brian Cleary]
The GAINSCO entry at night at Daytona [Pic credit: Grand Am]
The #99 GAINSCO Racing entry [Pic credit: grand am]
The SpeedSource Mazda at Daytona [Pic credit: Mark Weber]
The Chip Ganassi Racing entry of Scott Dixon, Dario Franchitti and Alex Lloyd [Pic credit: Mark Weber]
#40 Dempsey Racing Mazda RX-8 - Dempsey/Espenlaub/Foster [Pic credit: Grand Am]
#40 Dempsey Racing Mazda RX-8 - Dempsey/Espenlaub/Foster [Pic credit: Grand Am]
#99 GAINSCO Pontiac Riley - Fogarty/Gurney/Johnson/Vasser [Pic credit: Grand Am]

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