Battling ever-changing and sometimes treacherous weather conditions, Max Angelelli cruised to a one-minute victory in Saturday's Montreal 200 - taking new life in the battle for the 2009 Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16 Daytona Prototype championship in the process.
With only two races remaining, Angelelli - who led the final 12 of 67 laps at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve - and co-driver Brian Frisselle are tied for second with Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas, five points behind leaders Alex Gurney and Jon Fogarty (274-269).
It was the second victory of the season for the #10 SunTrust Ford Dallara, and second triumph at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve for both Frisselle (who won in 2008) and Angelelli (2007).
Romain Dumas and Timo Bernhard combined to lead 38 laps in the #12 Penske Racing Verizon Wireless Porsche Riley and finished second, 1m 01.264s behind Angelelli. Prior to Saturday, the combined margin of victory for nine 2009 Rolex Series races was 57.851 seconds.
Angelelli credited SunTrust Racing strategy with giving him the gap on the rest of the field. While many of the contenders were pitting for slick tyres on the drying track, Angelelli was told to stay out despite the conditions.
"Then on the lap I was going to come in, it started raining again," Angelelli said. "All the other guys were on slicks and had to come in - and I started laughing."
Gurney took the final podium position from Ricky Taylor on the final lap in the #99 GAINSCO Pontiac Riley started by pole winner Jon Fogarty.
Taylor and Canadian Mike Forest scored the best-ever finish for the #13 Lennox/Brach's Chevrolet Riley, fourth, followed by Darren Law and David Donohue in the #58 Brumos Racing Porsche Riley.
Defending Montreal 200 winner Mark Wilkins and new co-driver Burt Frisselle finished sixth in the #61 AIM Autosport Ford Riley. Wilkins finished 0.052 seconds behind Law - closer than last year's Rolex Series record margin of victory (0.064 seconds) when Wilkins passed Antonio Garcia and Law in the final yards before the chequered flag.