Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas claimed their second win of the season in the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series’ Montreal 200, a win that also marked the Chip Ganassi Racing’s 150th win in all forms of major motorsports.
Rojas started the race from the second spot but it was Pruett driving the anchor leg and leading the final half of the race that put the TELMEX BMW/Riley in victory circle. Pruett slipped by Ryan Dalziel’s No. 8 Starworks Motorsport Ford/Riley for the lead just past the halfway mark, and then kept the advantage after the final series of pit stops several minutes later.
“It was quite an honor getting the 150th win for Ganassi with all that he’s done on the IndyCar and NASCAR side, and even the GRAND-AM Rolex side,” Pruett said. “I’m proud to be a part of that. It’s certainly been a great run.”
Pole sitters Alex Gurney and Jon Fogarty took second in the GAINSCO Bob Stallings Racing Corvette DP, 22.902 seconds behind the winners at race end. Gurney capitalized when Ozz Negri gave up second place for a final pit stop for fuel with four minutes left in the LiveOn.com/Curb Records Ford/Riley from Michael Shank Racing.
Third in class was David Donohue and Paul Tracy in the Action Express Racing Corvette DP, after coming back from contact with Michael Valiante’s spinning Spirit of Daytona Corvette DP in Turn 1 on the opening lap.
The incident marked the third consecutive event the Spirit of Daytona Corvette DP encountered problems early in the race. Michael Valiante, who won with the team at Mid-Ohio in his last DP start, spun in Turn 1 at the start of the race after contact from Darren Law, leaving nowhere to go for Paul Tracy, resulting in contact. Suspension damage led to the team’s third consecutive ninth place finish. Law, driving the Action Express Corvette DP, was penalized (stop-and-go plus 15 seconds) for the incident, while Action Express Racing teammate Tracy in the No. 5 Corvette DP had right-front bodywork damage.
Point’s leader Ryan Dalziel lost ground in the point’s race when he spun in Turn 10, collecting Ricky Taylor during a battle for third place with 27 minutes left. Race officials assessed Dalziel a stop-and-go plus 15-second penalty for avoidable contact, and the resulting eighth-place finish cost him dearly in the standings with two races left in the season.
In GT class Robin Liddell and John Edwards won a close finish scoring the team’s second victory of the season in the Stevenson Motorsports Camaro GT.R. Liddell finished just .569 seconds ahead of the FXDD AIM Autosport Team Ferrari of Emil Assentato and Jeff Segal. Wayne Nonnamaker and Dane Cameron finished third in GT in the TheRaceSite.com Mazda RX-8.
“At the end of the day, we’ve had a good record here,” said Liddell, who anchored his and the team’s fourth victory at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. “The team did a great job. It makes a big difference when you’ve got somebody starting up front.”
Assentato and Segal, three-time winners this year, stretched their lead in the GT standings to a 29-point edge over Paul Dalla Lana, who crashed in the No. 94 Turner Motorsport BMW M3 at the half-hour mark of the race.
The GRAND-AM Rolex Series’ next round is the Continental Tire Sports Car Festival powered by Mazda on Sept. 7-9 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca at Monterey, Calif.
DP 1st: Memo Rojas and Scott Pruett, No.01 TELMEX BMW/Riley
DP 2nd: Jon Fogarty and Alex Gurney, No. 99 GAINSCO Auto Insurance Corvette DP
DP 3rd: Paul Tracy and David Donohue, No. 5 Action Express Racing Corvette DP
GT 1st: John Edwards and Robin Liddell, No. 57 Stevenson Auto Group Chevrolet Camaro
GT 2nd: Emil Assentato and Jeff Segal, No. 69 AIM Autosport Team FXDD Ferrari 458 Italia
GT 3rd: Wayne Nonnamaker and Dane Cameron, No. 44 Team Sahlen’s Mazda RX-8
Margin of Victory: 22.902 seconds (DP); .569 seconds (GT)
Average Speed: 89.322 mph (DP); 85.917 mph (GT)
Cautions: Two for 10 laps