High Five for Pruett and Rojas
March 5, 2011 | 3:01 P.M. EST
The No. 01 team came back after a drive-through penalty for contact in the early going. (Photo: GRAND-AM)
Scott Pruett passed Max Angelelli in Turn 8 in the closing minutes of the Grand Prix of Miami at Homestead-Miami Speedway and led the final seven laps to give the No. 01 TELMEX BMW/Riley started by Memo Rojas its fifth consecutive GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series victory.
When the race began victory seemed unlikely after Rojas was assessed a drive-through penalty for contact in the early going.
Pruett and Rojas won the final three races in 2010 - when they scored a record nine victories and their second Daytona Prototype championship - and opened 2011 by winning the Rolex 24 At Daytona.
Darren Law passed Angelelli with three minutes remaining and went on to finish second in the No. 5 Action Express Racing Porsche/Riley started by David Donohue. It was their second-consecutive second-place finish at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Angelelli held on for third in the No. 10 SunTrust Chevrolet/Dallara started by Ricky Taylor, after the team led a race-high 47 laps.
Ryan Dalziel led 12 laps in the No. 8 Starworks Motorsport Ford/Riley but hit debris and lost the radiator while leading on lap 73, causing the car's retirement.
Paul Dalla Lana kept the No. 94 Turner Motorsport BMW M3 in contention throughout his stint and Bill Auberlen took over to lead 80 of the final 82 laps to score the GT victory. It was Dalla Lana's first career Rolex Series triumph but the 21st for Auberlen.
Defending GT champions Jeff Segal and Emil Assentato finished second in the No. 69 FXDD Mazda RX-8.
Jan Magnussen won the pole position and led the opening 22 laps in the No. 57 Stevenson Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro, but the car co-driven by Robin Liddell was eliminated with mechanical problems after contact with another car.
Auberlen and Dalla Lana Double Up
Paul Dalla Lana and Bill Auberlen followed up their GT victory in the Grand Prix of Miami earlier in the day by winning the Kia 200. Less than four hours after his first Rolex Series triumph, Dalla Lana won for the first time in 18 Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge races.
This was only the second time in GRAND-AM history that drivers scored double victories on the same day. Terry Borcheller and Forest Barber won in both Daytona Prototype and GS II on June 29, 2003, at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
Auberlen ended Billy Johnson's personal three-race winning streak at Homestead-Miami Speedway, with Johnson finishing second in the No. 61 Roush Performance Ford Mustang Boss 302R started by Jack Roush Jr.
Al Carter and Hugh Plumb took third in the No. 45 BePositive.org/HRE/Fall-Line BMW M3.
Ian Baas caught Mathew Pombo at the finish line to win in the Street Tuner class. Baas was driving the No. 171 VWR DriverGear/APR Tuned Volkswagen GTI started by Ryan Ellis. They won by .022 seconds, leading only the final inches of the race as he drafted by Mathew Pombo for a last-lap pass.
Pombo shared the No. 31 Mazda/Cybernation MazdaSpeed 3 with his brother, Mark Pombo, marking the first time the two co-drove in a race.