Champions Could Emerge at Laguna Seca
September 7, 2012 | 9:30 A.M. EST
This weekend’s Continental Tire Sports Car Festival could mint several champions but no driver or team comes to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in control of their own destiny. (Photo: GRAND-AM)
September brings the conclusion of the 2012 GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series and the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge.
Races at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and Lime Rock Park will produce a full range of emotions – from those hoping to retain or improve their championship leads to others who face title elimination.
This weekend’s Continental Tire Sports Car Festival could mint several champions but no driver or team comes to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in control of their own destiny.
The “magic number” is 36 – the point lead necessary to close out potential challengers after the checkered flags fall at Mazda Raceway.
Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates and its two drivers Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas hold an 18 point lead over Starworks Motorsport and driver Ryan Dalziel. The team seeks its sixth DP Championship and third in a row and comes off a victory in Montreal.
Grand Touring is the most likely place for champions to emerge on the Monterey Peninsula. AIM Autosport Team FXDD with Ferrari and drivers Emil Assentato and Jeff Segal are 29 and 30 points, respectively, ahead of their closest rivals.
Forget any clinching scenarios in the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge – at least in Grand Sport where seven points cover the top three teams. Street Tuner is a bit more spread out but its leaders, i-Moto and Pierre Kleinubing, would have to double the 18-point advantage they hold over two challengers.
Last year’s stop at Mazda Raceway saw the GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing duo of Jon Fogarty and Alex Gurney snap a 10-race winless streak. The Red Dragon team has been kept from the top spot on the podium for 12 races, having last won at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in August 2011.
A year ago, the GT winners were Brumos Racing’s No. 59 Porsche GT3 and drivers Andrew Davis and Leh Keen. They stand fifth in GT standings but a distant 44 points behind the class leader.
Stevenson Motorsports and its Chevrolet Camaro GS.R captured GS honors in 2011 with drivers Matt Bell and John Edwards. Stevenson and Bell rank sixth in current GS points.
Freedom Autosport is the defending Mazda Raceway ST winner. The team’s leading entry, the No. 25 Mazda MX-5 of Tom Long and Derek Whitis, shares second in points with Kinetic/Kia Racing’s Nic Jonsson and Andy Lally. Whitis was the class pole winner in 2011.
Motor Racing Network - "The Voice of NASCAR" - will have live coverage of Sunday's Continental Tire Sports Car Festival powered by Mazda starting at 5:45 p.m. The event will be streamed live online at www.motorracingnetwork.com.