GRAND-AM Heads Into Historic Weekend
August 8, 2013 | 9:52 P.M. EST
Starworks Motorsport co-drivers Ryan Dalziel and Alex Popow take their DP points lead to Road America for Saturday's VisitFlorida.com Sports Car 250. (Photo: Brian Cleary)
ELKHART LAKE, Wis. - History will be made this weekend at Road America when the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series and the American Le Mans Series Presented by Tequila Patrón share their first weekend of joint competition.
Each series has its own schedule of events. But the side-by-side presentation is a treat for sports car racing fans who eagerly anticipate the merging of the two groups into United SportsCar Racing in 2014.
Road America is the first of back-to-back race weekends that will be crucial to the Rolex Series DP and GT title races. The first visit to Kansas Speedway's infield road course/speedway layout follows Aug. 16-17 with racing under the lights. After that, just two events will remain on the 2013 GRAND-AM schedule.
Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas have won three straight Daytona Prototype championships and four of the last five. Their No. 01 Chip Ganassi Racing entry won the season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona, but incidents at Detroit and Mid-Ohio dropped them down in the standings. As the defending winners of Saturday's VisitFlorida.com Sports Car 250, Pruett and Rojas hope to regain some lost ground.
Brickyard Grand Prix winners Alex Popow and Ryan Dalziel now hold the lead alone in their No. 2 Starworks Motorsport BMW/Riley. They have a 10-point edge over former champions Alex Gurney and Jon Fogarty. Wayne Taylor Racing drivers Max Angelelli and Jordan Taylor entered the last event at Indianapolis tied for the lead but failed to finish and are now third in the standings.
Wins are nice, but they don't always guarantee a team the top spot on the points table. That's the case in the Rolex Series' production-based GT class, where Andy Lally and John Potter have used their No. 44 Magnus Racing Porsche's consistency to forge a four-point lead over Robin Liddell and John Edwards.
The Stevenson Motorsports tandem has won four of this season's eight races. But three finishes of 10th or worse have them running second in the standings to Lally and Potter, who have not finished below sixth place all year.
Magnus Racing's title hopes came apart a year ago at Road America, when the Porsche's engine failed late in the race.
"We're looking for redemption this year," said team owner Potter. "Consistency has been a huge factor in our championship run this year, but we need to win races if we have any hope of keeping the field behind us."
Mazda continues to make history in GRAND-AM's GX class where Sylvain Tremblay and Tom Long gave SpeedSource its sixth consecutive victory in its last outing. The Maxda6 SKYACTIV-D clean diesel power plant became the first diesel to win a race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
However, Dr. Jim Norman retains an eight-point lead over second-place Joel Miller in the season standings with Tremblay and Long in third place.
Motor Racing Network will have live coverage of Saturday's VisitFlorida.com Sports Car 250 from Road America starting at 4:45 p.m. (ET), with live streaming at MotorRacingNetwork.com.