Hartley, Mayer Win at Road America
August 10, 2013 | 8:01 P.M. EST
Brendon Hartley drives to victory in his Starworks Motorsport BMW/Riley on Saturday at Road America. (Photo: Brian Cleary)
ELKHART LAKE, Wis. - Opportunity knocked for Brendon Hartley and the young New Zealander answered Saturday at Road America, joining Wisconsin co-driver Scott Mayer in winning the VisitFlorida.com Sports Car 250.
It was the first GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series victory for both drivers of the No. 8 Starworks Motorsport BMW/Riley. Hartley has shown flashes of brilliance through his rookie season, with the 23-year-old Formula One simulator development driver nearly winning at Circuit of The Americas (COTA) in Texas before a late-race mistake.
"This was an emotional win for me," Hartley said. "I’m not going to lie. I had a lot of flashbacks to COTA. But I knew we had it covered, so I just brought it home."
The turn of events that put Hartley and Mayer atop the podium began with misfortune for Starworks teammates Ryan Dalziel and Alex Popow. Dalziel lost his engine while leaving the pits with one hour remaining and came to a stop at the exit of Turn 1, bringing out the first caution of the race. Most of the remaining leaders pitted during a later caution, putting Hartley ahead to stay.
Hartley and Mayer completed 70 laps in the two-hour, 45-minute race on the 4.048-mile circuit, averaging 102.974 mph.
Action Express Racing finished second and third. Joao Barbosa was 4.290 seconds behind Hartley in the No. 5 Corvette DP started by Christian Fittipaldi. Brothers Brian and Burt Frisselle took the final podium position in their No. 9 Corvette.
Pole sitter Dane Cameron and co-driver Wayne Nonnamaker dominated much of the race in the No. 42 Team Sahlen’s BMW/Riley. But Cameron broke an axle while leading on Lap 54.
Dalziel and Popow finished 14th, having their Daytona Prototype lead trimmed to four points over Jon Fogarty and Alex Gurney, who finished eighth.
Both the GT and GX classes featured lead changes in the closing minutes, and both winners came to a stop on the cool-down lap. Bill Auberlen prevailed in a terrific battle with Patrick Long to join Paul Dalla Lana in winning GT in their No. 94 Turner Motorsport BMW M3, their third victory of the season.
Andy Lally and John Potter finished fifth in the No. 44 Magnus Racing Porsche GT3, extending their lead in the GT standings to seven points over Robin Liddell and John Edwards with three races remaining in the season.
Joel Miller led the final four laps to take his fourth GX victory of the season in the No. 00 Visit Florida Racing/SpeedSource Mazda 6, joined by three-time winner Tristan Nunez. Points leader Jim Norman and Spencer Pumpelly finished second. Norman now leads Miller by 10 points.
Auberlen ran out of fuel in Turn 5 after taking the checkered flag while Miller came to a stop with a broken drive shaft.
The next stop in the 2013 GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series will be the inaugural SFP Grand Prix at Kansas Speedway on Saturday, Aug. 17. Motor Racing Network will have live coverage starting at 7:45 p.m. (ET), with live streaming at MotorRacingNetwork.com.