Max Angelelli took the lead with 45 minutes remaining and held off Alex Gurney for the remainder of the race to win Saturday's Porsche 250 at Barber Motorsports Park.
Angelelli was at the wheel of the No. 10 Velocity Worldwide Corvette DP, scoring his 22nd career Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series Daytona Prototype victory. Co-driver Jordan Taylor won for the first time in DP after scoring two GT victories.
Angelelli was pressured most of the way by Alex Gurney, who closed the deficit several times in the No. 99 GAINSCO Auto Insurance Corvette DP before running low on fuel in the closing laps.
“From my side, it was kind of easy because I only had to maintain the gap,” Angelelli said. “Jordan allowed me to have such an easy race, because he put the car in such a good position ahead of the No. 99."
Angelelli and Taylor averaged a track-record 96.494mph in the race, slowed by only one early caution due to Turner Motorsport BMW driver Michael Marsal being stuck in a gravel trap.
Gurney and pole-winning co-driver Jon Fogarty followed up their recent victory in Austin, Texas, to close to within two points of DP leaders Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas (93-91), with the TELMEX Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates drivers finishing fourth.
“A couple of times I could get close – depending on traffic. We were pretty good, so I can't complain," said Gurney. "It's a good points day. I ran out of fuel toward the end, so I backed off and cruised around the last two or three laps.”
Robin Liddell took Alessandro Balzan to school to win for the 19th time in GT competition in the No. 57 Stevenson Auto Group Chevrolet Camaro started from the pole by John Edwards. Liddell beat the Ferrari driver out of the pits after his second and final pit stop, and held him off to win by 0.733sec after the two ran nearly nose to tail throughout the final 30 minutes.
Balzan, co-driving the No. 63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 458, had never driven a lap in dry conditions at Barber before Saturday's race. The Italian driver said he learned the fastest line around the circuit by following Liddell after he took over from new co-driver Jeff Westphal. Boris Said and Eric Curran finished third in the No. 31 Marsh Racing Chevrolet Corvette.
"To get to one second of the fast drivers is not that difficult – to cut down that last second is very hard," noted Balzan. "I spent a bit of time following behind Robin and learning his lines. Then I started learning lines that would work better with the Ferrari. I could really understand the track during the last 20 minutes."
Dr. Jim Norman took his third consecutive triumph in the new GX class, co-driving with Spencer Pumpelly in the No. 38 BGB Porsche Cayman. Both of the new SpeedSource Mazda 6 entries took turns in the lead earlier in the race. Tristan Nunez and Joel Miller finished second in the No. 00 Visit Florida Racing Mazda 6, three laps behind.