After more than a month off to recover from their labors at the Rolex 24 at Daytona, the Grand-Am Rolex Series resumes this weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway. GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing and drivers Alex Gurney and Jon Fogarty clinched their second Daytona Prototype Team and Driver championships at Homestead less than five months ago, but that day of triumph and celebration will be just a distant memory when the team's No. 99 GAINSCO Auto Insurance Riley returns under Chevrolet power to the South Florida facility for the Grand Prix of Miami.
“I think we will be focused on this weekend rather than to relive any glory days,” said Fogarty, who led a race-high 45 laps from the pole in the 2009 Homestead race. “We just narrowly got it done last year. If it had gone the other way, I would really be hating this upcoming trip. But we did win our second championship in Miami last year, so it's not so bad.
SunTrust Racing's Max Angelelli, now co-driving with 20-year-old Ricky Taylor (son of team owner and sports car veteran Wayne Taylor), was one of the rivals Gurney and Fogarty vanquished at Homestead in 2009, but likes his Ford Dallara team's prospects this time.
“I'm feeling good about this weekend,” sais Angelelli. “I definitely like Homestead and I really like the car we have this year. Last year's result there (seventh place) was a big disappointment, because we had a chance to win the championship and it didn't work out that way. It was probably the worst experience we've had at Homestead as far as getting the car to work with the racetrack. It was hot and it was impossible to find grip, so it was very frustrating because we were fighting for the championship.
“This year, our car is much different, especially with the new Pirelli tire. It looks like we nailed the setup with many of the changes we made at Daytona. The car was so good, we did not change a thing between the test weekend and the race weekend. That makes me feel pretty good about Homestead and the rest of the season.”
The 2-3/4-hour timed race airs live on SPEED this Saturday, March 6, at 5 p.m. ET.