The Chip Ganassi Racing TELMEX BMW Riley has been so dominant in Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car competition this season the series offered a bounty to the first team to beta them. While that bounty has been collected, it still seemed like it would take a major calamity for Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas to lose. In the end, it was only a slight pit miscue by Pruett that left the GAINSCO Auto Insurance Chevrolet Riley of Alex Gurney and Jon Fogarty to win the Continental Sports Car Festival powered by Mazda at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
On the final round of pit stops, Pruett slightly overshot his pit. That let Gurney out of the pits in front, and from there he held off the Daytona Prototype championship leader for the final 28 laps, winning by 0.431s.
"I couldn't get it ‘whoaed' up in time,” explained Pruett. “I was on and off the brakes again and again, but it just wouldn't stop in time. Both Alex and I were giving it 110 percent at the end. We were both running strong. It was one of those races that we both wanted to win."
The win broke a 10-race winless streak by Gurney and Fogarty, who won the championship in 2008 and 2009.
"We were struggling earlier this season, and this is a great culmination of our work,” said Gurney. “Our car came in really good at the end of the race. I spent most of my race trying to chase down Scott. Then we had our stop and they had their problem. I was really hooked up at the end of the race, and I had clear sailing at the end. This is a great place for us to win. Both being California boys, this is as good as it gets."
Ricky Taylor had captured pole position – his fourth straight – in the SunTrust Chevrolet Dallara, and he and Max Angelelli led 57 laps. It was the 13th consecutive race that Taylor had led.But the polesitters could only manage the last podium spot.
In GT, Leh Keen and Andrew Davis earned their second victory of 2011 in the No. 59 Brumos Porsche GT3 Cup and took the championship lead. The SpeedSource Mazdas filled the rest of the podium, with Jeff Segal and Emil Assentato finishing second in the No. 69 FXDD RX-8 and Sylvain Trembley and Jonathan Bomarito third in the No. 70 Castrol Edge RX-8.
"That was the best view of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca that I've had, running in the lead for the longest time,” said Davis. “I didn't mind the view in the rear-view mirror, either. The guys did an awesome job to have the car running perfectly. We've got a strong car."