The 50th anniversary year at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course will add one more historic moment to its honor roll this weekend, as the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series crowns champions in both its DP and GT categories.
On paper, the task should be easy enough for Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas to claim their third DP title in four seasons. The TELMEX Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates duo (LEFT) lead Ricky Taylor and Max Angelelli of SunTrust Racing by 20 points, and with only 11 likely DP entrants, would have enough of a gap to secure the title even if they finished last and SunTrust won.
Provided Pruett and Rojas each get more than 30 minutes of green flag drive time, or more than an hour total, the goal will be achieved.
Those two have won eight of the 11 races to this point; GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing comes into Mid-Ohio fresh off a dominant performance the last round at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. It was a particular excellent effort for Alex Gurney, Jon Fogarty and the team as they had to rebuild their car after a bad accident the race before that in Watkins Glen. The GAINSCO crew can realistically hope to achieve third place in the point standings.
Where the center of attention should focus though, is the fascinating GT battle where any of six potential team, car and driver combinations could snatch the class championship.
Jordan Taylor and Bill Lester in the Autohaus Motorsports Camaro GT.R enter with just a three-point margin over Brumos Racing Porsche's Andrew Davis and Leh Keen. Brumos has enjoyed a renaissance in its return to the GT class running a Porsche GT3 Cup car and gained four points on Autohaus last race at Montreal.
SpeedSource Mazda could also keep the GT crown. While its sister RX-8 driven by Jeff Segal and Emil Assentato won in 2010, the team's lead No. 70 entry with Sylvain Tremblay and Jonathan Bomarito are just five points back of Autohaus.
Those three teams — who only have a combined four wins in the 11 rounds this season (Brumos with two, Autohaus and SpeedSource one apiece) — have the most realistic shots at the title.
Less likely but still mathematically alive are Turner Motorsport with its BMW M3, another Porsche in the hands of Magnus Racing, and a sister Mazda RX-8 for Dempsey Racing. Paul Dalla Lana (Turner), Craig Stanton and John Potter (Magnus) and Dane Cameron and James Gue (Dempsey) are separated by a combined three points and enter Mid-Ohio 15, 17 and 18 points behind Autohaus.
Knowing the unpredictability of the GT class this year, nothing's out of the question.
Mid-Ohio features a projected 30-car field with 11 DP and 19 GT entrants.
• The Grand-Am Rolex Series EMCO Gears Classic goes green at 3 p.m. EST, Saturday, Sept. 17, live on SPEED.