The second-to-last round of the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series takes place this weekend at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal, with one class title chase on the verge of ending and the other fully engaged between several contenders.
Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas of TELMEX Chip Ganassi Racing enter Montreal with a 26-point lead over Max Angelelli and Ricky Taylor and SunTrust in the Daytona Prototype category. The latter duo carries the momentum into Montreal following a win last Saturday in Watkins Glen, and Taylor seeks a record seventh consecutive pole position.
While Angelelli and Taylor have three wins, Pruett and Rojas have five on the season. Pruett and Rojas resume in Canada as both the race and series defending DP champions. The championship should sort itself out if they can take care of business on track, Pruett said.
“This whole year, we have focused on not thinking about the championship, but really focused on producing as strong of cars as possible,” Pruett said. “When we go to Montreal, it will be the same. The exciting thing was winning it last year, because before that, it was one of those where we struggled to get into Victory Lane. Hopefully, we just build on that.”
A different kind of building takes place at GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing, as the crew has had to repair its Chevrolet Riley from a nasty accident in Watkins Glen. Alex Gurney and Jon Fogarty will be back in action aboard the “red dragon,” and keen to stay out of trouble.
In GT, five teams and nine drivers have a reasonable shot at the title with two races remaining. Bill Lester and Jordan Taylor hold a seven-point lead with their Autohaus Motorsports Camaro GT.R over Andrew Davis and Leh Keen in the Brumos Racing Porsche GT3 Cup (272-265).
Still within shouting distance, Jonathan Bomarito and Sylvain Tremblay look to give the SpeedSource Mazda RX-8 its second win of the season, and Magnus Racing seeks its first with drivers Craig Stanton and John Potter behind the wheel of its Porsche GT3 Cup. They have compiled 257 and 253 points, respectively, and likely would need podium results to knock off the leaders in class.
Paul Dalla Lana in the lone Turner Motorsport BMW M3 has a remote chance at the title, currently fifth in the standings with 251 points. He will co-drive with Billy Johnson this weekend as regular co-driver Bill Auberlen is once again in American Le Mans Series action.
Marsh Racing's backup Corvette raced in Watkins Glen makes the trip north of the border, with Boris Said and Owen Kelly back in the team's usual No. 31 after switching to No. 3 following Joey Logano's qualifying accident at the Glen.
Said created some sound bites this week after an incident at the end of Monday's rain-delayed NASCAR Sprint Cup race there, when he and Greg Biffle engaged in a war of words over who was to blame for a last-lap accident involving Biffle's teammate, David Ragan.
Six additional Mazdas and Banner Racing, which scored the Montreal GT class win last year with John Edwards and Scott Russell in a Corvette, complete the 13-car field in class. Banner now campaigns a Camaro GT.R.
With nine DP entrants, Montreal features the smallest field of the season at 22 total cars.
• The Grand-Am Rolex Series Montreal 200 goes green at 11:15 a.m. EST, Saturday, Aug. 20, and airs on a same-day delay on SPEED at 7 p.m. EST.