Scott Pruett held off a late charge by David Donohue and held on to win Saturday's Grand Prix of Miami, Round 2 of the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series. Pruett and Memo Rojas scored their second victory in three years at Homestead-Miami Speedway in the No. 01 TELMEX Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates BMW Riley, holding off the No. 59 Brumos Porsche Riley of Donohue and pole winner Darren Law by 0.255sec.
"I sure didn't want to see that last caution, but I was happy for the fans," Pruett said after scoring his 23rd Rolex Series overall victory. "This is tough competition. You never know what's going to happen until the checkered flag falls. It was pretty exciting in my seat, that's for sure."
Donohue was able to pull up to the back of Pruett several times in the closing laps, but was unable to get by. Pruett managed to weave through GT traffic in the infield on the final lap, and maintained the lead through the superspeedway banking.
Alex Gurney finished third in the No. 99 GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing Chevrolet Riley, teamed with Jon Fogarty. Burt Frisselle finished fourth in the No. 61 AIM Autosport/Pacific Mobile Ford Riley, followed by Ryan Dalziel/Mike Forest in the debut of the No. 8 Starworks BMW Riley, the leading Daytona Prototype Pro-Am driver in the event.
A turning point came on lap 81 of the two-hour, 45-minute race. The cockpit of the No. 30 Racers Edge Motorsports Mazda RX-8 exploded into flames, and Jordan Taylor came to a stop in the middle of pit road. The blaze was quickly extinguished and the race remained under green, but Taylor's car was stopped at the center of the pit lane when Darren Law pitted in the race-leading No. 59 Brumos Racing Porsche Riley.
"There was a car on fire, there were people on pit lane, and I almost came to a stop," Law explained. "I didn't want to hit anybody. It's unfortunate, because I lost all of the gap I had gained. Up until then, I was feeling really, really good."
Donohue replaced Law on the ensuing pit stop. Pruett took the lead in the exchange and led the rest of the way.
Pruett and Rojas averaged 107.196mph, completing 129 laps on the 2.3-mile circuit. The race remained caution-free until lap 115, for debris in turns four and eight. Law led a race-high 71 laps, followed by Pruett with 48. Other race leaders included Fogarty, who led the opening six laps, and Ryan Hunter-Reay, who led two laps in the No. 95 Level 5 Motorsports BMW Riley.
Rolex 24 At Daytona winners Terry Borcheller and Ryan Dalziel each led one lap in different cars. Borcheller was running in contention in the Daytona-winning No. 9 Action Express Racing Porsche Riley.Joao Barbosa, the 2009 Homestead winner seeking his third consecutive Rolex Series victory, went behind the wall early in his shift to replace the heat exchanger.
Max Angelelli and Ricky Taylor finished sixth in the No. 10 SunTrust Racing Ford Dallara. Rounding out the top 10 were Antonio Garcia and Buddy Rice in the No. 90 Spirit of Daytona Porsche Coyote; John Pew and Ozz Negri in the Michael Shank Racing No. 60 Crown Royal XR Ford Riley; Memo Gidley and Dion von Moltke in the No. 77 Doran Racing Ford Dallara; Michael Valiante and Brian Frisselle in the No. 6 Michael Shank Racing Ford Riley.
Frisselle lost a lap after contact with Rojas on the first turn of the first lap, costing the third-fastest qualifiers a chance at a podium finish.
Scott Tucker drove in two Daytona Prototypes fielded by Level 5 Motorsports. He started and finished 11th in the team's No. 55, turning the car over to Christophe Bouchut. He then finished 14th in the No. 95 started by Hunter-Reay.
The next race for the Rolex Series will be the April 10 Porsche 250 at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Ala.