Spirit of Daytona took its series-leading third Daytona Prototype win of the year in the second-to-last race of the Grand-Am Rolex Series season at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. The pair of Antonio Garcia and Richard Westbrook brought the Corvette DP its first win since Action Express Racing won the Sahlen's Six Hours at the Glen at the start of July.
“We had a tricky car but we worked on it,” said Westbrook. “We've been good, we really needed a break. We just needed a trouble free weekend, and that's what we got.”
Garcia inherited the lead for the final time once fellow Corvette DP driver Alex Gurney pitted for a splash and dash for fuel in the last 10 minutes of the two-hour, 45-minute race. Gurney was seeking to deliver the GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing squad its first win of the season and a win in its 99th series start since its debut in 2005 with its trademark No. 99 “Red Dragon.”
Gurney and Jon Fogarty still finished second after emerging ahead of Starworks' Motorsport Ryan Dalziel and Alex Tagliani. With Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas (TELMEX Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates) in sixth this race, Dalziel closed the DP title gap to 13 points heading into the season finale at Lime Rock Park at Sept. 29.
GT saw Jeff Segal and Emil Assentato wrap the class championship in their AIM Autosport Team FXDD Ferrari 458, their second career Grand-Am title (2010, SpeedSource Mazda RX-8) with a now unassailable 39-point lead over Robin Liddell.
Segal and Assentato finished second in the race to a Mazda, at Mazda Raceway. The Sahlen's squad took a popular first win of the year with its RX-8 and drivers Dane Cameron and Wayne Nonnamaker. Cameron, from nearby Sonoma, was emotional but relieved after an overdue win.
“I have no words,” he said. “We were fast all weekend. We were up front all day. There's no words man – we won at home!”
Magnus Racing got the final spot on the GT podium with Andy Lally and John Potter in its Porsche GT3 Cup, ahead of series debutantes and class polesitters Scuderia Corsa (Olivier Beretta, Alessandro Balzan) in a Ferrari 458 and another guest Ferrari in the hands of Extreme Speed Motorsports with California drivers Johannes van Overbeek and Mike Hedlund at the wheel.
The series wraps the season at Lime Rock Park on Sept. 29.