Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas in their Dinan V8-powered Ganassi Racing Riley-BMW finished seventh in the Rolex Series season finale at Lime Rock on Saturday, winning their third consecutive Daytona Prototype championship. They needed to finish ninth to secure the title; they ran a conservative race to bring the championship home, overcoming a collision with the Starworks Riley-Ford driven by Billy Johnson that damaged the bodywork on the right rear of their car. Johnson received a penalty for the incident.
The title came in a season of consistent finishes for the Ganassi team, with just two overall wins in the thirteen race Rolex Series, including one at Road America and another in Montreal.
Scott Pruett said, “I just couldn’t be happier for TELMEX and BMW and the whole Ganassi organization. It’s just been an incredibly difficult and challenging season. We’ve had to really dig deep with all the experience on the team, knowing we didn’t have the fastest car many times during this whole year but scrapped to get every point that we could in order to try and put ourselves in good position for the championship.”
A trio of Corvette DPs swept the podium, with SunTrust’s Max Angelelli and Ricky Taylor winning, Spirit of Daytona’s Richard Westbrook and Antonio Garcia finishing second, and Gainsco’s Alex Gurney and Jon Fogarty finishing third.
The GT class win went to Camaro racers Robin Liddell and John Edwards, who assumed the lead when Andy Lally slowed and pitted his Magnus Racing Porsche with just two minutes left in the race. It was a difficult race for the Turner Motorsport M3s. The #93 M3 driven by Michael Marsal and Will Turner finished fourteenth in class after a long stop to remove a broken splitter, and the #94 car of Bill Auberlen and Paul Dalla Lana exited the race after a contact incident with two other cars.
Earlier on Saturday Bryan Sellers and Mark Boden in their Fall-Line M3 finished second in the Continental Tire Sports Car Championship Grand Sport class finale. Matt Plumb and Nick Longhi won the race in their Rum Bum Porsche. There were five M3s in the top ten: Rum Bum’s M3, retired earlier in the season but resurrected for this race and driven by Billy Johnson and Jeff Segal, finished fifth; Turner Motorsport’s #97 M3 piloted by Michael Marsal and Boris Said finished seventh; Fall-Line’s Charles Espenlaub and Charles Putman finished eighth; Turner’s #96 car, with Bill Auberlen and Don Salama at the controls, finished ninth; and Automatic Racing’s Rob Ecklin and Steven Philips finished tenth.
While Plumb and Longhi won the race, they were not awarded the drivers’ points that would have given them the GS championship. Longhi ran for 28 minutes, two short of the 30 required to score points, and Plumb, who was entered in both Rum Bum’s Porsche and M3, did not the start the race in either car. While the rules permit an entry in two cars, the driver must designate and start the race in the car in which he plans to score points. As a result, the drivers’ title went to Porsche racers David Empringham and John Farano. For more on their reaction and the GS championship, see the story here.—Brian S. Morgan
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