Bill Auberlen and Paul Dalla Lana recovered from an early setback to win the GT class in the Rolex Series race at the Circuit of the Americas in their Turner Motorsport M3 while Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas finished third overall and third in the Daytona prototype class in their Ganassi Riley-BMW.
After Dalla Lana spun early in the race the Turner #94 M3 returned to the track well back in the GT class pack. It was not a contender until Auberlen moved up after a full-course yellow that ended with thirty minutes left in the race. He battled with Andy Lally in his Porsche, moving up to second behind the leading Ferrari driven by Alessandro Balzan and Alessandro Pier Guidi. But Pier Guidi was penalized for contact with Lally just five minutes before the end of the race; while he crossed the finish line first, Auberlen and Dalla Lana were awarded the win.
It was the second time that Auberlen and Dalla Lana had won twice in one day in Grand-Am; they had done it before at Homestead in 2011.
Memo Rojas took the overall lead at the start of the race and led for much of his stint. When Pruett took over he raced out of the pits alongside Max Angelelli in his Corvette DP. Pruett launched the car into the air as he ran over a curb when he tried to get by Angelelli. The nose piece flew off the car, sending Pruett back to the pits for repairs. The Ganassi team got a new nose on the car quickly, making generous use of duct tape. They would return later under yellow for more taping. Still Pruett, who had returned to the track in tenth position after the incident, was able to move into contention for the lead. Pruett battled with Alex Gurney in the Gainsco Corvette DP that he shared with Jon Fogarty and with Ryan Dalziel in the Starworks Riley-Ford that he shared with Alex Popow. In the end, Pruett fell to third after getting stuck behind a GT car. Gurney and Fogarty won, with Dalziel and Popow second.
The series runs again at Barber Motorsports Park on April 6.—Brian S. Morgan
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