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2014 After Watkins Glen
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1 Christian Fittipaldi 31
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20 John Martin 14

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2 Ford 34
3 Nissan 28
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5 Mazda 18
Gurney outduels Papis for Rolex win in Mexico

Grand-Am endurance race in Mexico City
Saturday, March 03, 2007

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Winning No. 99 Gainsco Pontiac of Gurney and Fogarty

Mexico City, Mexico.-- In a thrilling battle over the last 12 laps of the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series Mexico City 400k, Alex Gurney claimed the lead from Max Papis for the final time with slightly more than two laps to go to claim a hard-earned first Rolex Series victory for himself, co-driver Jon Fogarty and the No. 99 GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing Pontiac Riley team.

After taking over the No. 99 machine from Fogarty during a Lap 60 pit stop, Gurney found himself trailing Papis in the No. 75 Krohn Racing Pontiac Riley by as many as 12 seconds. Without the benefit of a full-course caution, Gurney managed to chip away at Papis' lead over his stint and finally caught up to the Italian within 15 laps of the checkered flag.

Taking advantage of slower traffic that bottled up Papis, Gurney took the lead with a door-banging pass in Turn 6 on Lap 88 of the 100-lap event. However, the 2004 Daytona Prototype co-champion quickly took up the chase and would not go away quietly. When Gurney was slowed by lapped traffic coming onto the front straight with five laps remaining, Papis pounced on the opportunity and won a drag race with Gurney to retake the lead.

Just as Papis had done, however, Gurney also kept the pressure on for a fight to the finish. On Lap 97, Papis spun off course in Turn 5, handing the lead to Gurney, who went on to win by 7.359 seconds. The maiden Rolex Series victory for Gurney came in his 22nd start on the same circuit where his father, legendary racer Dan Gurney, won a Formula 1 race in 1964. Gurney led a total of 11 laps.

"Jon handed the car to me in second so we knew we had a chance," said Gurney. "The track was working well at the beginning of my stint, but after I got by Max, I though I was going to pull away. Max was super-quick after that, and when we caught the GT car in Turn 8 and he got by, it was like a dagger in my heart. Unfortunately for him but lucky for us, he had a little problem a few laps later, and we were able to get back by. I couldn't be happier for (team owner) Bob Stallings, GAINSCO and the whole team for how hard they work."

It was also the first Rolex Series victory for Fogarty, who made 13 previous Rolex Series starts before the Mexico City 400k. Fogarty ran the bulk of his stint in second position, but took over the lead for three laps when polesitter Colin Braun pitted before him.

"On the start, Colin and I got away pretty good," said Fogarty. "I wasn't able to close the gap with him, so we decided to conserve the fuel a bit. With that, we could give Alex the car with fresher tires. The track is tough, but the race was very enjoyable. It was a wild race and I let Alex do all the dirty work. Hopefully, wins will come more frequently from now on."

Braun and Papis combined to lead a race-high 86 laps. After starting from the pole position, Braun led throughout his 56-lap stint before turning the car over to Papis. It was Braun's second consecutive second-place result in Mexico City, as the 18-year-old claimed his first-ever Rolex Series podium last year.

"It's great to get another podium here," Braun said. "The Krohn car was great all day. I think Max did a wonderful job. Everything was pretty smooth and the team had the car setup pretty good. I wish we could've won, but that's racing."

Papis led 30 laps en route to his first Rolex Series podium result since a third-place performance in the 2005 Brumos Porsche 250 at Daytona International Speedway. The Italian is in his first full season of Rolex Series competition since he shared the 2004 Daytona Prototype championship with Scott Pruett.

"The Krohn Racing car was hitting the mark every time," said Papis. "The problem we ran into was that we hit traffic at the wrong time. I saw Alex coming and couldn't do anything. When I saw the three-wide in Turn 8, I thought it was my opportunity and was able to get by him. I feel bad for Colin and the Krohn team for my mistake, but I want to congratulate the (No.) 99 guys for a job well done."

Finishing third were Jan Magnussen and Max Angelelli in the No. 10 SunTrust Pontiac Riley. Magnussen ran inside the top five throughout the first 31 laps before making contact with the rear of Bill Auberlen's No. 05 Luggage Express Sigalsport BMW Riley. Magnussen was subsequently given a drive-through penalty for what officials determined to be avoidable contact.

While the No. 10 machine only lost one position as a result of the penalty, Magnussen lost considerable track position. He turned the car over to Angelelli on Lap 48, and the Italian brought the car home third. It was the 10th consecutive race that Angelelli and Magnussen finished inside the top 10 as co-drivers, and also completed a top-three sweep for Pontiac.

"We had a very good start," Magnussen said. "I was just trying to maintain the pace of the (No.) 05 car as the leaders were pulling away a little bit. I had an issue coming out of Turn 4 and unfortunately made contact with him. It didn't really help our cause today, but Max did a really good job in the car and the race was good for the points."

"It was a difficult race for me without power steering," added Angelelli. "Grand-Am is a very tough series. You have to be flat-out the whole time to keep up with the top guys. For us, it was a good finish for the championship and the SunTrust team did another good job today."

With a fourth-place finish in the Mexico City 400k, Pruett retained the Daytona Prototype points lead by just three points, 63-60, over Magnussen and Angelelli. Pruett shared the No. 01 TELMEX Chip Ganassi Racing Lexus Riley for the first time at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez with Mexico City native Memo Rojas, who started third.

Rojas dropped back a few positions in the running order during the early stages of the race but gradually battled his way back toward the front before handing the controls to Pruett on Lap 52. Pruett assumed fourth place following the round of pit stops and maintained that position through the finish.

Patrick Long and Jörg Bergmeister completed the top five in the No. 23 Ruby Tuesday Championship Racing Team Porsche Crawford, finishing one lap behind the race winners. The result came on a weekend in which the Ruby Tuesday team had to make substantial repairs on the car's front suspension after a crash in Thursday practice by Bergmeister.

Results

Pos Num Class CPos Team Drivers Car Laps Gap
1. 99 DP 1 Bob Stallings Racing Fogarty/ Gurney Pontiac Riley 100 0.000
2. 75 DP 2 Krohn Racing Braun/ Papis Pontiac Riley 100 7.359
3. 10 DP 3 SunTrust Racing Angelellii/ Magnussen/ Taylor Pontiac Riley 100 59.462
4. 01 DP 4 Chip Ganassi Racing Pruett/ Rojas Lexus Riley 100 1:25.067
5. 23 DP 5 Alex Job Racing Long/ Bergmeister Porsche Crawford 99 1 lap
6. 58 DP 6 Brumos Porsche Donohue/ Law Porsche Riley 99 1 lap
7. 61 DP 7 AIM Autosport Wilkins/ Frisselle Lexus Riley 99 1 lap
8. 76 DP 8 Krohn Racing Krohn/ Jonsson Pontiac Riley 99 1 lap
9. 60 DP 9 Michael Shank Racing Patterson/ Negri Jr Lexus Riley 98 2 laps
10. 6 DP 10 Michael Shank Racing Zogaib/ James Lexus Riley 98 2 laps
11. 11 DP 11 SAMAX Motorsports Duno/ Carpentier Pontiac Riley 98 2 laps
12. 77 DP 12 Doran Racing Gidley/ Goeters Ford Doran 98 2 laps
13. 05 DP 13 Team Sigalsport BMW Auberlen/ Alhadeff BMW Riley 98 2 laps
14. 91 DP 14 Matthews Motorsports Matthews/ Goossens Pontiac Riley 97 3 laps
15. 3 DP 15 Southard Motorsports Lewis/ Ruhlman Lexus Riley 97 3 laps
16. 19 DP 16 Finlay Motorsports Finlay/ Valiante Ford Crawford 97 3 laps
17. 70 GT 1 SpeedSource Tremblay/ Ham/ Haskell Mazda RX-8 92 8 laps
18. 85 GT 2 Farnbacher Loles Motorsports Farnbacher/ Keen Porsche GT3 Cup 91 9 laps
19. 69 GT 3 SpeedSource Assentato/ Longhi Mazda RX-8 91 9 laps
20. 87 GT 4 Farnbacher Loles Motorsports Miller/ Werner Porsche GT3 Cup 91 9 laps
21. 72 GT 5 Tafel Racing Swartzbaugh/ Davis Porsche GT3 Cup 91 9 laps
22. 17 GT 6 Doncaster Racing Wilkins/ Lacey Porsche GT3 Cup 91 9 laps
23. 74 GT 7 Tafel Racing Lux/ Henzler Porsche GT3 Cup 91 9 laps
24. 66 GT 8 TRG Lally/ Valentine Porsche GT3 Cup 90 10 laps
25. 57 GT 9 Stevenson Motorsports Cicero/ Bunting Corvette 90 10 laps
26. 07 GT 10 Banner Racing Edwards/ Collins Pontiac GXP.R 90 10 laps
27. 67 GT 11 TRG Pumpelly/ Schroeder Porsche GT3 Cup 90 10 laps
28. 22 GT 12 Alegra Motorsports de Quesada/ Dumoulin Porsche GT3 Cup 89 11 laps
29. 15 GT 13 Blackforest Motorsports Nastasi/ Tagliani Mustang Cobra GT 89 11 laps
30. 06 GT 14 Banner Racing Reese/ Lewis Jr Pontiac GXP 88 12 laps
31. 21 GT 15 Matt Connolly Motorsports Connolly/ Workman BMW M3 87 13 laps
32. 81 GT 16 Synergy Racing Huisman/ Biskup Porsche GT3 Cup 85 15 laps
33. 43 GT 17 Team Sahlen nnamaker/ Nonnamaker Corvette 67 33 laps
34. 24 GT 18 Matt Connolly Motorsports Lewis/ Montano BMW M3 64 36 laps
35. 39 DP 17 Cheever Racing Fittipaldi/ Brix/ Cheever Jr Porsche Fabcar 51 49 laps
36. 42 GT 19 Team Sahlen Sahlen/ Nonnamaker Corvette 22 78 laps
37. 59 DP 18 Brumos Porsche Haywood/ France Porsche Riley 20 80 laps
38. 41 GT 20 Team Sahlen Sahlen/ Nonnamaker Pontiac GTO 4 96 laps

Grand-Am

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