SunTrust Wins, Pruett & Rojas Are Champs
Max Angelelli and Ricky Taylor scored their third consecutive Lime Rock Park race victory and Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas wrapped up their third consecutive Daytona Prototype championship in Saturday’s Rolex Series season finale in the Grand-Am Championship Weekend at Lime Rock Park presented by BMW.
Angelelli and Taylor combined to lead a race-high 92 laps in the No. 10 SunTrust Corvette DP, including the last 50 with Taylor at the wheel. The second-generation racer held off a late charge from Antonio Garcia, crossing the stripe .334 second ahead to score his and Angelelli’s third victory of the season.
“We really transformed the car after qualifying,” said Taylor. “I was sitting there at the beginning of the race hoping for a podium, to be honest. As soon as I saw Max on that restart at the beginning, and he was flying, at that point, I knew we had a car that could possibly win the race.”
Second place went to Garcia and polesitter Richard Westbrook in the No. 90 Spirit of Daytona Corvette DP, with Alex Gurney and Jon Fogarty third in the No. 99 GAINSCO Auto Insurance Corvette DP.
It is the third victory of the 2012 season for Angelelli and Taylor, and their third consecutive win at Lime Rock Park where the pair has led an amazing 340 out of 524 possible laps. The duo jumped from ninth to fifth in the Rolex DP final team standings.
Today’s win also is the third victory of the season for Liddell and Edwards, which put them solidly second in the final GT team standings. It is the second consecutive Lime Rock win for Liddell and Stevenson Motorsports.
This is the eighth win of the season for the Corvette Daytona Prototype, and the fourth win for the Camaro GT.R in Rolex Series competition.
"Congratulations to No. 10 SunTrust Racing Corvette Daytona Prototype, and the No. 57 Stevenson Motorsports Camaro GT.R on winning today's GRAND-AM Rolex Series season finale at Lime Rock Park,” said Jim Lutz, Chevrolet Racing Program Manager, GRAND-AM Road Racing. “It was an exciting race with close action from the green flag to the checkered. Having an all-Corvette Daytona Prototype podium is a tremendous way to end the season and cap-off the Engine Manufacturers' Championship. It was a strong finish to the season for the No. 57 Stevenson Motorsports Camaro GT.R as well to solidify their second place finish in the GT team standings. I am extremely proud of the dedication and determination of all of our teams this season."
Taylor took the lead the final time on lap 118 of the 167-lap race. The SunTrust pair led 92 laps, and in total, Corvette Daytona Prototype drivers led 156 laps during the 2.75-hour race on the 1.5-mile, seven turn road course.
“The team worked so hard all year, said Taylor from Victory Lane. “They gave us great cars. At times I was doubting myself, but Max and the whole team stood behind me. This is an unbelievable feeling. And I can’t believe it.”
Angelelli added: “He (Taylor) did well; not just this weekend, but all season long. So it’s great. I’m very happy for him. I’m very happy for Wayne (Taylor) and for everybody.”
“It took me a stint to really get my head into it,” said Liddell. “And actually feel like I’d gained the confidence I could start pushing the car to proper pace. But it all worked out pretty well in the end, obviously. And another great result for the guys at Stevenson Motorsports and Chevrolet with the Camaro. It was an absolutely brilliant, flawless season for these guys. They’ve done such a great job."
“Robin really did a great job today," Edwards added. “This track, with as much green-running as we had, can really take its toll on you. It's all about getting in a rhythm and staying there. And it's easy to break that. He really did a great job. Stevenson (Motorsports) has been executing well all year and we won Lime Rock! The team has won it two years in a row, and I won it with Adam Christodoulou the year before. So, I've got a lot of good memories at this place and hopefully we'll come back and repeat next year."
Filling out the all-Corvette DP podium were the No. 90 Spirit of Daytona Racing Corvette DP driven by Antonio Garcia and Richard Westbrook followed by the No. 99 GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing Corvette DP with Alex Gurney and Jon Fogarty handling the driving duties.
In the final Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge race of the season, the Stevenson Motorsports No. 9 Camaro GS.R finished fourth, and moved to third in the final team standings. The finish moved driver Matt Bell to second in the final driver points, and co-driver John Edwards finished 10th after missing two races early in the season due to an injury.
Lutz concluded by saying: "Stevenson Motorsports also had a strong showing in the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge race today, with the No. 9 Camaro GS.R finishing fourth. The finish moved them to third in the team standings, and move Matt Bell to second in the driver standings. Congratulations to all our team owners, crews and drivers on a great season."
Team Chevy in the GRAND-AM Road Racing Series will start the 2013 season at the January 26-27, 2013 running of the 51st Rolex 24 Hour at Daytona International Speedway.