Grand Am Prototype - Auto Insurance Chevy Leads And Scores Second-Straight Podium
ELKHART LAKE, June 25, 2011: GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing, and drivers Alex Gurney and Jon Fogarty, finished second Saturday in the Rolex Sports Car Series 250 Driven by VISITFLORIDA.com at Road America to score the team’s second-consecutive podium finish in GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series Daytona Prototype competition.
Fogarty took the lead from his outside front row starting spot at the drop of the green flag and joined Gurney in keeping the No. 99 GAINSCO Auto Insurance Chevrolet Riley in a position to win throughout the two-hour timed race. Fogarty pitted with just over 45 minutes remaining and handed the No. 99 over to Gurney who combined a fast out lap with some great GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing pit work to stay in second place.
“A good result for our team,” Gurney said. “As soon as I got in it was pretty straight forward. We just managed to beat the 10, I was going into Turn 1 and he was coming out of the pits, so we are pretty happy about that. I just tried to put down some good laps without leaning on the rear tires but by the end of the stint I was just losing the rears too much. It was just really tough to hold on to, but we were best off the rest, so a good result today.”
Gurney crossed the finish line after the race-winning No. 01 TELMEX/Chip Ganassi Racing BMW Riley while the No. 10 SunTrust Chevrolet Dallara finished third.
Fogarty led the opening six laps before pitting when the race was slowed for a 51-minute full course caution incident for lengthy track repairs after two GT entries came together in Turn 1.
“I was pretty happy with the car,” Fogarty said. “With the incident I spent a lot of time under yellow, but we had a good balance, all in all, and really just tried to maintain that balance and try not to abuse it too much. Good race, I am happy for the team, but obviously we wanted one spot better. I am pleased, we seem to have found a bit more pace relative to the beginning of the season, and I am just really happy about that and carrying it for the remainder of the season.”
Although GAINSCO also finished second in April’s race at Barber Motorsports Park, and third one race ago in the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen, all on the team considered Road America their best performance of the season to date.
“We had a little better pace at Watkins but we were still not really challenging these guys,” Gurney said. “Today we were another step better, we did test a day after the six-hour race and we did find something, really one little tweak, a change on the car that we should have done a long time ago. I think it is something we could have done at earlier races. It is something that is going to transfer over to the rest of the tracks so we should be a lot more competitive in the second half here.”
The No. 99 GAINSCO Auto Insurance Chevrolet Riley remains fifth in the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series Daytona Prototype Team Championship standings but has made up some solid ground on the competition. The No. 99 squad now has 185 points, just two points behind fourth place and only three points shy of third. The No. 10 is 19 points ahead of GAINSCO in second while the No. 01 has maintained its comfortable championship lead with 228 points.