Max Angelelli and Ricky Taylor survived the heavy rains at Homestead-Miami to win the Daytona Prototype class of the 2012 Rolex Series Grand Prix of Miami. (Brian Cleary)
Ricky Taylor and Max Angelelli won Sunday’s rain-shortened Grand Prix of Miami, while Jeff Segal and Emil Assentato won in GT to score the first victory for the new Ferrari 458 Italia Grand Am.
Taylor managed to dodge an incident between race leader Richard Westbrook and Enzo Potolicchio to move from third to first on lap 28, and then led the final 25 of the 54 laps to give the team its 19th Daytona Prototype victory.
Steady rain fell throughout the event. Conditions continued to deteriorate, leading race officials to halt the event 52 minutes short of the scheduled distance (2 hours, 45 minutes).
It was the first victory of the season for Taylor and Angelelli in the No. 10 SunTrust Corvette DP. Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas finished second in the No. 01 TELMEX BMW/Riley, followed by David Donohue and Darren Law in the No. 5 Action Express Racing Corvette DP.
Segal took the GT lead on lap 41, shortly before what proved to be the final caution period of the race. Dane Cameron and Wayne Nonnamaker took second in the No. 42 Team Sahlen’s Mazda RX-8, followed by Robin Liddell and Ronnie Bremer in the No. 57 Stevenson Auto Group Chevrolet Camaro.
DP 1st: Ricky Taylor and Max Angelelli, No. 10 SunTrust Corvette DP
DP 2nd: Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas, No. 01 TELMEX BMW/Riley
DP 3rd: Darren Law and David Donohue, No. 5 Action Express Racing Corvette DP
GT 1st: Jeff Segal and Emil Assentato, No. 69 AIM Autosport Team FXDD Ferrari 458 Italia Grand Am GT 2nd: Dane Cameron and Wayne Nonnamaker, No. 42 TheRaceSite.com Mazda RX-8
GT 3rd: Robin Liddell and Ronnie Bremer, No. 57 Stevenson Auto Group Chevrolet Camaro
Margin of Victory: Under caution
Average Speed: 65.857 mph
Cautions: Three for 24 laps
The Points (Unofficial)
DP: Scott Pruett/Memo Rojas, 87; Enzo Potolicchio/Ryan Dalziel and Alex Popow/Lucas Luhr, 85; Antonio Garcia/Richard Westbrook, 84; Ozz Negri/John Pew, 82.
GT: Jeff Segal/Emil Assentato, 90; Andy Lally/John Potter, 87; Leh Keen/Andrew Davis, 85; Robin Liddell/Ronnie Bremer, 82; Steven Bertheau/Spencer Pumpelly, 81.
Ø The No. 01 TELMEX BMW/Riley of Memo Rojas and Scott Pruett lost its windshield wiper early in the race. The drivers went on to finish second – ending a two-year winning streak in the event – but managed to take the DP points lead for the first time this season.
Ø Jon Fogarty experienced problems in the early going, when the engine of the No. 99 GAINSCO Auto Insurance Corvette DP caught fire. The car was retired after completing only 16 laps. The two-time DP champions also had problems at the season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona, finishing 13th.
Ø Rolex 24 At Daytona GT winners Magnus Racing experienced engine troubles for the second consecutive event when Andy Lally lost an engine in the No. 44 Porsche GT3 during Thursday’s test day. It was the same engine that was rebuilt after having problems in practice at Barber Motorsports Park. The team borrowed a four-liter engine from Brumos Racing for the event. At Barber, the team went back to its 3.8-liter engine that it used in the Rolex 24.
Ø With steady rain late Saturday morning during the scheduled time for qualifying, the session was cancelled and the starting grid was set by the point standings. That put DP point leader Enzo Potolicchio on the DP pole in the No. 8 Starworks Motorsport Ford/Riley. John Potter led the GT field in the No. 44 Magnus Racing Porsche GT3.
Ø NASCAR Sprint Cup Series regular Juan Pablo Montoya was a spectator at the event, giving his son Sebastian a tour of the Rolex Series paddock on Sunday morning. Montoya is a five-time competitor in the Rolex 24 At Daytona, winning with TELMEX Target Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates in 2007 and 2008.
Ø 3 – Number of times Team Sahlen finished second in GT over last two seasons
Ø 9 – Starting position for race-winning No. 10 SunTrust Corvette DP
Ø 15 – GT laps led by Andrew Davis
Ø 17 – Cars finishing on lead lap
Ø 26 – Race-leading DP laps led by Ricky Taylor
Ø 97.340 – Speed in mph of fastest race lap recorded by Richard Westbrook
Ø “Every year we come here, our car doesn’t normally suit this track. But our team worked really hard for this race and our car was really strong, both in wet and even in dry conditions. All I had to do today was avoid the crash in Turn 2 and then not crash myself.” Ricky Taylor, No. 10 SunTrust Corvette DP
Ø “It was a great day for us. We’ve put a lot of hard work into this program getting the new Ferrari up to speed. Wet or dry, we were confident we would be up near the front. Now I hope we can continue our momentum in the upcoming races. We’re hoping that this is the start of a good run this season.” Jeff Segal, No. 69 AIM Autosport Team FXDD Ferrari 458 Italia
Ø “It was tough, but better than I expected. We lost our windshield wiper early in the race. I was OK when I was on my own, but it was difficult to see when I was around other cars. Keeping the car on the road without a wiper was a challenge.” Memo Rojas, No. 01 TELMEX/Target BMW/Riley
Ø “My biggest issue was visibility. The windshield was fogging up, and it was tough to see with all the spray coming off the other cars.” John Pew, No. 60 LiveOn Ford/Riley
Ø “That was one of the craziest things I’ve ever done – insane. At least the car was running well. The SpeedSource crew did a fantastic job giving me a car that was very drivable under these conditions. That made it easier for me. But some of those puddles would have been tough in an SUV. Today was one of those days when I wished I was driving my Mazda CX-5 instead of our RX-8.” Sylvain Tremblay, No. 70 Mazdaspeed/Modspace/Castrol Mazda RX-8
Ø “We had a problem right at the end of morning practice, but I guess it’s a good thing it happened now and not two laps into the race. A belt came off the engine and it tightened up, so we changed engines.” Paul Edwards, No. 88 Autohaus Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro, talking about problems encountered in Sunday morning’s practice
Ø “Winning at Barber took off the pressure of getting the team’s first victory. But that’s all forgotten now. We’re putting our heads down and finding a good race car for this race. We’ll take a look at the points after the race.” Richard Westbrook, No. 90 Spirit of Daytona Corvette DP
Round 4 of the 2012 Rolex Series season will be the Global Barter 250 presented by Susan G. Komen for the Cure on Sunday, May 13, at New Jersey Motorsports Park in Millville, N.J.