GRAND-AM Cooldown Lap: Mid-Ohio
Diamond Cellar Classic
Rolex Sports Car Series
Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge
Saturday, June 15, 2013
Joao Barbosa and Christian Fittipaldi teamed to win Saturday’s Diamond Cellar Classic at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, giving the No. 5 Action Express Racing Corvette Daytona Prototype its first Rolex Series victory of the season.
Barbosa passed Richard Westbrook for the lead with less than 30 minutes remaining. Until that point, Westbrook and co-driver Ricky Taylor dominated the event in the No. 90 Spirit of Daytona Corvette. Westbrook lost second on a spin, with Taylor returning to the race to finish ninth.
Defending race winner Michael Valiante also had a strong race in the No. 3 8Star Motorsports Corvette DP started by Enzo Potoliccho, finishing second, 1.427 seconds back, followed by the No. 2 Starworks with Alex Popow Ford/Riley of Ryan Dalziel and Alex Popow.
Max Angelelli and Jordan Taylor finished sixth in the No. 10 Velocity Worldwide Corvette DP, managing to retain a one-point lead over Alex Gurney and Jon Fogarty in the standings, with Dalziel and Popow another point back.
A late-race penalty helped Bill Auberlen and Paul Dalla Lana to their second GT victory of the season in the No. 94 Turner Motorsport BMW M3. Auberlen was pressured down the stretch by Eric Curran, driving the No. 31 Marsh Racing Corvette started by Boris Said. The two made contact with two laps remaining. Auberlen spun out of the lead, but Curran was assessed a one-minute, 24-second penalty that dropped them to a fourth-place finish. Andy Lally and John Potter took the GT point lead by finishing second in the No. 44 Magnus Racing Porsche.
Sylvain Tremblay and Tom Long took the first GX victory for the No. 70 SpeedSource Mazda 6, with the pair leading 96 of the 100 laps.
The Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge race was a barn burner in both classes. A late caution set up a two-lap sprint to the checkered flag, with Matt Plumb and Tom Dyer holding on to win in Grand Sport and Street Tuner.
Rolex Series Stats
DP 1st: Christian Fittipaldi/Joao Barbosa, No. 5 Action Express Racing Corvette DP
DP 2nd: Enzo Potolicchio/Michael Valiante, No. 3 8Star Motorsports Corvette DP
DP 3rd: Alex Popow/Ryan Dalziel, No. 2 Starworks with Alex Popow Ford/Riley
GT 1st: Paul Dalla Lana/Bill Auberlen, No. 94 Turner Motorsport BMW M3
GT 2nd: John Potter/Andy Lally, No. 44 Magnus Racing Porsche GT3
GT 3rd: Emil Assentato/Anthony Lazzaro, No. 69 AIM Autosport Team FXDD Ferrari 458
GX 1st: Tom Long/Sylvain Tremblay, No. 70 Mazdaspeed/SpeedSource Mazda 6
GX 2nd: Jim Norman/Spencer Pumpelly, No. 38 BGB Motorsports Porsche Cayman
GX 3rd: Tristan Nunez/Joel Miller, No. 00 Visit Florida Racing/SpeedSource Mazda 6
Margin of Victory: 1.427 seconds (DP); 22.269 seconds (GT); 34.830 (GX)
Average Speed: 90.311 mph (DP); 85.673 mph (GT); 82.049 mph (GX)
Cautions: 3 for 16 laps
Rolex Series Points (Unofficial)
DP: Max Angelelli/Jordan Taylor, 173; Alex Gurney/Jon Fogarty, 172; Ryan Dalziel/Alex Popow, 171; Christian Fittipaldi, 155; Joao Barbosa, 153; Richard Westbrook/Ricky Taylor, 148; Scott Pruett/Memo Rojas, 148.
GT: Andy Lally/John Potter, 169; Alessandro Balzan, 166; Robin Liddell/John Edwards, 158; Paul Dalla Lana, 157; Emil Assentato/Anthony Lazzaro, 155; Patrick Lindsey/Patrick Long, 150.
GX: Jim Norman, 201; Joel Miller, 187; Sylvain Tremblay/Tom Long, 185; Tristan Nunez, 152; Spencer Pumpelly, 134.
Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge: The Stats
GS 1st: Nick Longhi and Matt Plumb, No. 13 Rum Bum Racing Porsche 997
GS 2nd: Paul Dalla Lana and Bill Auberlen, No. 96 Turner Motorsport BMW M3
GS 3rd: Matt Bell and John Edwards, No. 57 Stevenson Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro
ST 1st: Andrew Novich and Tom Dyer, No. 196 RSR Motorsports Honda Civic Si
ST 2nd: Chad Gilsinger and Michael Valiante, No. 93 HART Honda Civic Si
ST 3rd: Kyle Gimple and Ryan Eversley, No. 75 Compass360 Racing Honda Civic Si
Margin of Victory: .592 seconds (GS); .387 seconds (ST)
Average Speed: 74.625 mph (GS); 72.670 mph (ST)
Cautions: Four for 23 laps
CTSCC Points (Unofficial)
GS: Nick Longhi/Matt Plumb, 151; Matt Bell/John Edwards, 140; Jade Buford/Scott Maxwell, 113; David Empringham, 108; Eric Curran/Lawson Aschenbach, 104; Mike McGovern, 102.
ST: Ryan Eversley/Kyle Gimple, 123; Mike LaMarra/Terry Borcheller, 121; Jesse Combs/Jeff Mosing, 114; Andrew Carbonell, 112; Tom Long, 106.
- John Edwards and Robin Liddell were looking for their fourth consecutive GT victory. Edwards won the pole and led the opening 36 laps, with Liddell leading the next 25 circuits after taking over the No. 57 Stevenson Auto Group Chevrolet Camaro. Liddell led an additional two laps before being penalized for avoidable contact after he bumped Jeff Segal’s No. 61 R. Ferri/AIM Motorsport Ferrari 458 exiting the pits – resulting in a 10th-place finish.
- The drive for a fourth consecutive Daytona Prototype title for Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas – diminished by a first-lap incident in the most recent race at Detroit – took another hit when Rojas broke a suspension piece after contact with Michael Valiante’s Corvette DP. Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates – rolling out Telcel sponsorship on the No. 01 BMW/Riley – are now seventh in the championship, 25 points behind leaders Max Angelelli and Jordan Taylor.
- Gustavo Yacaman – currently on probation for his first-lap contact with Memo Rojas at Detroit – had his No. 6 Michael Shank Racing Ford/Riley badly damaged by fire following an incident with Rojas on the seventh lap. Yacaman went to the grass and was able to get back on track, but the excursion resulted in a fire that quickly engulfed the back end of the car.
- Mid-Ohio “Super Sub” Michael Valiante helped 8Star Motorsports to its first Rolex Series podium, joining Enzo Potolicchio in a second-place finish. The team had led six laps coming in to the race, while Valiante managed to run up front for 34 circuits. Last year, Valiante won both the DP and Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge ST classes; Saturday, he finished second in both races.
- Another team with a strong run was the No. 90 Spirit of Daytona Corvette DP. Ricky Taylor took the lead from his brother – pole winner Jordan Taylor in their father’s No. 10 Velocity Worldwide Corvette DP – and led the opening 36 laps. Richard Westbrook then led 17 circuits, but had an off-course excursion through the grass. The incident caused the cockpit to overheat, with Taylor taking over in the closing minutes to wrap up a ninth-place finish.
- Daniel Conway and Brent Mosing were among the drivers making their GRAND-AM debut at Mid-Ohio, with both drivers looking to run for the remainder of the CTSCC season. Conway, 18, joined APR Motorsport upon the recommendation of Enzo Potolicchio, with the Virginian co-driving with Ian Baas in the No. 171. Mosing – the older brother of RACE EPIC/Murillo Racing driver Jeff Mosing – will drive that team’s No. 65 BMW 328i with Tim Probert. … Max Riddle ran his first CTSCC race with Kris Wilson in the No. 140 Invisible Glass Aston Martin Vantage. The Vancouver driver plans to run at least three more races this year – when his rally schedule allows.
- BimmerWorld ran tribute decals in memory of George Kissinger on each of its cars. The long-time team member took ill shortly after Daytona and passed away last month.
- Nine Rolex Series drivers left Mid-Ohio looking to get to France as quickly as possible for next weekend’s 90th anniversary running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Bill Auberlen, Paul Dalla Lana, Ricky Taylor, Richard Westbrook, Ryan Dalziel, Brendon Hartley, Jordan Taylor, Enzo Potolicchio and Patrick Long are hoping to arrive in Paris Monday morning. On-track activities for the endurance classic begin on Wednesday. GRAND-AM founder Jim France will wave the French flag to start the race on Saturday at 9 a.m. ET. Live coverage on SPEED and SPEED.com begins at 8:30 a.m. ET.
- 3 – Career DP victories for Christian Fittipaldi (2004 Rolex 24, 2005 Phoenix)
- 39 – CTSCC race-high laps led by Andrew Novich (1) and Tom Dyer (38)
- 63 – Race-high GT laps led by John Edwards (36) and Robin Liddell (27)
- 89.934 – Speed in MPH of BJ Zacharias’ fastest GS race lap
- 104.777 – Speed in MPH of Brian Frisselle’s fastest DP race lap
- “We’ve been fast all year, but the results haven’t been there. This is where we should be. Today the team did a great job. Our pit stop was awesome, the Corvette was awesome, and Christian drove a great opening stint.” Joao Barbosa, No. 9 Action Express Racing Corvette DP
- “I knew what Jordan (Taylor) faced in the first turn at the start. I was passed by the 90 car there last year by Michael Valiante. I knew the inside line didn’t have much braking grip there. Of course, I didn’t let Jordan know that. Really, both of us just didn’t want to crash. I had so much confidence in the car – the car was really good.” Ricky Taylor, No. 90 Spirit of Daytona Corvette DP
- “The car was really good all the way through. I wasn’t forcing anything. I just took what I could get. Jon Fogarty really got off to a good start. Once I got to second, I was concentrating on keeping the pace of the leader – I didn’t want him to get away.” Christian Fittipaldi, No. 5 Action Express Racing Corvette DP.
- “I feel very good. I still have to build up my muscles, but while I was driving all I was thinking was to go fast. I pushed as hard as I could trying to get by Michael Valiante. I was running third when I pitted for fuel with seven minutes to go, but still finished fourth. I’m very happy to get a great result for Michael Shank and his team at their home track. They had a lot of friends – including our sponsor Roberts Electrical Construction – cheering us on.” Ozz Negri, No. 60 Roberts Electrical Ford/Riley, making his first start since missing four races for surgery for injuries sustained in a mountain biking incident.
- “I had no idea it was the last lap. Bill (Auberlen) was sitting on my tail. I was happy to see the checkered flag, because I didn’t know if I could hold him off again. … We got lucky on fuel. We were on our way to running out, and that last caution literally saved us.” Matt Plumb, No. 13 Rum Bum Racing Porsche 997, GS winner
- “When you get to race with the best, you get to put on a great show. I’ve raced against Michael (Valiante) for many years, from back when we raced go karts. I knew he would race me clean. That battle brought back many memories.” Tom Dyer, No. 196 RSR Motorsports Honda Civic Si, ST winner
GRAND-AM will be back in action in less than two weeks. Round 7 of the 2013 Rolex Sports Car Series season will be the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen at 11 a.m. ET on Sunday, June 30. (SPEED, live.). The race will be Round 2 of the North American Endurance Championship presented by VISITFLORIDA.com. The weekend will also include Round 6 of the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge on Saturday at 3 p.m.