Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Gurney and Fogarty Claim Victory At Laguna Seca
MONTEREY, CA – There was a wispy fog that morning and I could hear the piercing sounds of Ferrari V-12s running on the track. I could occasionally see the red cars through the fog as they came around turn 5. The low hills covered in dry grass surrounded by vineyards and cypress trees could easily have been in Tuscany, but this was my first time at Laguna Seca. It is a magical place.
The magic continued this past weekend with the Grand Am Rolex and Continental Tire Sports Car races. For 108 laps over the fabled track, the Daytona Prototype (DP) and GT sports cars battled for victory. Alex Gurney and Jon Fogarty claimed victory in their Chevrolet-powered Riley. The win was clinched when Gurney capitalized on an error by the DP championship point’s leader, Scott Pruett, during the final round of pit stops on lap 80. Pruett came into the pits hot and overshot his pit requiring the team to push him back. Leaving the pits in front of the pack, Gurney was able to hold off Pruett to win by a mere 0.431 seconds. With the win, Gurney and Fogarty broke a 10-race winless streak.
After the race, an elated Alex Gurney said “We were struggling earlier this season, and this is a great culmination of our work. Our car came in really good at the end of the race. I spent most of my race trying to chase down Scott. Then we had our stop and they had their problem. I was really hooked up at the end of the race, and I had clear sailing at the end. This is a great place for us to win. Both being California boys, this is as good as it gets." This was also Scott Pruett’s 100th DP start, "I couldn't get it ‘whoaed' up in time.” Pruett quipped, “I was on and off the brakes again and again, but it just wouldn't stop in time. Both Alex and I were giving it 110 percent at the end. We were both running strong. It was one of those races that we both wanted to win."
Round 9 of the 2011 Rolex Series will be the American Red Cross 250 on Sunday, July 23, at New Jersey Motorsports Park in Millville, N.Y. Gurney/Fogarty and Pruett/Rojas will undoubtedly be battling hard.