2012 marked the thirteenth season for the Grand American Road Racing Championship. As was the tradition, the thirteen-race season opened in Daytona with the Rolex 24. The remainder of the schedule included a number of changes from the previous year. While most of the venues remained on the calendar many of them had new dates – the exceptions were the Rolex 24, Road America, Montreal and the second Watkins Glen event fell on approximately the same weekends. Belle Isles and Indianapolis were added and Virginia International Raceway was dropped from the schedule. Most races were 250-miles in length with a 2-hour, 45-minute time limit. The major exceptions were the 24-hour event at Daytona, Sahlen’s Six Hours of Watkins Glen and the Brickyard Grand Prix which was 3-hours.

Teams and drivers competed in the Daytona Prototype and Grand Touring for class honours:

  • Daytona Prototype (DP) – These sports racing cars were designed to compete in the Grand Am series. The concept of an affordable prototype for privateer teams was introduced in 2003. Rules were created so that the cars could be produced for less than $400,000. Additionally, the prototypes had to be approved by the series and new cars could not be introduced for 5-years. The flat-bottomed, closed cockpit prototype was constructed with a complete frame and a mid-engine location. The cars were powered by motors from production cars. Manufacturers providing engines included: Chevrolet, Porsche, Ford and BMW. The 2008 season saw the introduction of the Generation 2 Daytona Prototypes.
  • Grand Touring (GT) – After a number of seasons with multiple GT classes a single category was introduced in 2005. The GT division was for production-based vehicles. Cars racing in this group included the: Porsche GT3 Cup, Chevrolet Camaro GT.R, BMW M3 and Mazda RX-8. To equalize performance among the different brands, rules were implemented that included adjusting the vehicle’s weight, limiting tire size and engine RPMs.

The Mid-Ohio weekend was round six of the 2012 Grand Am Rolex Sports Car Series. Twenty-six entries competed on Mid-Ohio’s 2.258-mile thirteen-turn road course in the Emco Gears Classic.

The start of the 2012 Emco Gears Classic at Mid-Ohio. Leading the way is the pole-sitter, Jon Fogarty in the No. 99 Bob Stallings Racing Chevrolet Corvette DP. Following Fogarty is the third fastest qualifier, Ricky Taylor in another Chevrolet Corvette DP. Taylor leads the Spirit of Daytona Chevrolet Corvette DP which is driven by the second place starter, Michael Valiante. There were a total of nine Daytona Prototype entries.
Richard Westbrook and Michael Valiante drove the Spirit of Daytona Corvette DP. Westbrook scored a win in round two at Barber Motorsports Park with Antonio Garcia. Valiante qualified the car second and lost a position at the start. However, he and Westbrook eventually moved up first place. Despite challenges from Scott Pruett, Westbrook held on for the victory. Valiante also won the ST class earlier in the day.
Jon Fogarty handled the qualifying duties for the Bob Stallings Racing team. Fogarty was the fastest qualifier and put the No. 99 Corvette DP on the pole. Sharing the car with Fogarty was Alex Gurney. Fogarty led the first eighteen laps before being passed by Michael Valiante. It was then that the car developed a power steering issue and slipped down the race order. Gurney and Fogarty finished a lap down in seventh.
Sharing the driving duties on the No. 94 BMW M3 were Bill Auberlen and Paul Dalla Lana. They were gridded eighth in class for the start of the race. Dalla Lana drove the first stint with Auberlen jumping in at the pit-stop and the car taking it to the end. Auberlen began moving up the order passing – Jordan Taylor, Robin Liddell and the leader, Dane Cameron. Despite pressure from Jeff Segal, Auberlen held on for the victory.
The three-time Grand Am Daytona Prototype champion, Scott Pruett and his teammate, Memo Rojas were looking for their first victory of the season. The pair drove the No. 01 Chip Ganassi Racing Riley MK XXVI and qualified sixth. Pruett drove the final stint and moved into second place. He pushed the race leader, Richard Westbrook but could not complete the pass and finished 0.236-seconds behind the winner.
The balance of the field for the Emco Gears Classic was made up of seventeen Grand Touring cars. Leading the way is the Chevrolet Camaro GS.R shared by the class pole-sitters, John Edwards and Robin Liddell. Trailing them is the Brumos Porsche entry driven by Andrew Davis and Leh Keen - who was the second fastest in the group.
Pole-sitter, John Edwards driving the No. 57 Chevrolet Camaro GS.R maintained the lead until the pit-stops. His teammate, Robin Liddell drove the final stint and after all the cars had stopped Liddell was back in the class lead. However, the Camaro began dropping off the pace and Liddell was passed by Cameron, Segal and finally, Auberlen. When Cameron experienced problems, he moved up and finished third.
Action Express entered two Chevrolet Corvette DPs. The No. 5 car was piloted by Terry Borcheller and David Donohue. They started fifth and ran as high second. As the event came to a conclusion, the duo was in fifth but an unsuccessful place by their teammate, Joao Barbosa eliminated Max Angelelli and took Barbosa out of contention. This error allowed Borcheller and Donohue to capture the final position on the podium.
Jeff Segal and Emil Assentato raced the AIM Autosport prepared Ferrari 458. In the offseason, the pair switched manufacturer brands - from a Mazda RX-8 to a Ferrari 458. In the first five-rounds, they had scored two victories with the new car. At the end of the event, Segal was chasing the class leader, Bill Aubelen but could not find a way past – he had to settle for the runner-up position in the Grand Touring category.
The No. 10 Chevrolet Corvette Daytona Prototype was shared by Ricky Taylor and Max Angelelli. In the first five-rounds, the duo had victories at Homestead-Miami Speedway and New Jersey Motorsports Park. They started third with Taylor driving the opening stint. With less than thirty minutes left in the event, Angelelli was second but contact with Joao Barbosa damaged the suspension and forced him to retire.

1DPWestbrook / ValianteChevrolet Corvette DP111-
2DPPruett / RojasRiley MK XXVI BMW111-
3DPBorcheller / DonohueChevrolet Corvette DP111-
4DPPopow / LuhrRiley MK XXVI Ford111-
5DPPotolicchio / DalzielRiley MK XXVI Ford111-
6DPLaw / BarbosaChevrolet Corvette DP111-
7DPGurney / FogartyChevrolet Corvette DP110-
8DPPew / NegriRiley MK XXVI Ford109-
9GTAuberlen / Dalla LanaBMW M3106-
10GTAssentato / SegalFerrari 458 Italia106-
11GTLiddell / EdwardsChevrolet Camaro GT.R106-
12GTTremblay / BomaritoMazda RX-8106-
13GTPotter / LallyPorsche 997 GT3 Cup106-
14GTCameron / NonnamakerMazda RX-8106-
15GTKeen / DavisPorsche GT3 Cup106-
16GTPumpelly / BertheauPorsche GT3 Cup106-
17GTTaylor / EdwardsChevrolet Camaro GT.R106-
18GTFoster / DempseyMazda RX-8106-
19GTPutman / EspenlaubMazda RX-8106-
20GTNonnamaker / NonnamakerMazda RX-8105-
21GTvon Moltke / NormanAudi R8 Grand-Am105-
22GTSaid / CurranChevrolet Corvette104-
23GTSahlen / NonnamakerMazda RX-8103-
24DPAngelelli / TaylorChevrolet Corvette DP100Did Not Finish
25GTFoss / LindseyPorsche GT3 Cup81Mechanical
26GTGrant / GrantPorsche GT3 Cup10Did Not Finish

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