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 Ė 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 and 45-minute time limit. The major exceptions were the 24-hour event at Daytona, Sahlenís 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) Ė 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) Ė 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 vehicleís weight, limiting tire size and engine RPMs.

Round eight of the 2012 Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series was held at Watkins Glenís eleven-turn 3.337-mile road course. Thirty-two cars started the seasonís second-longest race.

The Sahlenís Six Hours of The Glen was also the second event in the three-race series for the inaugural North American Endurance Championship. The unique championship opened with the Rolex 24 at Daytona and concluded with the Brickyard Grand Prix at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The pole winner, Jordan Taylor in the Stevenson Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro leads the field of twenty-one Grand Touring competitors into turn one on the first lap of the 2012 Sahlenís Six Hours of The Glen. Drawing alongside Taylor is the Team FXDD Ferrari driven by Jeff Segal and Robin Liddell in the second Stevenson Motorsports entry.
The eventual race winners pit during the Sahlenís Six Hours of The Glen. Joao Barbosa qualified third and shared the No. 9 Action Express Racing Corvette DP with Darren Law. The pair ran with the leaders the entire event. Barbosa drove the final stint and was able to pass race leader, Alex Gurney on lap-172. He held of Gurney for the final ten laps to take the teamís second victory of the season.
The No. 57 Stevenson Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro GT.R had a string of podium finishes but was yet to score a victory during the 2012 season. The Camaro driven by Robin Liddell and John Edwards started sixteenth overall and fifth in Grand Touring. It wasnít long before Liddell and Edwards were racing with the Grand Touring leaders. Even though Liddell received a stop and penalty, the pair was able to win by a margin of 1.340-seconds.
The GAINSCO/Bob Stallings team entered Watkins Glen still looking for their first win of the year. For a majority of their season, they were plagued by mechanical issues or contact with other competitors. Alex Gurney was quickest in the first practice session but seventh at the end of qualifying. During the race, Gurney and Jon Fogarty moved into contention but on lap-172 the No. 99 lost the lead to Joao Barbosa and finished second.
Jordan Taylor was the quickest driver during the Grand Touring qualifying session. Sharing the Stevenson Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro GT.R with Taylor were Ronnie Bremer and Matt Bell. As the contest came to its conclusion, it appeared that the trio would take the final spot on the podium. Unfortunately, a questionable wave-by decision by the Grand Am officials dropped the No. 75 Camaro to a fourth place finish.
Leading the Daytona Prototype field into turn one on the first lap of the Sahlenís Six Hours of The Glen is Scott Pruett driving the Chip Ganassi Racing Riley MK XXVI. On the outside of Pruett is the second fastest qualifier, Antonio Garcia driving the Spirit of Daytona Chevrolet Corvette DP. At total of eleven Daytona Prototypes took the green flag.
It was a special weekend for Scott Pruett as he was inducted into the ĎLegends of The Glen.í And, to prove he was deserving of the honour, he qualified on the pole. Pruett shared the driving duties with Memo Rojas. During the contest, the pair lost a lap when the crew had to replace a radiator. However, a great race strategy and some solid driving got the team back on the lead lap. At the finish, Pruett and Rojas were in fourth place.
Four-time Indy Car champion Sebastien Bourdais joined Starworks Motorsport regulars Ryan Dalziel and Enzo Potolicchio for Sahlenís Six Hours of The Glen. The team qualified ninth in the Ford-powered Riley MK XXVI but moved up the race order to contend with the Daytona Prototype leaders - Dalziel led laps 94 to 117. At the checkered flag, the trio was in third place.
ARP Motorsport entered two Audi R8 Gand Ams. The No. 52 car was driven by Marc Basseng and Frank Stippler. Sharing the second Audi was Ian Baas, Jim Norman and Dion von Moltke. Stipplerís time during the qualifying session put him and his teammate, Basseng on the outside of the front row. During the contest, the pair fell behind the Grand Touring leaders and at the conclusion of six hours were ten laps behind the winners Ė twelfth in class.
The season turned around for Bill Auberlen and Paul Dalla Lana when they won the Grand Touring category at Mid-Ohio. Their first victory of the season was followed by a second place at Road America. At Watkins Glen, the No. 94 BMW M3 started ninth in class. Along with Billy Johnson, series regulars Auberlen and Dalla Lana moved through the Grand Touring field. At the checkered flag, they earned their second consecutive runner-up finish.
Grand Touring points leaders, Jeff Segal and Emil Assentato entered the Sahlenís Six Hours of The Glen with three victories in the seasonís first seven events. Joining the pair for the race was Anthony Lazzaro. The No. 69 AIM Autosport prepared Ferrari 458 Italia started third. The trio drove a solid race and earned the final spot on the Grand Touring podium Ė more importantly, they retained their points lead.
Antonio Garcia was the early leader during qualifying but by the end of the session, he was second fastest. Garcia started on the outside of the front row and shared the driving duties with Richard Westbrook and guest driver, Oliver Gavin. Despite their speed in qualifying the Spirit of Daytona Chevrolet Corvette DP could match the pace of their competitors and finished fifth.

POS.CLASSDRIVERSCARLAPSRETIREMENTS
1DPLaw / BarbosaChevrolet Corvette DP182-
2DPGurney / FogartyChevrolet Corvette DP182-
3DPPotolicchio / Dalziel / BourdaisRiley MK XXVI Ford182-
4DPPruett / RojasRiley MK XXVI BMW182-
5DPGarcia / Westbrook / GavinChevrolet Corvette DP182-
6DPPew / NegriRiley MK XXVI Ford182-
7DPBorcheller / DonohueChevrolet Corvette DP182-
8DPPopow / LuhrRiley MK XXVI Ford181-
9DPMayer / Braun / WilkinsRiley MK XX Ford181-
10DPLowe / Tracy / FrisselleDallara DP01 Ford180-
11GTLiddell / EdwardsChevrolet Camaro GT.R174-
12GTAuberlen / Johnson / Dalla LanaBMW M3174-
13GTAssentato / Segal / LazzaroFerrari 458 Italia174-
14GTCosmo / Van Overbeek / HedlundFerrari 458 Italia174-
15GTTaylor / Bell / BremerChevrolet Camaro GT.R174-
16GTKeen / DavisPorsche GT3 Cup173-
17GTTremblay / BomaritoMazda RX-8173-
18GTPutman / Espenlaub / MaxwellMazda RX-8172-
19GTCameron / NonnamakerMazda RX-8171-
20GTFoss / Lindsey / EversleyPorsche GT3 Cup171-
21GTKauffman / AguasFerrari 458 Italia166-
22GTStippler / BassengAudi R8 Grand-Am164-
23GTCostabal / Salazar / OrjuelaPorsche GT3 Cup164-
24GTSahlen / Nonnamaker / NonnamakerMazda RX-8164-
25GTPumpelly / Carter / HenzlerPorsche GT3 Cup161-
26GTFoster / Dempsey / LongMazda RX-8158-
27GTRagginger / BurtinPorsche GT3 Cup140-
28GTvon Moltke / Norman / BaasAudi R8 Grand-Am139-
29GTKeating / Faulkner / SellersPorsche GT3 Cup137Accident
30GTSaid / Curran / AschenbachChevrolet Corvette119Fuel System
31DPAngelelli / TaylorChevrolet Corvette DP100Handling
32GTPotterPorsche 997 GT3 Cup12Electrical


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