2009 marked the tenth year for the Grand American Road Racing Championship. The twelve-race season opened in Daytona with the Rolex 24. There were a number of changes to the schedule – in addition to adjustments made to venue dates the series did not return to Infineon, Lime Rock or Mexico City. 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, the Sahlen’s Six Hours at Watkins Glen and a shorter two-hour race at Montreal and the second Watkins Glen event. There were a number of changes to the schedule – in addition to adjustments made to venue dates the series did not return to Infineon, Lime Rock or Mexico City. 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, the Sahlen’s Six Hours at Watkins Glen and a shorter 2-hour race at Montreal and the second Watkins Glen event.

Teams and drivers competed in the Daytona Prototype or Grand Touring category 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 vehicles 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 Prototypes were powered by motors from production cars. Manufacturers providing engines included: Lexus, Pontiac, Chevrolet, Ford, BMW and Porsche. The 2008 season saw the introduction of the Generation 2 Daytona Prototypes.
  • Grand Touring (GT) – After a number of seasons with multiple Grand Touring classes a single category was introduced in 2005. The Grand Touring division was for production-based vehicles. Cars racing in this group included the: Pontiac GXP.R, Porsche GT3 Cup, Chevrolet Corvette, Ford Mustang, BMW 6 and Mazda RX-8. To equalize performance among the different brands, rules were implemented that included adjusting the vehicle’s weight and limiting tire size and engine RPMs.

At the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course teams had reached the midway point of the 2009 Rolex season. The opening five rounds have seen four different winners in the Daytona Prototype category and four teams within six points of the lead. Race six would break these ties.

Competitors would race around the thirteen-turn 2.258-mile road course for 2-hours, 45-minutes in the Emco Gears Classic.

Entering round six the Chip Ganassi Racing drivers, Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas were tied for the points lead with Max Angelelli and Brian Frisselle. Their first victory of the season was in the previous event at Watkins Glen International. With momentum of their side, Pruett and Rojas started second. Despite a refueling penalty, Pruett led the last thirty-five laps to post their second consecutive win of the season.
The Farnbacher Loles Racing team entered Mid-Ohio with three straight podiums and two victories, which put Leh Keen and Dirk Werner in the Grand Touring points lead. During the post-qualifying technical inspection, it was discovered that the No. 87 Porsche did not meet the ride height requirements and the pair started at the back of the grid. Despite the penalty, they charged through the field for the class win.
Gainsco drivers, Alex Gurney and Jon Fogarty, were going for a ‘hat trick’ at Mid-Ohio. They took the overall and class victory at the track in 2007 and 2008. At the mid-point of the season, they were also looking to break a tied for third place in the standings with Penske drivers, Romain Dumas and Timo Bernard. In qualifying, the pair were the quickest and after 111-laps of racing finished third, giving them third in the standings.
Robin Liddell and Andrew Davis driving the Stevenson Motorsports Pontiac GXP.R won the second race of the season at Virginia International Raceway. They qualified, twentieth overall and fourth in Grand Touring for the Emco Gears Classic. Late in the event, they were third but contact between the second place Farnbacher Loles Porsche and a Daytona Prototype allowed them to capture the runner-up position.
Defending Rolex Series GT champions, Paul Edwards and Kelly Collins drove the No. 07 Banner Racing Pontiac GXP.R. They were third in the points, eleven markers (151-140) behind the leaders, Leh Keen and Dirk Werner. Collins started the race fourth in class. Edwards drove the final stretch and found himself fifth. Contact for the second place Porsche and a pass on Jeff Segal gave the pair a third-place finish.
Krohn Racing was on a high after finishing third in the GT class at last weekend’s 24 Hours of Le Mans. At Mid-Ohio, the Daytona Prototype entry was shared by Ricardo Zonta and Nic Jonsson. Jonsson qualified the No. 76 Ford-powered Lola B08/70 fifth quickest and drove the opening stint. After the driver change, Zonta took the Lola from seventh place to second and finished just 0.491-seconds behind the winner, Pruett.
The No. 30 3Dimensional.com Mazda RX-8 was shared by Tom Sutherland and Dane Cameron. They inherited the Grand Touring class pole when one of the Farnbacher Loles Porsches was penalized for a ride height infraction and the other pitted on the pace lap with a flat tire. The two drivers combined to lead a total of forty-seven laps and finished sixteenth overall and fourth in their category.
Brian Frisselle and sports car veteran, Max Angelelli drove the No. 10 SunTrust Racing Dallara. They sat atop the class points with Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas. Still seeking their first victory of 2009 - their best result to date was a pair of runner-up finishes at New Jersey and Watkins Glen. They started in the fourth grid position but a poorly timed pit-stop caused them to finish eighth.
At Mid-Ohio, Penske teammates, Timo Bernard and Romain Dumas found themselves tied for third in the Drivers’ standings with Alex Gurney and Jon Fogarty. The pair was yet to score a victory but had podium finishes at New Jersey and Watkins Glen. In qualifying at Mid-Ohio, they were sixth quickest but their Porsche-powered Riley did not have the speed to challenge the leaders and Bernard and Dumas finished fourth.
The second SpeedSource entry was driven by Emil Assentato and Jeff Segal. Their teammates, Nick Ham and team principal, Sylvain Tremblay posted a win at Laguna Seca but Assentato and Segal were yet to finish on the podium. At Mid-Ohio, they were gridded twenty-fourth overall and eighth in class. Late in the contest, Segal was running fourth but contact with the No. 07 Pontiac dropped him to a fifth-place finish.

1DPPruett / RojasRiley Mk XX Lexus111-
2DPJonsson / ZontaLola B08/70 Ford111-
3DPGurney / FogartyRiley Mk XX Pontiac111-
4DPDumas / BernhardRiley Mk XX Porsche111-
5DPFrance / BarbosaRiley Mk XI Porsche111-
6DPPew / ValianteRiley Mk XX Ford111-
7DPWilkins / FrisselleRiley Mk XX Ford111-
8DPAngelelli / FrisselleDallara DP01 Ford111-
9DPTucker / BouchutRiley Mk XX BMW111-
10DPLaw / DonohueRiley Mk XI Porsche111-
11DPCosmo / RussellCoyote CC/08 Porsche110-
12DPTaylor / ForestRiley Mk XI Pontiac109-
13GTWerner / KeenPorsche GT3 Cup106-
14GTLiddell / DavisPontiac GXP.R106-
15GTEdwards / CollinsPontiac GXP.R106-
16GTSutherland / CameronMazda RX-8106-
17GTAssentato / SegalMazda RX-8106-
18GTFoster / Espenlaub / DempseyMazda RX-8105-
19GTLux / FarnbacherPorsche GT3 Cup105-
20GTMarks / LallyPorsche GT3 Cup105-
21GTStanton / PotterPorsche GT3 Cup105-
22GTNonnamaker / NonnamakerChevrolet Corvette104-
23GTTremblay / HamMazda RX-8104-
24GTGutierrez / SchroederPorsche GT3 Cup98-
25GTSahlen / NonnamakerChevrolet Corvette95Did Not Finish
26GTPumpelly / EndePorsche GT3 Cup92-
27DPWallace / FinlayCrawford DP08 Pontiac91-
28DPTaylor / BeyerRiley Mk XI Honda90Transmission
29DPGidley / JaegerDallara DP01 Ford87Did Not Finish
30DPPatterson / NegriRiley Mk XX Ford85Drive-Train
31GTGrant / Grant / GrantPorsche GT3 Cup84Did Not Finish
32GTLewis / PricePontiac GTO.R36Did Not Finish

Copyright Notice:
All content (photographs and text) appearing on this website are the exclusive property of © www.zoompics.com and are protected under International copyright laws. The subject matter on this website may not be reproduced, copied, stored or manipulated.

© Copyright 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018

Return to home page.