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 and 45-minute time limit. The major exceptions were the 24-hour event at Daytona, the Sahlen’s Six Hours of 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 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: 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 GT classes a single category was introduced in 2005. The GT 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.

The Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen was round five of the 2009 Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series. The past three winners of the Sahlen's Six Hours - and four of the last five - had gone on to capture the Daytona Prototype title.

Eighteen Daytona Prototypes rush into corner one for the first lap of the 2009 Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen. Leading the way is pole winning Riley MK XX of Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas. Behind the No. 01 Chip Ganassi Racing entry are the second and third fastest qualifiers – Alex Gurney driving the GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing Riley and the Dallara DP01 of Max Angelelli.
Scott Pruett performed the qualifying duties for the No. 01 Chip Ganassi Racing Riley MK XX. Pruett won the pole and in the process broke the existing lap record by 2.144-seconds. Sharing the car with him was Memo Rojas. Pruett jumped into the lead at the drop of the green. Other than a refueling issue, the pair dominated the race – leading 142 of 188-laps. The victory gave the duo the points lead and Lexus their first victory of the season.
Quickest in the Grand Touring group was Dirk Werner driving the No. 87 Farnbacher Loles Racing Porsche GT3 Cup. Werner’s co-driver was Leh Keen. The pair dominated the race leading 103 of 178-laps. Their victory was the second of the season and gave them the point’s lead in the Driver’s standings.
The point leading Bob Stallings Racing entry started on the outside of the front row. The No. 99 was qualified by Alex Gurney - he would share the driving with Jon Fogarty. Unfortunately, their race went ‘downhill.’ Early in the event, the crew had to fix a vibration – once corrected the team moved through the field. At the four-hour mark, David Donohue made contact with Gurney – sending him into the gravel trap. The damaged caused when removing the car forced them to retire.
The overall and Prototype class podium at the 2009 Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen. To the left are the runner-up’s from SunTrust Racing – Brian Frisselle and Max Angelelli. And, on the right is the duo from Roger Penske Racing – Romain Dumas and Timo Bernhard. In the center, victorious for the first time in 2009 are Memo Rojas and Scott Pruett.
The Grand Am series uses a split start for their two classes. The Daytona Prototypes were first to receive the green flag followed by the Grand Touring cars. The pole-sitter, Dirk Werner driving the No. 87 Farnbacher Loles Porsche leads the field into turn one. Trailing Werner, is his teammate in the second Farnbacher Loles entry, Wolf Henzler and the third fastest qualifier, Robin Liddell in a Pontiac GXP.R. There were sixteen entries in this category.
The second Farnbacher Loles entry was shared by Porsche works driver, Wolf Henzler and Eric Lux. Henzler was just 0.012-seconds slower than his teammate, Dirk Werner and started second. The pair was able to claim the final step on the Grand Touring podium. This matched the best result to date for the No. 86 Porsche GT3 Cup - Lux and Bryan Sellers were third at New Jersey Motorsports Park.
Starting fourth on the Grand Touring grid was the No. 07 Pontiac GXP.R which was shared by Paul Edwards and Kelly Collins. Despite running low on fuel in the final minutes of the contest, the defending Grand Touring champions were able to finish second in their class. This was the pair’s third runner-up result in the first five events.
The No. 57 Stevenson Automotive Pontiac GXP.R was qualified by Robin Liddell. He recorded a time that placed him and his co-driver, Andrew Davis third on the grid. Liddell was in running fourth as the event neared the six hour mark. Unfortunately, a belt snapped and cut a power steering hose. He spun into a gravel trap on his own fluid causing the race to end under caution. The duo was classified twenty-second overall and eighth in class.
Despite missing most of Friday’s practice, due to a broken oil line, Max Angelelli was able to put the SunTrust Dallara DP01 third on the grid. Angelelli and his teammate, Brian Frisselle had a great race finishing in the runner-up position. This result moved Angelelli and Frisselle into a tie for the points lead with Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas.
Defending Sahlen’s six-hour Grand Touring winner, Jeff Segal was fifth quickest in qualifying. Segal shared the SpeedSource Mazda RX-8 with Emil Assentato and Nick Longhi. The trio finished six in class and nineteenth overall. They were the last car to finish on the same lap as the Grand Touring victors.
Gridded sixth was the Penske Racing Riley MK XX driven by Romain Dumas and Timo Bernhard. The pair was one of six entries to stay on the lead lap with the winners. At the checkered flag, they finished third which matched their best results to date - a third in round three at New Jersey Motorsports Park. More importantly, they moved into a tie with Alex Gurney and Jon Fogarty for third place in the Driver’s standings.
After qualifying, Michael Shank Racing has two of their Ford-powered Riley MK XX in the top-five. Quicker of the two, starting fourth was the No. 6 entry raced by Michael Valiante and John Pew. Valiante led the race during the first round of pit-stops. He and Pew were able to maintain the pace of the leaders and finished fourth. Their result moved them to sixth in the Driver’s standings.
The Sahlen’s Grand Touring podium at Watkins Glen International. On the left are second place finishers Paul Edwards and Kelly Collins and at the right are Eric Lux and Wolf Henzler who captured the final spot on the podium. In the center, victorious for a second time this season are Dirk Werner and Leh Keen.

1DPPruett / RojasRiley MK XX Lexus188-
2DPAngelelli / FrisselleDallara DP01 Ford188-
3DPDumas / BernhardRiley MK XX Porsche188-
4DPPew / ValianteRiley MK XX Ford188-
5DPPatterson / NegriRiley MK XX Ford188-
6DPFrance / Barbosa / HaywoodRiley MK XI Porsche188-
7DPTucker / BouchutRiley MK XX BMW186-
8DPManning / Lester / AuberlenRiley MK XI BMW186-
9DPJonsson / ZontaLola B08/70 Ford186-
10DPTaylor / Forest / TaylorRiley MK XI Pontiac186-
11DPWilkins / FrisselleRiley MK XX Ford183-
12DPde Quesada / Dalziel / JamesRiley MK XI BMW180-
13DPSchramm / DallenbachRiley MK XI Pontiac178-
14GTKeen / WernerPorsche GT3 Cup178-
15GTEdwards / CollinsPontiac GXP.R178-
16GTLux / HenzlerPorsche GT3 Cup178-
17GTHaskell / Tremblay / HamMazda RX-8178-
18GTPumpelly / Potter / StantonPorsche GT3 Cup178-
19GTAssentato / Segal / LonghiMazda RX-8178-
20DPWallace / FinlayCrawford DP08 Pontiac177-
21GTFoster / Dempsey / EspenlaubMazda RX-8175-
22GTLiddell / DavisPontiac GXP.R174Off Course
23GTJohnson / Lacey / BaldwinPorsche GT3 Cup173-
24GTSahlen / NonnamakerChevrolet Corvette168-
25GTGutierrez / Ende / SchroederPorsche GT3 Cup168-
26DPDonohue / Law / RiceRiley MK XI Porsche164-
27GTGrant / Grant / GrantPorsche GT3 Cup156Did Not Finish
28GTMarks / Lally / ValentinePorsche GT3 Cup139Did Not Finish
29GTMiller / Ludwig / CameronMazda RX-8130Did Not Finish
30DPGurney / FogartyRiley MK XX Pontiac121Accident
31GTConnolly / Vinkemulder / LewisPontiac GTO.R77-
32GTNonnamaker / NonnamakerChevrolet Corvette73Steering
33DPJaeger / GidleyDallara DP01 Ford24Did Not Finish
34DPCosmo / RussellCoyote CC/08 Porsche16Transmission

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