2010 marked the eleventh 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:

  • Homestead returned to its traditional date which meant it followed Daytona
  • the series returned to Lime Rock after a one-year absence and dropped the Mazda Raceway at Laguna Seca event

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 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 48th Rolex 24 at Daytona took place on the weekend of January 30 and 31. Entries were down over last year – 49-cars in 2009 versus 44-cars (15-Daytona Prototypes and 29-Grand Touring). The decrease in car count could be attributed to the continued slowdown of the American economy. Drivers and teams would compete for 24-hours on the 12-turn, 3.56-mile track which utilized an infield road course and almost the entire tri-oval.

Weather wise it was a miserable weekend at the 2010 Rolex 24 at Daytona. It started raining in the hours leading up to the race. As a result, Grand Am officials decided to start the event under yellow flag conditions which lasted several laps before the field received the green flag. After the rain had stopped, temperatures dropped to levels lower than earlier in the week.
It did not appear that the No. 9 Porsche-powered Riley MK XI from Action Express Racing was going to be much a threat in this year’s race as Joao Barbosa qualified in the middle of the Daytona Prototype group. It was not until mid-night that Barbosa and his teammates - Mike Rockenfeller, Ryan Dalziel, and Terry Borcheller were contending for the lead. Barbosa led the way during the final round of pit-stops and finished 52.303-seconds ahead of second place.
After a number of years qualifying second for the Rolex 24, Max Angelelli finally won the pole. Driving the Suntrust Dallara DP01with Angelelli, were Ricky Taylor, Pedro Lamy and team owner, Wayne Taylor. Unfortunately, during the tenth hour of the race, the transmission had to be replaced dropping the car to twenty-fourth. The team fought their way back and finished sixth overall.
As was customary, the qualifying duties for the SpeedSource Mazda RX-8 were assigned to team principal, Sylvain Tremblay. The No. 70 Mazda was also raced by David Haskell, Jonathan Bomarito and Nick Ham. For most of the race, the battle for GT supremacy raged between the Porsches and Camaros. When they faltered, the SpeedSource team was there to take the Grand Touring category victory.
SpeedSource made a triumphant return to Daytona, after a disastrous 2009 Rolex 24 that saw them finish twenty-eighth overall and seventeenth in the Grand Touring category. From left to right are drivers Jonathan Bomarito, David Haskell, Sylvain Tremblay and Nick Ham. In the center is the event’s Grand Marshal – Vic Elford.
Chip Ganassi Racing entered a pair of BMW-powered Riley MK XXs. The No. 01 Riley started in the fifth grid position thanks to Scott Pruett. Also racing this car were Justin Wilson, Max Papis and Pruett’s teammate for the season, Memo Rojas. At noon on Sunday, the team was fighting for the lead when Wilson took the car behind the wall. The crew did not find any problems and he returned to the race. Pruett drove the final stint but was unable to catch the winning car.
As usual, The Racer’s Group had the largest number of entries – five Porsche GT3 Cup cars. The No. 67 Porsche was driven by Seth Neiman, Johannes van Overbeek, Jorg Bergmeister and Patrick Long. Bergmeister qualified the car third quickest. The Porsche was leading late Sunday morning when it broke a shock absorber which allowed SpeedSource to inherit first. With repairs made, the team finished second – four laps behind the winners.
The top-three spots in Grand Touring qualifying went to Mazda RX-8 teams. Quickest of the three was the No. 69 SpeedSource qualified by Jeff Segal. In the race, Segal would be accompanied by Emil Assentato, Nick Longhi and Anthony Lazzaro. Trouble for the car began when Assentato had an accident at turn three and early Sunday morning, the car developed a terminal fluid leak. The team was classified twenty-eighth overall.
The NPN Racing Riley MK XX was unable to record a time during the qualifying session and started fourteenth overall. Scott Tucker, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Lucas Luhr and Richard Westbrook were scheduled to drive this car – Tucker was also entered in the team’s second car. The Riley was quick and led early before sliding down the lap chart. But a consistent pace and the retirement of some faster cars allowed the team to finish third overall.
One the five Racer’s Group Porsches was the No. 66 shared by Ted Ballou, Kelly Collins, Patrick Flanagan, Wolf Henzler and Andy Lally. Lally was the quickest of all the Porsche entries and qualified fifth. The team had their share of issues during the race but were able to remain in the top ten. At the checkered flag, they finished third in the Grand Touring category and tenth overall.
Second quickest after qualifying was 2008 pole winner, Oswaldo Negri, Jr. Also driving the No. 60 Michael Shank Riley MK XI were Jon Pew, Mark Wilkins and Burt Frisselle. Despite a big moment for Pew in the fourth hour of the event, the car ran in the top ten for most of the race. After twenty-four hours, the team had completed 726 laps and was fifth at the checkered flag.
Second quickest in Grand Touring qualifying and splitting the SpeedSource team was the No. 30 Mazda RX-8 from Racers Edge Motorsports. The qualifying honours were performed by Jordan Taylor. Also driving this Mazda were, Todd Lamb, Glenn Bocchino and Jade Buford. Unfortunately, this entry was the second car to retire – after on sixty-nine laps.
The second Michael Shank Racing Riley MK XI was piloted by Mark Patterson, A.J. Allmendinger, Brian Frisselle and Michael Valiante, who qualified the car third. The car was competitive and maintained touch with leaders until just over an hour left in the event. Allmendinger was driving when the car suffered a driveline failure. The team was classified seventh overall and in the Daytona Prototype class.
From left to right are the overall and Daytona Prototype class winners – Mike Rockenfeller, Ryan Dalziel, Joao Barbosa and Terry Borcheller. This was Action Express Racings first race and the winning car was the No. 58 Brumos Riley that was victorious in last year’s Rolex 24.

1DPBarbosa / Rockenfeller / Borcheller / DalzielRiley Mk XI Porsche755-
2DPPruett / Rojas / Wilson / PapisRiley Mk XX BMW755-
3DPTucker / Hunter-Reay / Luhr / WestbrookRiley Mk XX BMW751-
4DPKrohn / Jonsson / Zonta / BraunLola B08/70 Ford735-
5DPPew / Negri / Frisselle / WilkinsRiley Mk XX Ford726-
6DPTaylor / Lamy / Angelelli / TaylorDallara DP01 Ford711-
7DPPatterson / Valiante / Allmendinger / FrisselleRiley Mk XX Ford707Driveline
8GTHaskell / Tremblay / Ham / BomaritoMazda RX-8707-
9GTBergmeister / Van Overbeek / Neiman / LongPorsche GT3 Cup703-
10GTBallou / Collins / Flanagan / Henzler / LallyPorsche GT3 Cup691-
11GTLiddell / Davis / MagnussenChevrolet Camaro GT.R683-
12GTPotter / Stanton / LietzPorsche GT3 Cup683-
13GTFoster / Espenlaub / MaxwellMazda RX-8682-
14GTSahlen / Nonnamaker / Nonnamaker / NonnamakerMazda RX-8682-
15GTAuberlen / Said / Dalla Lana / HandBMW M6675-
16GTGeorge, Jr. / Pumpelly / Bernhard / Dumas / LabontePorsche GT3 Cup668-
17GTSchaldach / Borkowski / Bell / RefenningChevrolet Camaro GT.R661-
18GTFinlay / Westphal / Hyatt / MerrillBMW M6657-
19GTBurtin / Baldwin / Pagerey / Ragginger / FarnbacherPorsche GT3 Cup656-
20GTBentley / McIntosh / Nierop / O'YoungPorsche GT3 Cup632-
21DPGurney / Fogarty / Vasser / JohnsonRiley Mk XX Chevrolet630Oil Pressure
22GTGue / Keen / Kitch / LaceyMazda RX-8620-
23DPTucker / Collard / Bouchut / MaassenRiley Mk XX BMW619Did Not Finish
24DPGidley / Jaeger / Gollin / JohnstonDallara DP01 Ford612-
25GTThomas / Graeff / Yarab, Jr. / GatlinPorsche GT3 Cup611-
26DPLaw / Donohue / Haywood / MatosRiley Mk XI Porsche582Engine
27DPLester / Forest / von Moltke / JamesRiley Mk XI BMW549Did Not Finish
28GTAssentato / Segal / Longhi / LazzaroMazda RX-8488Coolant Leak
29GTWillsley / Papadopoulos / Baker / Mowlem / CosmoPorsche GT3 Cup444Did Not Finish
30GTMiller / Ludwig / RoushPorsche GT3 Cup411Accident
31GTLedoux / Quinlan / Sheehan / Doyle / WatkinsPorsche GT3 Cup386Transmission
32DPGarcia / Manning / Rice / MenardCoyote CC/09 Porsche346Did Not Finish
33GTBrown / Villeneuve / Richard / Thomas / DeanPorsche GT3 Cup335-
34DPKapudija / Cameron / Beyer / Lueders / WagnerCrawford DP03 Chevrolet319Cooling
35GTBreslin / Breslin / Romanini / Romagnoli / VinkemulderChevrolet Corvette316Did Not Finish
36GTSlingerland / Menten / Palttala / LapierrePorsche GT3 Cup276Engine
37DPDixon / Montoya / Franchitti / McMurrayRiley Mk XX BMW249Engine
38GTEdwards / Jones / Russell / McCutchenChevrolet Corvette201Suspension
39GTSteuer / Rosa / Trenery / BriodyPontiac GTO.R153-
40GTLewis / Zahn / IannettaPontiac GXP.R125Did Not Finish
41GTMichaelian / Schmidt / CastellanoFerrari F430112Did Not Finish
42GTSugden / Lux / WalkerPorsche GT3 Cup100Engine
43GTTaylor / Lamb / Buford / BocchinoMazda RX-869Did Not Finish
44GTSahlen / Nonnamaker / Nonnamaker / NonnamakerMazda RX-827Did Not Finish

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