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 Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen was round six of the 2010 season and the first of two events held at Watkins Glen. The second race would be in August with NASCAR. Drivers would compete on the eleven-turn 3.40-mile road course for six hours.

At total of thirteen Daytona Prototypes took the green flag for the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen. Leading the field into Watkins Glen International’s corner one is the pole-sitter, Scott Pruett driving the Chip Ganassi Racing BMW-powered Riley. Immediately behind Pruett, are the GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing and AIM Autosport entries.
Chip Ganassi Racing was going for a ‘Hat Trick’ at Watkins Glen. Scott Pruett and his co-driver, Memo Rojas win the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen in 2008 and 2009. Pruett started the weekend by qualifying on the pole - shattering his lap record in the process. During the race, Pruett and Rojas led 121 of the 191-laps contested and won by a margin of 1.623-seconds.
Mark Patterson joined series regulars Brian Frisselle and Michael Valiante in the Michael Shank Riley MK XX. Valiante handled the qualifying and was seventh quickest but he was confident the team would perform better in the race. Valiante was running fifth on lap-167 when the Ford-powered Riley caught fire. He made it to the pit road entrance where the emergency crew extinguished the flames. Valiante was not hurt in the incident.
The No. 66 The Racer’s Group Porsche GT3 Cup driving line-up included Andy Lally, Spencer Pumpelly and former AMA motorcycle racer, Bob Doyle. The car started second last in a field of twenty-nine entries but the trio worked their way into contention. Lally drove the final stint and held off challenges from other Grand Touring competitors to win by a margin of 3.712-seconds.
Magnus Racing’s Craig Stanton won the Grand Touring pole and in the process set a new lap record. Stanton shared the driving with team principal, John Potter and guest driver, Jeroen Bleekemolen. The team was in the lead until Bleekemolen pitted with an electrical issue. He returned to the contest after the crew replaced the alternator. The lengthy stop dropped the team to an eleventh place finish.
Jimmy Johnson, the reigning four-time NASCAR champion joined GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing regulars – Alex Gurney and Jon Fogarty for the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen. Fogarty handled the qualifying duties for the team and was the second quickest. Gurney was behind the wheel as the race neared its conclusion. He was in third but spun, in turn seven with fifteen minutes remaining in the event. The mistake dropped the team to a sixth place finish.
The TELMEX Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates crew celebrates in Watkins Glen’s victory circle after bouncing back from misfortune at Lime Rock. In the previous round, Memo Rojas went off course on the first lap causing extensive damage to the car. Rojas and Pruett finished the race in last place after completing only thirteen laps. Before the incident at Lime Rock, the team was on a roll - scoring three wins in three starts.
Grand Touring pole-sitter, Cort Wagner, arrives at Watkins Glen International’s corner one first in the Magnus Racing prepared Porsche GT3 Cup. Tucked in behind Wagner is the LG Motorsports Chevrolet Corvette. Alongside the Corvette are the Miller Barrett Racing Porsche and the Mazda RX-8 entered by Racers Edge Motorsports. In total, sixteen GT competitors started the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen.
Season regulars – Eric Lux and Kelly Collins were joined by team owner, Lou Gigliotti for the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen. Lux qualified the No. 28 Chevrolet Corvette third quickest. Unfortunately, the Corvette was proving to be fast but fragile. It was the second car to retire the previous weekend at Lime Rock and after only nineteen laps at Watkins Glen, the team was the first entry out of the race.
In 2010, all three SpeedSource cars had Grand Touring victories. The No. 70 Mazda RX-8 shared by Sylvain Tremblay and Jonathan Bomarito scored a win at the Rolex 24. Tremblay qualified the Mazda twentieth overall and eighth in Grand Touring. Solid driving and a great pit strategy allowed the pair to move to the front of the class. At the end of six hours, they were in the runner-up position.
Veteran, Max Angelelli and his rookie co-driver, Ricky Taylor won the previous round at Lime Rock Park. In qualifying, Angelelli recorded a time that put the No. 10 SunTrust Racing Dallara DP01 sixth on the grid. The duo worked their way to the front with Angelelli leading a total of ten laps but they could not match the pace of the Ganassi car. At the finish, they were second – 1.623-seconds behind the winners.
The No. 90 Spirit of Daytona Coyote CC/09 was driven by Buddy Rice and Antonio Garcia. Rice, the 2004 Indy 500 winner, qualified the car fourth. It was a particularly good event for the duo as they were in third place at the checkered flag. This was the best performance for the Porsche-powered chassis since 2008 at Montreal where Garcia and Christian Fittipaldi finished second.
Gridded twenty-fourth overall and eleventh in Grand Touring was the Dempsey Racing Mazda RX-8 driven by James Gue and Leh Keen. The duo moved the No. 41 RX-8 to the front and led the class for a total forty-nine laps. Unfortunately, a missed radio call dropped them down the order and they finished fifteenth overall and third in the GT category.
In the center are the Grand Touring class winners of the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen – Bob Doyle, Spencer Pumpelly and Andy Lally. To their left, are the second-place finishers from SpeedSource – Sylvain Tremblay and Jonathan Bomarito. Taking the final position on the podium are Demsey Racing’s Leh Keen and James Gue.

1DPPruett / RojasRiley MK XX BMW191-
2DPAngelelli / TaylorDallara DP01 Ford191-
3DPGarcia / RiceCoyote CC/09 Porsche191-
4DPWilkins / FrisselleRiley MK XX Ford191-
5DPLaw / Donohue / LeitzingerRiley MK XI Porsche191-
6DPGurney / Fogarty / JohnsonRiley MK XX Chevrolet191-
7DPForest / Dalziel / DavisonRiley MK XX BMW191-
8DPPew / NegriRiley MK XX Ford190-
9DPGidley / von MoltkeDallara DP01 Ford190-
10DPFrance / Barbosa / BorchellerRiley MK XI Porsche188-
11DPJonsson / KrohnLola B08/70 Ford187-
12DPLester / Andersen / PhilippeRiley MK XX BMW180-
13GTPumpelly / Lally / DoylePorsche GT3 Cup179-
14GTTremblay / BomaritoMazda RX-8179-
15GTGue / KeenMazda RX-8179-
16GTAssentato / Segal / Longhi / LazzaroMazda RX-8179-
17GTEdwards / Christodoulou / LongMazda RX-8179-
18GTLamb / Taylor / BufordMazda RX-8178-
19GTFoster / EspenlaubMazda RX-8178-
20GTSchaldach / BremerChevrolet Camaro GT.R178-
21GTLiddell / DavisChevrolet Camaro GT.R177Did Not Finish
22GTSahlen / Nonnamaker / Nonnamaker / NonnamakerMazda RX-8172-
23GTPotter / Stanton / BleekemolenPorsche GT3 Cup171-
24GTTrenery / Steuer / WeisbergChevrolet Corvette169-
25DPPatterson / Valiante / FrisselleRiley MK XX Ford167Fire
26GTEdwards / RussellChevrolet Corvette146-
27GTWilden / Curran / DavisChevrolet Corvette131Did Not Finish
28GTMiller / HinesPorsche GT3 Cup24Overheating
29GTLux / Collins / GigliottiChevrolet Corvette19Did Not Finish

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