2013 marked the fourteenth and final season for the Grand American Road Racing Championship. As was the tradition, the twelve-race season opened in Daytona with the Rolex 24. The remainder of the schedule included some changes from the previous year. The Circuit of the Americas, Kansas Speedway and Road Atlanta were added and Homestead-Miami, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, New Jersey Motorsports Park and the second Watkins Glen event were 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, Sahlen’s Six Hours of Watkins Glen and the Brickyard Grand Prix which was 3-hours.

Teams and drivers competed in the Daytona Prototype, Grand Touring or GX 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: Chevrolet, Ford and BMW. The 2008 season saw the introduction of the Generation 2 Daytona Prototypes and there were additional changes allowed in 2012 which resulted in Gen 3 cars.
  • 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: Audi R8 Grand-Am, Ferrari 458 Italia, Porsche GT3 Cup, Chevrolet Camaro GT.R, Dodge Viper, BMW M3, Mazda RX-8 and Chevrolet Corvette. To equalize performance among the different brands, rules were implemented that included adjusting the vehicle’s weight, limiting tire size and engine RPMs.
  • GX – This class was introduced in 2013 for alternative fuel vehicles. Two manufacturers were represented by cars in this category: Porsche Cayman S and Mazda 6 SKYACTIV.

Round seven of the 2013 Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series and the opening race of the second half of the season was held at Watkins Glen’s eleven-turn 3.337-mile road course.

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

The overall and Daytona Prototype class winners at The Raceway at Belle Isle. The victory for Wayne Taylor Racing drivers, Jordan Taylor and Max Angelelli moved the duo into the points lead. This was their second win of the season – the first was at Barber Motorsports Park. The pair started from the pole and led the most laps but it was far from a dominant performance as the margin of victory was just 0.486-seconds.

Before the teams completed a single lap, the course went yellow. The No. 01 Chip Ganassi Riley was in the wall at turn four. Memo Rojas was at the wheel when he made contact with the Michael Shank Riley driven by Gustavo Yacaman. The impact with the concrete caused Rojas to bounce back across the track and collect the second Michael Shank entry driven by Jon Pew. The caution period lasted for eight laps.
Robin Liddell and John Edwards matched their poorest qualifying effort of the season at Detroit. At the end of the session, they were only sixth fastest but won from this position at Road Atlanta. Liddell drove the opening stint in the Stevenson Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro GT.R. He charged through the field and moved into second place early in the race. A quick pit-stop allowed Edwards to take the lead and class victory.
The Wayne Taylor Racing Corvette DP started on the pole. This was the first of the season for the teammates, Max Angelelli and Jordan Taylor. Taylor started the race and immediately jumped into the lead. He held the advantage until lap-17 when he was passed by Alex Popow. Taylor and Angelelli were back out front sixteen circuits later and never relinquished first place, although they were challenged by Joao Barbosa.
Finishing just 0.486-seconds behind the overall and Daytona Prototype class winners was the No. 5 Action Express Racing Corvette DP shared by Christian Fittipaldi and Joao Barbosa. This duo was sixth quickest in qualifying. Fittipaldi drove the first half of the race and remained in contention. After the pit-stops, Barbosa moved the Corvette to second and pressured the leader, Angelelli but had to settle for second place.
In round three at Barber Motorsports Park, Alessandro Balzan was joined by Jeff Westphal in the Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 458. It appeared to be a good pairing as the duo scored second and third place finishes in the events preceding Detroit. At the Chevrolet Grand Am 200, they were fourth quickest in the Grand Touring qualifying session. During the race, they were in contention and grabbed another runner-up finish.
Starting thirteenth overall but first in the Grand Touring category was the AIM Autosport Ferrari 458 raced by Max Papis and Jeff Segal. Papis drove the first stint and took the class lead but was under pressure from Marsh Racing Chevrolet Corvette of Boris Said and Jeff Westphal in the Scuderia Corsa Ferrari. During the final stop for the driver change the team exited the pits third in class and was never able to regain first place.
The drivers of the No. 99 Corvette DP, Alex Gurney and Jon Fogarty led the point standings entering round five. At Detroit, Fogarty started on the outside of the front but lost positions to Alex Popow and Ricky Taylor early in the contest. He worked his way back to second but a lengthy pit-stop during the driver change dropped Gurney down the race order. To add to their troubles, they received a pitlane penalty and finished sixth.
The new GX class did not attract many entrants. The entry list included three cars – BGB Motorsports Porsche Cayman and two Mazda 6s from SpeedSource. Slowest of the three in qualifying was the No. 00 Mazda driven by Joel Miller and Tristan Nunez. In the race, they were the first to the checkered flag – winning by a margin of one-lap. This was their second victory of the season - the first came at Road Atlanta.
Gridded third for the start two-hour race was the No. 2 Starworks Riley Mk XXVI, driven by Alex Popow and Ryan Dalziel. During the race, Popow pressured the leader, Jordan Taylor and moved into the lead on lap-17 and held the spot for the next sixteen circuits. After the final rounds of pit-stops, Dalziel was behind the wheel in fourth place. Late in the contest, he passed Dane Cameron and grabbed the final spot on the podium.
The podium for the class winners in round five of the 2013 Grand Am Rolex Sports Car Series. In the center are the overall and Daytona Prototype winners, for the second time this season, Jordan Taylor and Max Angelelli. Standing to the right are the Grand Touring victors from Stevenson Racing, Robin Liddell and John Edwards. Completing the rostrum are Joel Miller and Tristan Nunez winners of the GX category.

1DPAngelelli / TaylorChevrolet Corvette DP61-
2DPFittipaldi / BarbosaChevrolet Corvette DP61-
3DPDalziel / PopowRiley Mk XXVI Ford61-
4DPCameron / NonnamakerRiley Mk XXVI BMW61-
5DPWestbrook / TaylorChevrolet Corvette DP61-
6DPFogarty / GurneyChevrolet Corvette DP61-
7DPYacaman / PizzoniaRiley Mk XXVI Ford61-
8DPHartley / MayerRiley Mk XXVI Ford60-
9DPNonnamaker / Nonnamaker / NonnamakerRiley Mk XXVI BMW60-
10GTLiddell / EdwardsChevrolet Camaro GT.R60-
11GTWestphal / BalzanFerrari 458 Italia60-
12GTPapis / SegalFerrari 458 Italia60-
13GTPotter / LallyPorsche GT3 Cup60-
14GTSaid / CurranChevrolet Corvette60-
15GTLindsey / LongPorsche GT3 Cup60-
16GTAssentato / LazzaroFerrari 458 Italia60-
17GTMarsal / Schaldach / JohnsonBMW M359-
18GTDrissi / von MoltkePorsche GT3 Cup58-
19GXMiller / NunezMazda 6 GX57-
20GXPumpelly / NormanPorsche Cayman56-
21GXTremblay / LongMazda 6 GX47Did Not Finish
22DPPotolicchio / Sarrazin / LamyChevrolet Corvette DP46Accident
23DPFrisselle / FrisselleChevrolet Corvette DP43-
24GTAuberlen / Dalla Lana / JohnsonBMW M332Did Not Finish
25DPPruett / RojasRiley Mk XXVI BMW0Accident
26DPPew / ValianteRiley Mk XXVI Ford0Accident

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