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. Circuit of 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 second wave of cars has just received the green flag and heads into corner one on the first lap. Sixteen GT and three GX entries started the race. Leading the way is the pole-winning Stevenson Motorsports Camaro shared by Robin Liddell and John Edwards. Behind the Camaro, on the right is the No. 31 Marsh Racing Corvette and to the left are the No. 61 and 63 Ferrari 458 Italias.
At Watkins Glen, Robin Liddell earned his first pole of the season and the fourth of his Grand-Am career. Liddell shared the Stevenson Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro GT.R with John Edwards. The duo was in contention for the class win during the entire six hours. They were out front at the end of the contest and captured the Grand Touring category victory by a margin of 3.645-seconds.
Heavy rain moved in just before Daytona Prototype qualifying and forced the series officials to cancel the session. The grid would be set by points which gave the Wayne Taylor Racing Corvette DP the pole-position – this was the third consecutive race that the team would pace the field. Unfortunately, the team suffered through a series of mechanical problems which started on the pace lap. They were never able to recover fully and finished tenth.
With the Daytona Prototype qualifying session washed out and the grid determined by points, Christian Fittipaldi and Joao Barbosa would start in the fourth position. The No. 5 Corvette DP was in the lead during the final hour. Despite suffering from leg cramps, Fittipaldi was able to hold off a hard charging, Michael Valiante for the victory. This was the team’s second consecutive win in the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen.
Qualifying second in the Grand Touring class and starting sixteenth overall was the Marsh Racing Chevrolet Corvette shared by Boris Said, Eric Curran and guest driver, Lawson Aschenbach. The No. 31 Corvette was always quick and at the top of the time sheets but had reliability issues. In the first six events, the team had two top-five finishes. At Watkins Glen, they retired after only 119-laps with a fuel system problem.
8Start Motorsports had two cars competing at Watkins Glen. The No. 3 entry was piloted by Stephane Sarrazin, Michael Valiante and Enzo Potolicchio. The team’s second Corvette DP was shared by Emilio DiGuida and former ALMS LMP2 Driver’s champion, Luis Diaz. Valiante was behind the wheel for the final stint and in second place. He was able to close the gap on the leader, Christian Fittipaldi but came up shy by 0.265-seconds.
Only three cars were entered in the GX category. The slowest car in the field was the GX entry Mazda 6 shared by Joel Miller, Tristan Nunez and Youjirou Terada. Of note, the car was diesel-powered and used Mazda’s SKYACTIV technology. However, reliability appeared to be more important than speed and attrition took its toll on the class. The trio finished twenty-ninth overall but was the only finisher in their class.
By virtue of their standing in the points, Alex Gurney and Jon Fogarty started on the outside of the front row in the GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing Corvette DP. They entered Watkins Glen trailing the Wayne Taylor Team by a single point – a good finish would allow them to take the championship lead. Unfortunately, they had a right front suspension failure and then the car slid off the course in the rain. The No. 99 Corvette was classified fourteenth in class.
Pierre Kaffer was added to Starworks Motorsport line-up – he shared the driving duties with Scott Mayer and Brendon Hartley in the No. 8 Riley MK XXVI. The team’s points gave the trio the tenth spot on the starting grid. During the race, they were able to maintain pace with the leaders. Late in the event, Hartley was second but with just thirteen minutes remaining he pitted to top up on fuel – the team lost a position and finishing third.
Aim Autosport prepared two Ferrari 458 Italias for the six-hour race at The Glen. The No. 69 entry was shared by Emil Assentato, Anthony Lazzaro and Leh Keen – Keen was recruited just for this event. They started in the twenty-second grid position – the eighth quickest car in the Grand Touring category. The trio made progress during the contest and finished a close second to the class winning Stevenson Chevrolet Camaro.
John Potter and Andy Lally headed into round seven as the Grand Touring points leaders. They were joined in the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen by Porsche factory driver, Richard Leitz. The trio raced with leaders and finished third in class and sixteenth overall. Despite their excellent results, the race winners, Robin Liddell and John Edwards moved to within six points of the Magnus teammates.
Fastest of the five Ferrari 458 Italias was the No. 61 AIM Motorsport Racing with drivers Jeff Segal, Max Papis and Toni Vilander. Segal qualified the Ferrari third fastest but was on his quickest lap when he had to back off for rain. The trio had problems during the contest and were two laps behind the class winning Camaro at the checkered flag. They were classified twenty-fourth overall and eleventh in Grand Touring.
Four-time Champ Car Champion Sebastian Bourdais joined series regulars, Ryan Dalziel and Alex Popow in the No. 2 Starworks Motorsport Ford-powered Riley MKXXVI for the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen. The cancellation of qualifying meant that the trio would start third. At the conclusion of the event, they were eighth overall and in the Daytona Prototype class.

1DPFittipaldi / BarbosaChevrolet Corvette DP171-
2DPPotolicchio / Sarrazin / ValianteChevrolet Corvette DP171-
3DPHartley / Kaffer / MayerRiley Mk XXVI Ford171-
4DPPew / Negri, Jr.Riley Mk XXVI Ford171-
5DPFrisselle / FrisselleChevrolet Corvette DP171-
6DPYacaman / WilsonRiley Mk XXVI Ford171-
7DPPruett / RojasRiley Mk XXVI BMW171-
8DPDalziel / Popow / BourdaisRiley Mk XXVI Ford171-
9DPGarcia / Westbrook / TaylorChevrolet Corvette DP171-
10DPAngelelli / TaylorChevrolet Corvette DP170-
11DPDi Guida / DiazChevrolet Corvette DP169-
12DPWilkins / Cameron / NonnamakerRiley Mk XXVI BMW168Did Not Finish
13GTLiddell / EdwardsChevrolet Camaro GT.R164Did Not Finish
14GTAssentato / Keen / LazzaroFerrari 458 Italia164-
15DPWilkins / Sahlen / Nonnamaker / NonnamakerRiley Mk XXVI BMW164Did Not Finish
16GTPotter / Lally / Lietz / ArmindoPorsche GT3 Cup164-
17GTAuberlen / Dalla Lana / JohnsonBMW M3164-
18GTStanton / Westphal / BalzanFerrari 458 Italia164-
19GTCosmo / Van Overbeek / HedlundFerrari 458 Italia163-
20GTSaid / CurranChevrolet Corvette163-
21GTLindsey / Long / SellersPorsche GT3 Cup163-
22GTAlbuquergue / Mortara / von MoltkeAudi R8 GRAND-AM162-
23GTKauffman / AguasFerrari 458 Italia162-
24GTPapis / Segal / VilanderFerrari 458 Italia162-
25GTHaacker / Collins / MillerPorsche GT3 Cup161-
26GTMarsal / Schaldach / LamyBMW M3161-
27GTCarter / Putman / EspenlaubAudi R8 Grand-Am160-
28DPFogarty / GurneyChevrolet Corvette DP159-
29GXMiller / Nunez / TeradaMazda 6 GX149-
30GTCostabal / SalazarPorsche GT3 Cup145-
31GXPumpelly / NormanPorsche Cayman87Did Not Finish
32GXTremblay / Long / CarbonellMazda 6 GX58Did Not Finish
33GTDavis / Snow / HeylenPorsche GT3 Cup3Did Not Finish

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