Fast FactsROLEX SPORTS CAR SERIESThe Race: GRAND-AM of The Americas pres. by GAINSCO & TOTALThe Place: 3.40-mile road courseThe Date/Time: Saturday, 4 p.m. ETThe Race Length: 2 hours, 45 minutesTV: SPEED, 5:30 p.m. ETRadio: MRN Radio, 3:45 p.m. ETMRN Affiliates: KWNX 1260 AM / ESPN RadioKTXX The Horn 104.9 FMCONTINENTAL TIRE SPORTS CAR CHALLENGEThe Race: GRAND-AM of The Americas pres. by GAINSCO & TOTALThe Place: Circuit of The AmericasThe Track: 3.40-mile road courseThe Date/Time: Saturday, 11:05 a.m. ETThe Race Length: 2 hours, 30 minutesTV: SPEED - March 9, 4 p.m. ETGRAND-AM Road Racing is traveling to Austin, Texas, for its first visit to Americas newest motorsports facility in this weekends inaugural GRAND-AM of The Americas presented by GAINSCO and TOTAL.
This will be the first major race at the Circuit of The Americas since it hosted Formula One in its opening event last Novemberand first of two major sports car weekends in 2013.
The premier Rolex Sports Car Series will hold a two-hour, 45-minute race on the 20-turn, 3.4-mile circuit at 4 p.m. ET on Saturday (SPEED, 5:30 p.m. ET). The Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge will hold a two-hour, 30-minute race earlier that day at 10 a.m. CT (SPEED, March 9, 4 p.m. ET). Both classes will hold opening practice and qualifying on Friday.The American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrn will race at the circuit on Saturday, Sept. 21.Austin will be the first of three new venues on the 2013 12-race Rolex Series schedule. Both the Rolex Series and Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge compete for the first time at Road Atlanta on April 19-20 and at Kansas Speedway on Aug. 16-17.Ganassis Pruett, Rojas Lead In Quest Of Fourth Consecutive DP TitleScott Pruett and Memo Rojas are off to a head start toward a fourth consecutive GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series Daytona Prototype championship, with the drivers of Chip Ganassis BMW/Riley winning the 2013 season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona.
It was Pruetts fifth overall triumph in the 51st running of the American sports car classicmatching Grand Marshal Hurley Haywoods record in the eventwhile Rojas won for the third time.Juan Pablo Montoya and Charlie Kimball co-drove with Pruett and Rojas. It was Ganassis fifth Rolex 24 victory since first fielding a Rolex Series team in 2004. Pruett and Max Papis won the DP title in 2004 for Ganassi, while Pruett and Rojas won the 2008 championship before beginning their current title-winning streak in 2010.GAINSCO, Krohn Racing, Park Place Have Home State AdvantageAlex Gurney and Jon Fogarty will be looking for a home state advantage in the GRAND-AM of The Americas. The two-time DP champions (2007, 2009) co-drive the popular bright red No. 99 Red Dragon GAINSCO Auto Insurance Corvette DP, which is based in Lewisville, Texas.The car is owned by Texan Bob Stallings, GAINSCOs Executive Chairman of the Board. GAINSCO sponsors both the Red Dragon DP and the inaugural GRAND-AM of The Americas.Two other Rolex Series teams have strong ties to Texas.Houston driver/owner Tracy Krohns Krohn Racing is set to make its first DP start of the season with Krohn and Nic Jonsson at the wheel of the No. 76. Both drivers raced in the Rolex 24, finishing 26th in GT in a TRG Porsche GT3.In the GT ranks, Texans can cheer for Park Place Motorsports of Dallas. Co-owner Patrick Lindsey shares the No. 73 Porsche GT3 with American Porsche factory driver Patrick Long to lead the teams three-car entry.
The new No. 71 Porsche features two TexansJason Hart of Flower Mound and John McCutchen of Dallas, while Mike Skeen and Mike Vess co-drive the No. 72. The team debuted as Horton Motorsports in 2012leading five races for 32 lapsand switched to the Park Place banner for 2013.Impressive 16-Car DP Entry Highlights Grid For GRAND-AM Of The AmericasA full field of 16 Daytona Prototypes is entered in the GRAND-AM of The Americas, the first event for the Rolex Sports Car Series on the showcase 3.40-mile, 20-turn circuit. This includes four two-car teams, all of which are expected for the remainder of the 12-race season.Michael Shank Racing recently expanded to a car-car operation, with Gustavo Yacaman and Antonio Pizzonia sharing the No. 6 Ford/Riley. Other two-car teams are Starworks Motorsport, Action Express Racing and Team Sahlen.BTE Sporta regular in the Continental Tire Sports Car Challengedebuted in the DP class in the 2013 Rolex 24 At Daytona. The team will return at Austin, with Emmanuel Anassis and Anthony Massari driving the No. 27 Ford/Riley. Another new for 2013 team8Star Motorsportswill have Stephane Sarrazin joining team owner Enzo Potolicchio in the No. 3 Motorola Corvette DP. Krohn Racing will compete in the DP ranks for the first time since the 2012 Rolex 24, with Nic Jonsson and Houstons Tracy Krohn in the No. 76 DP.Other single-car DP teams include TELMEX Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates, Wayne Taylor Racing, Doran Racing, Spirit of Daytona and GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing.Prancing Horses: Four Ferraris Search For Victory In Inaugural Race At AustinA pack of four Ferrari 458 Italias will highlight the GT field for the inaugural GRAND-AM of The Americas.Emil Assentato, the 2012 Rolex Series GT co-champion, teams with Anthony Lazzaro in the No. 69 AIM Autosport Team FXDD With Ferrari entry, while co-champion Jeff Segal now co-drives with 2004 DP champ Max Papis in the No. 61 R. Ferri Motorsports/AIM Autosport With Ferrari car.Alessandro Balzan joins Alessandro Pier Guidi in the No. 63 Scuderia Corsa Michelotto entry, while Mike Hedlund and Johannes van Overbeek are teamed in the No. 03 Tequila Patrn Ferrari for Extreme Speed Motorsports.Coming off a one-two finish in the Rolex 24, Audi will have one car in the Texas event. Matt Bell will join Ian Baas in the No. 52 APR Motorsport LTD. UK Audi R8, sponsored in part by Audi South Austin and APR.Three teams have entered a total of seven Porsche GT3s. In addition to Park Place Motorsports three-car entry, Brumos Racing has the No. 59 for Andrew Davis and Leh Keen, and Muehlner Motorsports America has the No. 18 for 2013 Rolex 24 GT winner Dion von Moltke and Kyle Marcelli, and the No. 19 for Eliseo Salazar and Eduardo Costabal.Turner Motorsport will field a pair of BMW M3s in GT, with the No. 93 for Michael Marsal and Gunter Schaldach joining the No. 94 for Bill Auberlen and Paul Dalla Lana. There are a pair of GM entries, the No. 31 Marsh Racing Corvette for Boris Said and Eric Curran, and the No. 57 Stevenson Auto Group Camaro for Robin Liddell and John Edwards.Coming off a third-place finish in his Rolex Series debut at Daytona, Austins Jeff Mosing returns to the GX class in the No. 38 BGB Motorsports Porsche Cayman. He will co-drive with Rolex 24 GX winner Dr. Jim Norman and veteran Spencer Pumpelly.Mosing drives for RACE EPIC/Murillo Racing in GRAND-AMs Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge. He finished 10th in the CTSCC season-opening BMW Performance 200.SpeedSource has a pair of Mazda6s in the new class, with the No. 00 Visit Florida entry for Joel Miller and Tristan Nunez joining the No. 70 of Sylvain Tremblay and Tom Long.Points Leader Lands Ride: Rolex 24 GT class winner Dion von Moltke will join Muehlner Motorsports and co-driver Kyle Marcelli in the No. 18 PRNewsire Porsche GT3 at Circuit of The Americas. Von Moltke teamed with Oliver Jarvis, Edoardo Mortara and Filipe Albuquerque in the Rolex 24, the first victory for the Audi R8 in Rolex Series competition.Colin Braun Comes Home: Ovalo, Texas native Colin Braun will run a limited DP schedule in 2013. This weekend he joins Jon Bennett in the No. 77 Doran Racing Ford/Dallara.High car counts and close racingthe Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge has it all. The series first visit to Circuit of The Americas is expected to have competitive fields in both the Grand Sport and Street Tuner classes.
Billy Johnson and Jack Roush Jr. kicked off the season with their second consecutive Daytona win. Nick Longhi and Matt Plumb finished second in the defending Grand Sport team champion No. 13 Rum Bum Racing Porsche 997. David Empringham and John Faranothe defending GS driver champscompleted the podium following their first drive in their first drive for Multimatic Motorsports No. 15 Tower Events Aston Martin Vantage.Multimatic will field four Aston Martins in Austin. In addition to the No. 15 of Farano and Empringham, the team will have the No. 16 for Nick Mancuso and Frank Montecalvo; the No. 55 of Scott Maxwell and Jade Buford; and the No. 71 for Michael Marsal and Tonis Kasemets. Also fielding the Aston Martin Vantage are Automatic Racing, with the No. 140 Invisible Glass entry for Dr. Tim Fox and Kris Wilson, and TRG/AMR, which has yet to announce the drivers for the No. 7.Aston Martin joins an impressive list of manufacturers that includes Chevrolet, Ford, BMW, Porsche, Audi and Nissan in the GS class. Lara Tallman and Vesko Kozarov gave the Nissan Altima Coupe its first Street Tuner victory in the 2013 season opener at Daytona. The Salt Lake City drivers return in Skullcandy Team Nissans No. 33 for Circuit of The Americas, joined by Mickey Miller and Bret Spaude in the teams No. 34 entry.They will have to contend with a strong ST field, which also features manufacturers including Mazda, BMW, Porsche, Honda and Volkswagen.Tallmans victory was the first for a female driver in CTSCC competition since Sarah Cattaneo won at New Jersey Motorsports Park in 2011.A pair of Austin drivers, Jason Saini and Jeff Mosing, will be competing in the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge race.
Saini shares the CJ Wilson Racing No. 3 Head & Shoulders/Mazda MX-5 with former Chad McCumbee. Saini is the teams co-owner, alongside the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim all-star pitcher.Mosing joins Jesse Combs of Houston in the No. 56 RACE EPIC/Murillo Racing BMW 328i. He is the president and assistant manager of Mosing Motorcars of Austin.New Car For Phoenix Performance: After campaigning Subarus under the Subaru Road Racing Team banner since 2006, Phoenix Performance will roll out a brand-new carthe No. 35 Susquehanna Services/Hawk Performance Ford Mustang Boss 302R. Andrew Aquilante returns as the teams lead driver, and will be joined at Austin by fellow Pennsylvanian John Yarosz. Winchester Subs For Injured Thilenius: With David Thilenius still recovering from fractured ribs suffered in an accident at Daytona, Compass360 Racing will not field the No. 74 Honda Civic Siwith its replacement being built at the teams shop in Toronto. Aaron Povoledo will move to the No. 77 entry, co-driving with Ryan Winchester.