Pontiac Grand-Am Teams On A Roll Going Into Homestead

Pontiac Grand-Am Teams On A Roll Going Into Homestead

19.03.2007: Pontiac Grand-Am Teams On A Roll Going Into Homestead

Collins and Edwards Looking for Number Two

Pontiac Daytona Prototype and GT teams are heading to Homestead-Miami Speedway for round three of the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Special Reserve to be run on Saturday, March 24th.

Eleven Pontiac powered race teams, comprising seven Daytona Prototypes (DP) and four GT cars will compete in the two-hour-and-thirty-minute Grand Prix of Miami. The road course at Homestead is comprised of 11-turns and runs 2.3-miles in length.

Pontiac has successfully sat on the pole for each of the two rounds of the Grand-Am series run to date. The No. 99 GAINSCO Pontiac Riley started on the pole at Daytona and qualified second at Mexico City. The No. 75 Krohn Racing Pontiac Riley took the pole in Mexico City to give Pontiac powered DP cars a perfect front row starting record so far in 2007.

The No. 99 GAINSCO team with Alex Gurney and Jon Fogarty celebrated their first series win at Mexico City. The Texas based team hopes to keep their string of front row starts going for round three in Homestead.

"We have been strong in qualifying since we came into the series, we have four poles," Gurney said. "Speed wise we have it figured out. We have really only been able to put the whole thing together this year. We really have the complete package now, no real weak link, which is what you have to have to win in the series. We finished sixth at Homestead last year and we had a good test there in December so we feel pretty good about trying to go for back-to-back wins."

The SunTrust team has been able to overcome race diversity to post two podium finishes on the season. At Daytona early problems put them back and they were able to rally to a third place finish. In Mexico City a drive-thru penalty for Jan Magnussen set the stage for another comeback and another third place finish.

"We have been able to string together podium finishes in each or our races so far," Magnussen said. "That hasn't been easy with our tough luck early at Daytona and a slight mistake by me at Mexico City. I almost won there three years ago, so the drivers and the team are hungry for the first win of the season. I like the Homestead track, the high-speed banking and the interior road course is not that bad. We should have a nice crowd with the IRL racing right after we do."

Nic Jonsson and Tracy Krohn have been put in quality runs in their No. 76 Krohn Racing Pontiac Riley. The duo were able to finish eighth at Mexico City and are sitting tenth in DP points heading to Homestead.

"We haven't had a lot of success at Homestead," Jonsson said. "We have made quite a bit of changes to the car over the winter, so we are going back with a better package. We have been competitive in both races so far this year, but mechanical problems at Daytona held us back. Homestead is not necessarily an ideal track, but it is similar to Daytona just a little smaller scale. We will be looking to have a car that I can drive through NASCAR turn three and four flat out to set-up cars to pass in the infield. We will need a good combination of aero and mechanical grip."

The Banner Racing Pontiac GXP.R team headed by defending Homestead race winners Kelly Collins and Paul Edwards are hungry for a win in 2007. The duo posted a runner-up finish at the Rolex 24 hour and finished a disappointing tenth in Mexico City.

"I think Homestead will be similar to Daytona for our car," Collins said. "We will be strong in the infield and around the banking, but lacking speed on the straight. Our car is really good through the fast sweeping corners. We will have to try and get a gap on our competitors before the drag race from the exit of the hairpin onto the banking and maintain into turn one."

Tim Lewis Jr. in the No. 06 Pontiac GXP.R is looking forward to running close to home and having an improved run after a tough Mexico City.

"I had my initial test with Leighton's team in December, so I have driven the GXP.R at Homestead," Lewis said. "The track is little more technical than Daytona, but the infield lacks in grip. We will need to focus on the set-up of the car and get it ready for long runs. We had a tough outing at Mexico City. We will need to be aggressive and look to make-up points. It will also be nice to run close to my home in Del Ray Beach."

The race from Homestead-Miami Speedway will be televised live on the SPEED Channel starting at 2:00 p.m. ET on March 24th.

Grand-Am Top Ten Daytona Prototype Points After Round Two:

1. Pruett Lexus Riley 63
2. Angelelli, Magnussen Pontiac Riley 60
3. Carpentier, Papis, Braun, Duno Pontiac Riley 52
4. B. Frisselle, Wilkins Lexus Riley 50
5. Long, Bergmeister Porsche Crawford 45
6. Gurney, Fogarty Pontiac Riley 44
7. Negri, Patterson Lexus Riley 44
8. Gidley Ford Doran 43
9. JC France Porsche Riley 41
10. Krohn, Jonsson Pontiac Riley 41

Top 10 Grand-Am GT Points After Round Two:

1. Tremblay, Ham Mazda RX-8 61
2. Dumoulin, de Quesada Porsche GT3 54
3. Longhi, Assentato Mazda RX-8 54
4. Edwards, Collins Pontiac GXP.R 53
5. Keen Porsche GT3 49
6. Lacey Porsche GT3 48
7. Lewis, Reese Pontiac GXP.R 45
Keen Porsche GT3 45
8. Farnbacher Porsche GT3 43
9. Swartzbaugh, Davis Porsche GT3 39
10. Valentine, Lally Porsche GT3 37

Grand-Am Manufacturer Point Standings:

1. Pontiac 67
2. Lexus 63
3. Porsche 54
4. Ford 43
5. BMW 24

1. Porsche 67
2. Mazda 61
3. Pontiac 53
4. Chevrolet 32
5. Ford 18
6. BMW 17

Pontiac Powered Grand-Am Teams Entered for Homestead:

#06 GT, Banner Racing, Pontiac GXP.R, Reese, Lewis
#07 GT, Banner Racing, Pontiac GXP.R, Edwards, Collins
#10 DP, SunTrust, Angelelli, Magnussen, Taylor
#11 DP, SAMAX, Duno, Carpentier
#12 DP, RVO Motorsports, Schramm, Lester
#30 GT, Racers Edge Motorsports, TBD
#41 GT, Team Sahlen GTO, Baughman, Sahlen, Nonnamaker
#75 DP, Krohn Racing, Braun, Papis
#76 DP, Krohn Racing, Krohn, Jonsson
#91 DP, Riley-Mathews Motorsports, Mathews, Goosens
#99 DP, Gainsco/Bob Stallings Racing, Gurney, Fogarty


- Kyle Chura, Jim Hopson-
photos Grandam

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19.03.2007 / MaP

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