Grand Am – Mont Tremblant – Quick Report
First For CompUSA Chip Ganassi With Felix Sabates
Riley, Dorans, Crawfords & Dorans

Scott Pruett and Max Papis were the class of the field, and having led for 128 laps of the 200, they were in charge after the last of eight Full Course Cautions, pulling away remorselessly from a battle between the Dorans of Doran-Lista and Kodak-Bell Motorsports. Jan Magnussen took the place (from Terry Borcheller) with a handful of laps to go, with the Crawfords led by Butch Leitzinger and Andy Wallace fourth and fifth, and the Shank Doran sixth, the last car on the lead lap. The Rx.com Doran BMW was a lap down for hour after hour, and finished that way, seventh.

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Eighth could have been so much better for the surviving Brumos Porsche, David Donohue sticking it in the gravel in the last hour, having been in contention throughout.

dailysportscar.comThe fastest car on the track was none of these: an oil leak very early on ruined the SunTrust Riley’s race, but the black and yellow car did finish (18th), and Max Angelelli set the fastest lap of the race, a 1:29.308, eight tenths faster than anyone else. The other two Rileys (the CompUSA Chip Ganassi etc etc cars) were the only other DPs to lap in 1:30 something, all the other contenders unable to beat 1:31.

“It’s great to give Lexus its first win in endurance racing and now we’re headed in the right direction,” said Papis. “Everyone with the CompUSA Chip Ganassi Racing team is focused on one thing – winning.” Lexus engines finished 1-2, and Papis and Pruett now lead the DP Drivers Championship.

Cautions on laps 109, 132, 141, 151, 173 and finally on lap 197 disrupted the second half of the race, but the last 23 laps looked as though they would see a sprint to the flag: the Grala Fabcar off at turn 5 effectively ended the race after 20 of them, although the final adjustment of the top six had already taken place by then, Magnussen moving up from fourth to second, the #2 Wallace-driven Crawford from sixth to fifth.

Some would argue that the cautions made the race and kept it close and interesting: without them, Papis and Pruett would have won by a distance. With them, well, Andy Wallace and Jan Lammers were able to get a lap back after the slow Milka Duno started the 02 Crawford – but it was the Rileys that had the real pace. What was it Bill Riley said a few days ago?

Boris and Bill took GT for PTG, but Ian James kept the #66 TRG 911 in contention throughout, although the gap was closer at the end than it looked as though it was going to be. The Maserati put up a great fight, Joao Barbosa leading the charge to third in GT, just behind the SGS winner of Randy Pobst and Michael Levitas. The Orbit Porsche would have been in contenntion but for a split water hose, which required 30 minutes to be replaced. The Maserati suffered a similar ailment, dropping it down towards the end.

Interesting, but too many FCCs again. 88 mph winning speed against a fastest lap of nearly 107. Full report on Monday.

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