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Bourdais Wins First-Ever GRAND-AM Race At Indianapolis

Jim Pedley | Managing Editor, RacinToday.com Friday, July 27 2012

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Sebastien Bourdais won the Rolex GRAND-AM Series’ inaugural race on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway infield road course on Friday afternoon.

Bourdais, driving a Ford Riley Prototype for Starworks Motorsports with co-driver Alex Popow, won the race – the Brickyard Grand Peix – under caution.

“That was a pretty sweet achievement,” Bourdais, a four-time Champ Car champion and former Formula 1 driver, said of winning the first sports car race at Indy.

Scott Pruett of Telemex Chip Ganassi Racing finished second in a BMW Riley. Pruett, and his co-driver Memo Rojas, are the series points leaders.

Ricky Taylor of SunTrust Wayne Taylor Racing was third in a Corvette.

Andy Lally won the GT portion of the race in a Magnus Racing Porsche 911.

“We won Indy,” Lally said.

Finishing second in GT was Jonathan Bommarito in a Mazda.

Much of the race was run under wet-track conditions. Heavy downpours slowed the action and contributed to a number of wrecks.

The Brickyard victory is the latest in a string of prestigious victories for the Starworks team in 2012. The team won its class in endurance races at Sebring and Le Mans, and finished second in the season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona.

“It’s amazing, sitting here in first place at the Brickyard — it’s like a dream come true,” Popow said. “This is something I’ve been chasing all year.”

Juan Pablo Montoya, who teamed with Scott Dixon in the No. 01 Chevron BMW/Riley Ganassi entry, stoked controversy with his driving stint, first bumping Joao Barbosa and then Ryan Dalziel out of likely top-five finishes in the late stages.

Six Daytona Prototype cars traded the lead, with the No. 8 Duncan Starworks entry driven by Dalziel and Enzo Potolicchio leading the most laps (36). Their tenure at the helm came to an end when Bourdais took command for the final time, speeding past Dalziel in the 75th of 91 laps.

Pruett and Rojas stretched their lead in the Daytona Prototype standings over Dalziel and Potolicchio, who finished 17th Friday, from three points to 11.

Lally and John Potter prevailed in the Grand Touring class, finishing fifth overall and securing the North American Endurance Championship in that division. Lally drove the closing segment for the No. 44 Magnus Racing Porsche GT3, which won for the second time this season and found redemption after a fiery end to the series’ last round at Watkins Glen.

“Just amazing. We just won Indy,” said Lally, last season’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Rookie of the Year. “I’ve said it 60 times since we took the checkered flag, but it was such a hard-fought battle all day long with those guys.”

GT class pole winners Sylvain Tremblay and Jonathan Bomarito finished second in the No. 70 Mazdaspeed/ModSpace Mazda RX-8, followed by No. 59 The Brumos Companies Porsche GT3 co-drivers Andrew Davis and Leh Keen in third. Emil Assentato and Jeff Segal came home fifth in class to keep the No. 69 FXDD Ferrari 458 AIM Autosport team atop the GT points standings.

Jim Pedley | Managing Editor, RacinToday.com Friday, July 27 2012
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