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Starworks Sweeps At Watkins Glen

Info Manager | , RacinToday.com Saturday, August 11 2012

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Starworks Motorsport’s Ryan Dalziel and Lucas Luhr led a 1-2 sweep for the team at Watkins Glen International on Saturday, giving the team its second straight GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series victory.

After building a comfortable lead, Dalziel pulled away from teammate Sebastien Bourdais on the race’s final restart with four laps remaining to finish 0.817 seconds ahead of Bourdais and record the first top-two sweep in team history for Starworks Motorsport.

The victory moved Dalziel to within six points of the Daytona Prototype points lead with three races remaining on the schedule.

Dalziel led the final 30 laps of the 91-lap race around the 2.45-mile Watkins Glen short course to earn his first victory of the season in the No. 8 Ford/Riley. It was the first Rolex Series victory for Luhr, a decorated road racer, and was Dalziel’s third career Rolex Series win.

“It was an unbelievable job,” Dalziel said. “We definitely felt in Indy that we could have had a 1-2 and after a couple of seasons of knocking on the door of a double podium, this is excellent. I don’t think it was just a podium for both cars. I think it was a pretty dominating performance.”

Bourdais and No. 2 Soloson Ford/Riley co-driver Alex Popow settled for second after scoring their first Rolex Series victory last month at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. It was the third straight podium for Bourdais, who finished third in the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen on the Watkins Glen International long course in early July co-driving with Dalziel and Enzo Potolicchio.

Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas retained the Daytona Prototype points lead with a third-place run in the No. 01 TELMEX BMW/Riley. Pruett and Rojas lead Dalziel by a count of 295-289 after 10 of 13 races.

Bill Auberlen and Paul Dalla Lana co-drove to their second GT victory of the season in the No. 94 Turner Motorsport BMW. Not unlike Dalziel’s run in Daytona Prototype, Auberlen also saw a comfortable lead evaporate on the race’s third and final full-course caution for a crash by Patrick Lindsay. But Auberlen was also able to pull away again on the final restart.

“The car drove perfect today,” said Auberlen following his 24th Rolex Series class win. “It was better than it’s ever been. We had to win today and we did everything we could to do it.”

Boris Said led a race-high 42 laps en route to a second-place GT result alongside co-driver Eric Curran in the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Chevrolet Corvette. Third place went to defending Rolex Series GT champions Leh Keen and Andrew Davis in the No. 59 The Brumos Companies Porsche GT3.

It was a tough race for the front-runners in the GT title fight, as co-leaders Jeff Segal and Emil Assentato battled to a seventh-place result in the No. 69 FXDD Ferrari 458. Assentato was involved in an incident in the first turn on the first lap with John Edwards in the No. 57 Stevenson Auto Group Chevrolet Camaro GT.R.

Edwards’ co-driver, Robin Liddell, entered the race second in the GT standings but fell to fourth after a 14th-place result. Segal and Assentato now lead Dalla Lana by 16 points, 300-284.

The Rolex Series returns to action next Saturday at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, for the Montreal 200.

Info Manager | , RacinToday.com Saturday, August 11 2012
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