GRAND-AM Series: 2011 Rolex Series GT Class At Halfway
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The 2011 GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series GT class has reached its halfway point, and after six races, it’s anyone’s guess as to who was the most dominant team.
The second half of the season begins June 25 with the Rolex Sports Car Series 250 Presented by VISIT FLORIDA at Road America. With the top three teams and driving duos separated by only three points, it makes it critically important that over the next six races, mistakes must be kept to a minimum, and consistency atop the leader board a requirement.
Five different driver pairings have won in the first six races. Bill Auberlen and Paul Dalla Lana are the only drivers with multiple victories, which came back-to-back at Homestead-Miami Speedway and Barber Motorsports Park. Yet, they sit third in the standings, in part due to an 11th-place finish in Saturday’s Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen, which occurred because of a broken sway bar.
It has only been the endurance races that has kept the Turner Motorsport duo from capturing all top 10s. Auberlen and Dalla Lana finished 17th in the Rolex 24 At Daytona (all teams in that race finishing 15th or worse were awarded 15th-place points), and 11th at Watkins Glen, which came a day after the No. 94 BMW M3’s front end was torn up in a practice accident. That finish dropped Auberlen and Dalla Lana from leading to third, though only three points out of first.
It also gave Jordan Taylor and Bill Lester, driving for Autohaus Motorsports, who finished second in the No. 88 Chevrolet Camaro, their first points lead, completing a three-race swing which saw them climb from 10th to first. Lester became the first African-American driver to win a Rolex Series race, when he helped Taylor and Autohaus to their first victories at Virginia International Raceway. The pair then finished competitive seconds at both Lime Rock Park and Watkins Glen to gain a three-point advantage.
“We’re definitely on a run these last few races,” Lester said. “Our number one objective was to lead the championship if at all possible, and we’ve accomplished that.”
Leh Keen and Andrew Davis, co-drivers of the No. 59 Porsche GT3, won the Sahlen’s Six Hours to give Brumos Racing its first victory in Rolex Series GT competition. The team moved to GT in 2011 after running with the DP class since its inception in 2003. The team’s biggest DP win came in the 2009 Rolex 24.
Robin Liddell and Jan Magnussen won at Lime Rock in the No. 57 Chevrolet Camaro, driving for Stevenson Automotive Group.TRG opened the season by winning the Rolex 24 in the lone top-10 finish for Steven Bertheau and Spencer Pumpelly, drivers of the No. 67 Porsche GT3. Joining Pumpelly and Bertheau in their Rolex 24 win were Andy Lally, Brendan Gaughan and Wolf Henzler.
Source: GRAND-AM Road Racing