Sunday, January 27, 2013

Ganassi Racing Claims Fifth Rolex 24 Title

Montoya and Ganassi Racing dominated
If you don’t know what time it is, don’t blame Juan Pablo Montoya or Scott Pruett. 

Montoya claimed his third Rolex watch, emblematic of victory in the 51st running of the Rolex 24 at Daytona Sunday, reclaiming the lead for the final time when rival Max Angelelli was forced to pit for fuel with just minutes remaining in the twice-around-the-clock sports car marathon. He crossed beneath the checkered flag just ahead of Angellelli, sealing a record-tying fifth Rolex 24 win for Chip Ganassi Racing co-driver Scott Pruett, who tied Hurley Haywood for the all-time win record. 

AJ Allmendingerfinished third for defending champion Michael Shank Racing, rebounding from seven laps down in the early going to challenge for the win. On a pivotal restart with less than an hour remaining, Allmendinger surged to third place with a testosterone-rich outside pass in Turn One, before being shoved off-track by third-place running Joao Barbosa. Barbosa was penalized for avoidable contact, while Allmendinger was forced to pit to remove debris from his radiator, eliminating him from contention for the win. 

Montoya’s stellar final stint gave Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates its fifth Rolex 24 win in eight years, as he, Pruett, Memo Rojas and Charlie Kimball dominated the headline Daytona Prototype class virtually from the drop of the green flag. Angelelli’s Wayne Taylor Racing Corvette Dallara finished second, followed by a fast-closing Allmendinger.

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