Lexus Grand-Am Race Preview - Virginia International Raceway

April 22, 2009
05 Lexus Grand-Am Rolex 24
What: Bosch Engineering 250 at VIR
 
When: Saturday, April 25, 2:30 p.m. EDT
 
Where: Virginia International Raceway, 3.27-mile, 17-turn road course
 
Length: 250 miles or 2 hours, 45 minutes
 
TV: Live on SPEED
 
ON TOP AGAIN – Lexus drivers Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas find themselves in a familiar position heading to Virginia International Raceway – on top of the Rolex Sports Car Series driver standings. Despite finishing second at the season-opening Rolex 24, the Lexus drivers hold the top rung of the point standings after the winning Porsche failed post-race inspection in Daytona.
 
VIR will mark the 15th consecutive race that the Ganassi duo has held the points lead heading into an event and the 27th time in the last 29 Grand-Am Daytona Prototype races. A year ago, they combined for six wins on the way to the 2008 Driver’s and Team championships.
 
LAST YEAR AT VIR – Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas overcame just about every foreseeable obstacle to win the 2008 Bosch Engineering 250. The weekend started with Pruett arriving late after weather complications grounded his plane in Chicago on the way to VIR. Even with Pruett not arriving until Saturday, Rojas went out and captured the pole, only to be sent to the back of the field after a technical infraction. Starting from pit lane, Rojas charged through traffic to move back into the front pack, only to have contact while trying to overtake a slower car resulting in damage to the front corner. After some quick repairs, Pruett climbed into the car and eventually took the lead on Lap 58 and then held off a furious charge by Ryan Dalziel for a .548-second victory.
 
LEXUS/GANASSI ALL-TIME AT VIR - In five previous trips to Virginia International Raceway, the #01 Ganassi Lexus has four top-three podium finishes including a pair of victories - in 2005 with Scott Pruett and Luis Diaz behind the wheel and last season with Pruett and Rojas teaming up. The team also placed second in 2004, third in 2006 and eighth in 2007. Last season, the Ganassi team became the first team to win at VIR and go on to win the series title since the class’ debut season in 2003, when just four teams campaigned the full season.
 
IN THE RECORD BOOKS – The Chip Ganassi Racing Lexus team enters into this weekend’s race as the winningest team in Rolex Sports Car Series history with 21 victories since entering the series in 2004. Lead driver Scott Pruett has won more races than any driver in Rolex history with 20, while also holding the record for most podium finishes with 41. Despite its relatively late entry into the series, Lexus is second among manufacturers in all-time wins with 23.
 
Pruett, the most decorated sports car racer in American history, set another record last season by earning his eighth major sports car title in winning the Rolex Series crown. Amazingly enough, Pruett established that record despite having spent eight full seasons in Indy cars and one in NASCAR, as well as missing a full season due to injury (1991). Pruett’s titles include two Daytona Prototype championships (2008 and 2004), two IMSA GTO titles (1986 and 1988), one IMSA GT Endurance (1986) and three Trans-Am championships (1987, 1994 and 2003). In 11 full seasons of sports car racing since 1986, Pruett has never finished below second in a points race.
 
Lexus Daytona Prototype Performance Index
 
Date Race Qualified/Finished
 
#01 #02
 
1/27 Daytona 24 6/1 10/18
 
4/25 Virginia
 
5/3 New Jersey
 
5/17 Laguna Seca
 
6/6 Watkins Glen 6-Hour
 
6/20 Mid-Ohio
 
7/4 Daytona
 
7/19 Birmingham
 
8/7 Watkins Glen
 
8/29 Montreal
 
9/19 Salt Lake City
 
10/10 Miami-Homestead
 


Driver’s Championship


1.

2.

2t.



Pruett/Rojas

Donahue/Law

France/Barbosa


32

30 - 2

30 - 2


Team Championship


1.

2.

3.



Chip Ganassi Racing

Brumos Racing #58

Brumos Racing #59


32

30 - 3

30 - 3


Manufacturer’s Championship


1.

2.

3.

4.

5.


Lexus

Porsche

Ford

Pontiac

BMW


32

30 - 2

28 - 4

24 - 8

22 - 10

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