July 27, 2012 | By Paul Kelly
Bourdais, Popow Team To Win Inaugural Brickyard Grand Prix
Indianapolis 500 veteran and IZOD IndyCar Series standout Sebastien Bourdais teamed with Alex Popow to win the inaugural Brickyard Grand Prix GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series race Friday, July 27 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Bourdais took the checkered flag under caution in the No. 2 Soloson Ford Riley Daytona Prototype fielded by Starworks Motorsport in the three-hour race on the 13-turn, 2.534-mile IMS Grand Prix course. It was the first GRAND-AM Road Racing event at IMS.
Indianapolis 500 veteran Scott Pruett and teammate Memo Rojas finished second in the No. 01 TELMEX BMW Riley fielded by Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates. Max Angelelli and Ricky Taylor finished third in the No. 10 SunTrust Racing Corvette fielded by Wayne Taylor Racing of nearby Brownsburg, Ind.
Bourdais and Popow helped Starworks clinch the North American Endurance Championship presented by VISITFLORIDA.com in the Daytona Prototype class, earning a $100,000 bonus. The NAEC consists of the Rolex 24 At Daytona, the Sahlen’s Six Hours at the Glen and the Brickyard Grand Prix.
Andy Lally and John Potter teamed to win the GT class in the Magnus Racing Porsche GT3 Cup, finishing fifth overall. Magnus Racing earned a $50,000 bonus for winning the NAEC in the GT class.
Bourdais took the lead for good on Lap 74 of the three-hour race, which ended after 91 laps. He dove under Ryan Dalziel entering Turn 1 for the decisive move.
There were three caution periods after Bourdais took the lead. But he was able to pull away on restarts each time.
The wild race, which featured 13 lead changes, was slowed by caution nine times for 34 laps due to aggressive, fender-banging action throughout the field. Heavy rain also came and went twice in the three-hour event, creating tricky, ever-changing track conditions.
2000 Indianapolis 500 winner Juan Pablo Montoya was involved in two collisions – one with Dalziel and another with Joao Barbosa. But he still managed to guide the No. 02 Chevron BMW Riley to fourth overall after 2008 Indianapolis 500 winner Scott Dixon started the race in the car fielded by Chip Ganassi Racing.
In the Brickyard Sports Car Challenge for the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge, Lawson Aschenbach and Eric Curran teamed up for victory in the No. 01 CKS Autosport Camaro GS.R in a race that also ended under caution.
Daniel Rogers and Seth Thomas combined to win the ST class in the Brickyard Sports Challenge in the No. 82 BimmerWorld Racing BMW 328i.
NASCAR racing will return to the 2.5-mile IMS oval Saturday. The Sprint Cup Series will practice
at 8:30 and 10:30 a.m. and qualify at 2:10 p.m. for the Crown Royal Presents the Curtiss Shaver 400 at the Brickyard Powered by BigMachineRecords.com, which takes place at 1 p.m. Sunday. The NASCAR Nationwide Series will qualify at 12:35 p.m. Saturday and then race in the Indiana 250 at 4:50 p.m.
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