Motorsport News - US
Alex Gurney and Jon Fogarty aim for first 2012 win with Montreal 200 repeat
15th August 2012
No. 99 GAINSCO Auto Insurance Corvette Daytona Prototype team primed for more success in return to site of most recent race win
Defending race winners GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing, and drivers Alex Gurney and Jon Fogarty, will race for a repeat victory Saturday at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve that would also give the No. 99 GAINSCO Auto Insurance Corvette Daytona Prototype team its first win of the 2012 season at this weekends Montreal 200, August 16 18.
Round 11 of 13 races on the 2012 GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series schedule, the Montreal 200 is a timed two-hour sprint that can be seen in same-day coverage on SPEED this Saturday, August 18, at 7 p.m. EDT/4 p.m. PDT.
Circuit Gilles Villeneuve has always been a GAINSCO favorite, and last year Gurney and Fogarty capped the teams strong run of success in Montreal with their first victory on the 2.709-mile Formula 1 circuit. That win from the pole, the 15th career victory for the team, was also the last time the No. 99 GAINSCO Red Dragon was driven to a race win in the competitive GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series Daytona Prototype division.
The Red Dragon always seems to have great pace at Montreal and it felt great to finally capitalize on that and turn it into a victory, Fogarty said. Winning on a Formula 1 circuit is special, but winning at a place that has eluded us so many times is much sweeter.
Race wins have also eluded GAINSCO so far in 2012 but the return to Montreal could be just what the No. 99 squad needs to end the season on a high note. The team has endured every type of setback racing can present this season, including mechanical failures, being taken out in accidents, in-race issues and, most recently, a race car that was just a tick off the pace in last Saturdays Continental Tire 200 at The Glen.
We have been competitive pretty much everywhere this year, certainly in the last five or six races besides The Glen last weekend, and I dont know why it would be any different at Montreal, Gurney said. We had a really good race last year. We felt like we arrived at a place setup wise that should be pretty good and we are going to go there and try and turn this thing around.
Fogarty has a record four pole qualifying efforts with GAINSCO at Montreal, including each of the last three events at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve and in the inaugural GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series race at Montreal in 2007. GAINSCO, Gurney and Fogarty also finished second in the 2010 Montreal 200 and third in 2007 and 2009. The teams only non-podium result in Montreal was an eighth-place finish in 2008.
Historically, we have been very good in Montreal, Fogarty said. We are heading there with a new package this year with the Corvette. Alex and I know the circuit very well, its a place we enjoy and we can get the most out of it. I do think the Corvette should be strong there and I am looking forward to being there. As always, Canada is a great place to go racing.
Two-time GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series Daytona Prototype Champions in 2007 and 2009, GAINSCO and its drivers have worked hard for their success on the challenging 15-turn road course on Montreals Ile Notre Dame.
Putting the power down is pretty tricky around there, Gurney said. You are turning and asking a lot of the tires under load, but we worked on that very hard and got the car working pretty good last year. We have always been really quick at Montreal; weve led a lot of laps there and got the first win last year. I think we can do it again. We have a lot of experience there.
GAINSCOs top 2012 race results have been second-place finishes at Barber Motorsports Park in March and last month in the Sahlens Six Hours of The Glen. Additional top-five finishes include fourth at Belle Isle in Detroit in early June and fifth last week in the NASCAR short course race at The Glen. GAINSCO has also endured a team career-high four DNFs (Did Not Finish) this season at Homestead-Miami Speedway, New Jersey Motorsports Park, Road America and Indianapolis Motor Speedway as well as a pair of distant finishes after in-race mechanical issues at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course and in the season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona.
A three-day event, the Montreal 200 begins with afternoon practice on Thursday while Friday includes that mornings final practice and afternoon qualifying. Saturdays only GRAND-AM Rolex Series on-track activity is the actual Montreal 200 that starts at 11:15 a.m. local time. Same-day coverage of the race can be seen on SPEED later in the day on Saturday, August 18, at 7 p.m. EDT/4 p.m. PDT.
- Last years victory at Montreal was a total team effort for GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing, Gurney and Fogarty. The team did a great job from start to finish last year, Fogarty said. From the pole, to our pace, to pit stops and strategy, we just had a command of the event. The No. 99 led a race-high 45 of the timed two-hour sprints 73 laps, with Gurney at the wheel for 43 of those laps. We really put in a big effort to win in Montreal in 2011, Gurney said. We felt we had come so close so many times and let several chances to win slip away, but when we rolled off the truck last year, we knew we were going to be the team to beat.
- Fogartys third-straight and fourth-career pole at last years Montreal 200 at the time extended his lead as the all-time Daytona Prototype pole winner to 18. He went on to win the pole one race later at the season-ending race at Mid-Ohio and has since added three more 2012 pole positions to his qualifying resume. Fogarty won the pole last month at the inaugural Brickyard Grand Prix, establishing the Daytona Prototype track record at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and was also the top qualifier in Junes races at Detroit and Mid-Ohio.
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