Pirelli helps BMW to a record day at Mid-Ohio
Pirelli and its legendary P Zero racing tires turned in another flawless performance in hot and humid conditions in the EMCO Gears Classic at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on Saturday, June 19, and helped BMW reach a GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series milestone with victories in both the Daytona Prototype and GT divisions in the same race for the first time.
Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas took a huge step toward locking down the 2010 GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series Daytona Prototype Championship with their fifth victory in seven races this year in the No. 01 TELMEX/Chip Ganassi Racing BMW Riley while Bill Auberlen and Joey Hand gave Turner Motorsport its first GT win in the No. 94 Turner Motorsport BMW M6 in the GT class. It was also the first GT win for the BMW M6 model and the first for a BMW of any type in GRAND-AM Rolex Series GT since 2005. Pirelli P Zeros played a key role in the successful day for both BMW teams.
“It was a big day for Pirelli,” Pruett said. “This was the first time that we double stinted a set of tires and the performance was incredible. We worked them pretty hard because I had to work my way through traffic, and I was really asking a lot of the tire which allowed us to control the pace. It was huge.”
Pruett led the No. 60 Crown Royal XR Ford Riley of Oswaldo Negri and John Pew across the finish line by 2.991 seconds. Mark Wilkins and Burt Frisselle finished third in the No. 61 AIM Autosport Ford Riley.
“I was in the car for two hours and 15 minutes and I am so glad I had the Pirelli tires underneath me,” Negri said. “It’s amazing and they just get better and better and better. I will never have any issue with these tires, I was running my lines and never had any pick up and I just love it. I just really wish Pirelli would be here next year for us.”
The No. 01 team won its second consecutive race which means a $15,000 “double rollover” Pirelli P Zero Club bonus will be on the line for any eligible first time 2010 Daytona Prototype winner in the next event at Daytona International Speedway, July 3. As a first-year team, the No. 94 Turner BMW is not currently a Pirelli P Zero Club member, which means a season-high Pirelli P Zero Club bonus of $20,000 will be up for grabs for any eligible first time 2010 GT winners at Daytona.
“It was great and that tire ran solid as a rock all day,” said Auberlen, who led 16 laps in his opening shift in the winning M6. “It is something that you can rely on that Pirelli is going to give you something great and every time I drive them, it makes me smile…nobody complains about the Pirelli because it always comes through.”
Hand was at the wheel for 30 of the No. 94 BMW’s race-high 46 laps in the lead.
“I was saving from the beginning of my stint for the end of the race, and I tell you these tires hold on, and they did hold on,” said Hand, who took the lead for good with 17 laps to go. “If you are good to them they are good to you.”
Next up for Pirelli and the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series is the Brumos Porsche 250 At Daytona, which can be seen live on SPEED at 11 a.m. ET/8 a.m. PT on Saturday, July 3.