Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas won at Barber Motorsports Park
Saturday’s Porsche 250 at Barber Motorsports Park produced a first-class Pirelli P Zero performance, a pair of repeat race winners and the first ever “roll overs” in the short history of the new $120,000 Pirelli P Zero Club Bonus Program after another highly-competitive GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series race.
The No. 01 TELMEX/Chip Ganassi Racing BMW Riley Daytona Prototype of Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas and the No. 69 FXDD/SpeedSource Mazda RX-8 GT of Emil Assentato and Jeff Segal each won for the second consecutive time this year following their first victories of the season in last month’s Grand Prix of Miami. That means the next race at Virginia International Raceway in two weeks will offer a cool $10,000 P Zero Club bonus to any first-time 2010 winners in the Bosch Engineering 250.
Pruett and Rojas once again were the class of the Daytona Prototype field and increased their already commanding lead in the 2010 GRAND-AM Rolex Series championship standings. The No. 01 led a race-high 69 laps, including 43 by final driver Pruett who once again had high praise for the Pirelli P Zeros.
“The Pirellis were almost as fast at the end as they were at the beginning,” Pruett said. “This is a great tire and it is consistent and strong.”
Pruett crossed the finish line 6.870 seconds ahead of the No. 60 Crown Royal XR/Michael Shank Racing Ford Riley of Oswaldo Negri and John Pew. The No. 8 Starworks Motorsport BMW Riley of Ryan Dalziel and Mike Forest finished third.
After running the last two years at Barber in the thick of oppressive summer heat and humidity, the new April race date let Rolex Series teams experience the P Zeros in milder spring temperatures for the first time.
“We had great performance from the Pirellis and they never gave up, which was really, really impressive”, Segal said.
The No. 69 led an impressive top-three Mazda RX-8 GT sweep ahead of the second-place No. 30 Racers Edge Motorsports entry of Todd Lamb and Jordan Taylor and the Daytona-winning Castrol Syntec/SpeedSource car driven by Sylvain Tremblay and Jonathan Bomarito.
“The Mazdas behind me were pushing really hard, so we were taking everything the tires would give,” Segal said. “The tires hung in there, we turned in some quick laps and I was impressed. This track is notoriously very difficult on tires, both with the weather and the duration of the corners, it is very difficult.”
The Pirelli P Zero Club is comprised of returning teams that finished inside the top 10 in the final 2009 GRAND-AM Rolex Series Daytona Prototype and GT points standings. When one of those teams in either class scores its first victory of the 2010 season they will also earn a $5,000 Pirelli P Zero Bonus. Any repeat wins by either team in the remainder of the season will see that race’s $5,000 bonus “roll over” and continue to build at each race until other P Zero Club members score their first 2010 victories. For the season finale at Miller Motorsports Park, September 11, all members of the P Zero Club will again be eligible for the bonus, regardless of whether or not they have won earlier in the season.
Next up for Pirelli and the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series is the Bosch Engineering 250 at VIR, April 23 – 24. The race can be seen in same-day coverage on SPEED on Saturday, April 24, at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT.