Pirelli P Zeros tame Grand Prix of Miami
Pirelli’s P Zero Racing Slicks tamed the challenging Grand Prix of Miami at Homestead-Miami Speedway’s road course in round-two of the 2010 GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series on Saturday. Homestead’s road course is known for high-speeds and an increased level of difficulty. P Zero’s optimal performance proved on target for drivers and teams, and produced record lap times and incredibly close competition during the event.
Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas earned the GRAND-AM Rolex Series Daytona Prototype Championship lead with their first victory this season in the No. 01 TELMEX/Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates BMW Riley – taking top honors for the second time in three years at the race. GT-class honors went to the No. 69 FXDD/SpeedSource Mazda RX-8 GT of Emil Assentato and Jeff Segal. This year, more than half of the Daytona Prototypes entered in the race eclipsed 2009’s track record in qualifying, and teams and drivers in both classes were able to depend on optimum performance from their Pirelli P Zeros throughout the twilight race.
The green flag dropped at 5 p.m. Saturday with sunny skies and temperatures just below 70 degrees Fahrenheit. The race ended two hours and forty-five minutes later in complete darkness and nearly 10 degrees Fahrenheit cooler than at the start. Despite the change in conditions and Homestead-Miami’s notoriously tough surface for tires and suspension configuration, the P Zeros have never performed better on the South Florida track.
Rojas and Pruett battled with the No. 59 Brumos Porsche Riley of pole-winning driver Darren Law and his teammate David Donohue for most of the race. Law won the pole in the No. 59 car in Friday’s qualifying session and was the first of nine Daytona Prototypes that obliterated a track record that was set just five months ago in the 2009 season-ending race at Homestead-Miami.
Eight GT competitors also broke the existing class track record in qualifying using the 2010 specification P Zeros. The group included the No. 69 Mazda with Assentato impressively posting the fourth-fastest time. He started the race while Segal took over for the final stint and took the race lead and the GT victory.
“We had a really good day,” Segal said. “We took a really big gamble on a more aggressive setup that would probably wear the tires quicker but use more of the Pirelli’s potential. The balance of the car was great going from day into night, and the car and the Pirellis were phenomenal the whole time.”
Next up for Pirelli and the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series is the Porsche 250 at Barber Motorsports Park, April 8 – 10. The race can be seen live on SPEED on Sunday, April 10, at 1:30 p.m. ET.