Angelelli, Brian Frisselle Seek Montreal 200 ‘Hat Trick’

J.J. O’Malley, GRAND-AM

Brian Frisselle (left) and Max Angelelli won the 2009 Montreal 200 for SunTrust Racing.

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Defending Montreal 200 winners Max Angelelli and Brian Frisselle return to Circuit Gilles Villeneuve driving different cars with different co-drivers, but both look to score a Daytona Prototype hat trick at the famed Canadian road circuit (SPEED, live, 2 p.m. ET Saturday).

Angelelli and Frisselle won the 2009 event with SunTrust Racing. Angelelli returns in that car, joined by Ricky Taylor; the pair are third in the DP points standings with one win and nine top 10s, and a chance still to take the title. Angelelli also won the race in 2007 with Jan Magnussen.

The team’s gamble to stay out on rain tires paid off last year. In an event that featured inclement weather at times, it became a guessing game as to race on slicks or rain tires. Midway through the race, several teams – albeit the No. 10 team – switched to slicks on a rapidly drying track, but were forced back in when the skies opened. The end result – a minute-plus victory.

Frisselle and Vancouver, B.C., driver Michael Valiante have endured an up-and-down 2010, but Montreal could change that. Frisselle has won back-to-back Montreal races, including 2008, when co-driver Mark Wilkins came from fourth to first on the final lap to give himself, Frisselle and Canadian-based AIM Autosport, a first-time victory. In fact, the 0.064-second margin of victory over Antonio Garcia was the closest in Rolex Series history.

Pruett, Rojas Look To Secure Title, Give Ganassi Record 8th Victory

Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas could wrap up their second championship in three seasons at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, and add several milestones as well.

To clinch the title, the pair need only to leave the Canadian facility with a 35-point advantage to clinch the championship. They lead Ryan Dalziel by 26 points (302-276) and Max Angelelli and Ricky Taylor by 30 (302-272).

An eighth victory this weekend would break a record they tied earlier this month at Watkins Glen International. Alex Gurney and Jon Fogarty in 2007 won seven races en route to the DP title. Among Pruett and Rojas’s seven wins were a pair of three-race winning streaks, also tying a series record.

Pruett and Rojas can match another milestone with their 10th podium of the season. Angelelli and Wayne Taylor accomplished that in 2005, en route to the DP title.

The Ganassi team has led nine races, with Pruett pacing nine races for 486 laps and Rojas eight races for 139 circuits. The No. 01 has led 687 of the 1,846 laps completed this season. The lone blemish on the team’s record was a last-place finish, 13th, at Lime Rock Park on Memorial Day, when Rojas was involved in an incident in the first turn on the opening lap.

Montreal Native Tremblay Enjoying Success Wearing Many Hats In 2010 GT Competition

Sylvain Tremblay has been a man wearing many hats – and a helmet – this season, and the Montreal native is enjoying success with all of them.

When he puts on his helmet and straps into the No. 70, he races for the victory. And it shows. Tremblay is currently second in the Rolex Series GT championship, trailing Emil Assentato and Jeff Segal by four points (290-286). Tremblay and regular co-driver Jonathan Bomarito have two victories this season, including the Rolex 24 At Daytona.

Wearing his team owner hat, his SpeedSource squad is dominating the Rolex Series GT championship. Assentato and Segal’s No. 69 leads Tremblay and Bomarito’s No. 70 by four points (290-286). A third car, co-piloted by Adam Christodoulou and John Edwards, sits fifth with 244 points, despite missing the season opener.

As a car builder, Tremblay oversees the preparation of all eight Mazda RX-8s that compete fulltime in the Rolex Series. Four of the cars have won six races this season, helping Mazda to a healthy 57-point lead (334-277) over Chevrolet in the GT manufacturer point standings.

James Gue and Leh Keen scored the first victory for a SpeedSource “customer car” – also the first triumph for Dempsey Racing. Team Sahlen and Racers Edge Motorsports also compete with SpeedSource-prepared Mazdas.

Liddell, Davis Seek 3rd Straight For Stevenson, 1st For Camaro

Andrew Davis and Robin Liddell will be looking for a familiar accomplishment with new equipment in Saturday’s Montreal 200.

The pair are looking for their third straight victory at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, after wheeling a Stevenson Motorsports Pontiac GXP.R to victory the past two seasons. Now, Montreal would be the perfect location for the pair to score the first victory for the Chevrolet Camaro in Rolex Series GT competition.

“The entire Stevenson team has worked real hard all year to develop this car,” Davis said. “We’ve made a lot of progress, and we’re excited to be going back to Montreal, where we’ve had victories the last two years. We’re looking forward to doing our best, because we feel we can get that car up to the top of the podium by the end of the season.”

Davis and Liddell have five top-five finishes this season and are sixth in the GT standings. Their best finishes were second in the Grand Prix of Miami and third in the Crown Royal 200 at Watkins Glen International.

DP Modifications Planned For 2011, Turbos Possible In 2012

Looking to the future, GRAND-AM Road Racing is looking at modifications to its premier Daytona Prototype class for the 2011 season, leading to a potential redesign of the car for 2012.

Changes being considered for 2011 competition include use of a spec carbon clutch; a paddle shift option for teams using Pro-Am drivers; and changes to the rear wing that may involve new endplates, plus the addition of a trailing-edge flap.

The DP debuted as the premier class of the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series at the 2003 Rolex 24 At Daytona. Specifications remained relatively unchanged through the first five seasons, with chassis manufacturers allowed to submit updates or transfer their licenses for 2008 competition. Currently, four chassis manufacturers are active in DP competition: Riley, Dallara, Lola and Coyote.

The next major changes to the DP platform will be in 2012. Proposed modifications include narrowing and lowering the driver compartment; changes to the car’s splitter/front underwing while enhancing the front crush structure; and the introduction of OEM-branded bodies along with the constructor-branded cars.

GRAND-AM is also studying engine packages with the possible introduction of turbocharged competition beginning in 2012 or ‘13.

It is expected that the current generation of Daytona Prototypes will be eligible to compete alongside the new bodies in 2012 and beyond. Efforts will be made to equate the performance levels, although priority will be given to the new bodies to enhance the pace of transition and to add value to new OEM investment.

The goal for the new DP cars is to maintain top speeds in racing conditions at or near 200 mph. To control peak speed at Daytona, minimum limits may be placed on wing angle and other means may be used to achieve that goal.

Said Set For Double Duty: Boris Said will be doing double duty this weekend. In addition to his regular Rolex Series ride with Marsh Motorsports, the popular driver will compete in Sunday’s NASCAR Nationwide Series race, driving the No. 11 AccuDoc Toyota.

GS Motorsports Makes Rolex Debut: Andrew Danyliw of Toronto and Jamie Holtom of Ottawa will give GS Motorsports an all-Canadian lineup.

The team regularly competes in the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge, fielding a Chevrolet Cobalt in the Street Tuner class. GS Motorsports will be the only Canadian team in the Rolex Series GT class this weekend; AIM Autosport is the only Canadian DP team entered.

source http://www.grand-am.com

Brian Frisselle (left) and Max Angelelli won the 2009 Montreal 200 for SunTrust Racing.

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