Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas Victorious at Long Beach
TUSCC - Long Beach, CA
1. (1) No. 01 Telcel Ford EcoBoost Riley (Pruett, Rojas)
2. (5) No. 10 Corvette DP (Taylor, Taylor)
3. (3) No. 5 Corvette DP (Barbosa, Fittipaldi)
Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (CGRFS) made its way to victory lane Saturday afternoon in the Tequila Patron Sports Car Showcase At Long Beach as the No. 01 Telcel Ford EcoBoost Riley with drivers Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas finished first overall in the team’s second entry into the historical race.
The No. 01 Telcel Ford EcoBoost Riley topped the speed charts on the 1.968 mile street course during practice sessions on Friday, with Pruett continuing the successful trend later in the day by qualifying first (1:15.325). The pole was the first of the 2014 season for both CGRFS and Ford.
Rojas took control of the car for the opening stint of the race, navigating successfully through early trouble. On lap 17, he fell under heavy pressure from the No. 10 Corvette DP when the leaders caught up to the rest of the pack. Rojas fought off his pursuers and continued pulling away, avoiding a pair of spun Prototype cars on lap 21 and pushing through to the team’s pit stop and driver change on lap 40.
Taking four scrubbed tires, Pruett lost a position to the No. 5 Corvette DP while exiting pit lane. However, Pruett’s experience from two previous Long Beach wins (1987, 2006) came into play and upon returning to racing, he caught the No. 5 and retook the lead on lap 42 of the 77 lap race. For the rest of his stint, he navigated through a very competitive field of GTLM cars, keeping the No. 01 car ahead of the rest of the Prototype pack. Pruett held off an aggressive No. 10 Corvette DP in the closing laps of the race, bringing the No. 01 Ford EcoBoost Riley across the finish line in first place.
NOTES OF INTEREST:
- This win marks Chip Ganassi Racing Teams’ 160th victory
- The IMSA team has now won two of the first three races of the 2014 season (Sebring)
- The CGRFS No. 01 Prototype has been entered twice in sports car races at Long Beach over the years and has won each time (2006 GRAND-AM and 2014 IMSA)
- Scott Pruett earns his third win at Long Beach - the previous wins being in the 1987 Trans–Am Series race and the 2006 GRAND-AM Series race
- Pruett now has a record 58 career victories in the IMSA TUDOR United Sports Car Championship from the Modern Era (ranked first)
- Memo Rojas earns his first victory today at Long Beach
- This win marks the 17th overall victory for Ford at Long Beach
- Ford earns its 171st victory as an engine manufacturer in the IMSA TUDOR United Sports Car Championship from the Modern Era
Scott Pruett – No. 01 Telcel Ford EcoBoost Riley:
“I have to take my hat off to all the drivers out there. When you see that level, between the P cars and the GTLM, that group of guys together, you get a flawless race like we saw today. Everybody was out there racing hard, everybody was out there racing close, but they were also giving room when they needed to and making really good things. It was just short of a qualifying lap the whole time. You were trying to go as fast as you could, but also hit your marks to be able to keep those times lap after lap after lap after lap. Then with the traffic, sometimes it got jammed up with traffic and he was able to get closer, and sometimes the traffic worked for me. It was close the whole time.”
Memo Rojas – No. 01 Telcel Ford EcoBoost Riley:
“We just want to win races. We knew coming up to the merger with the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship and with IMSA there was going to be a lot of challenges…I expect the competition to get tougher every weekend.”
The next TUDOR United SportsCar Championship race for the CGRFS season-long effort in the No. 01 Telcel Ford EcoBoost Riley with Pruett and Rojas will be at the Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix Powered By Mazda at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Salinas, Calif. on May 4 (5:30 pm ET, FOX Sports 1).
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