The team’s No. 3 Corvette DP suffered engine failure in the second hour, while the No. 4 entry of Sebastien Bourdais and Emilio DiGuida finished 9th after regaining its lost lap in the closing stages of the race.8Star Motorsports, Enzo Potolicchio, Michael Valiante, Sports Cars, Stephane Sarrazin, Video
Starworks Motorsport scored back-to-back Rolex Sports Car Series victories, but this time it was the team’s No. 8 entry of Brendon Hartley and Scott Mayer that claimed top honors in Saturday’s VisitFlorida.com Sports Car 250 at Road America.
A decision to leave the No. 8 Riley-BMW out during the second and final full course caution with just under 1 hour to go proved to be pivotal, as Hartley took over the lead and stretched his gap over the competition in the closing stages of the 2-hour and 45-minute contest.
From there, it was clear sailing for the open-wheel turned sports car racing standout, who crossed the line 4.290 seconds ahead of the No. 5 Action Express Racing Corvette of Joao Barbosa for he and Wisconsin native Mayer’s first career GRAND-AM victories.
It was a redeeming race for the 23-year-old New Zealander, competing in his first season of U.S. racing, after throwing away a likely win at Circuit of The Americas in March after colliding with a lapped car in the closing stages.
This time, Hartley got the job done, and in impressive fashion.
“This is a really emotional win for me,” Hartley said. “After COTA, there were tears of disappointment and today was tears of joy… I’m not going to lie; I had some flashbacks.
“There were a few moments where I thought about that and I just got my head down and did the job. I think we had the two cars covered on pace and just brought it home.”Brendon Hartley, GRAND-AM, Scott Mayer, Sports Cars, Starworks Motorsport
The most successful team in Daytona Prototype history could be making a radical switch to P2-spec machinery for next year’s United SportsCar Racing championship.
SPEED.com has learned that Chip Ganassi Racing is undecided on its 2014 sports car program, with the six-time and defending DP class champions considering either to continue with its proven Riley-BMW package or make the move to a Le Mans Prototype.
A decision has yet to be made, according to team manager Tim Keene, who is waiting on the technical regulations for the new combined Prototype category, comprised of DPs, P2s and the DeltaWing, to be finalized.
“We don’t really know what to look at,” Keene told SPEED.com. “We’d like to have an on-track test to see where we’d actually stand before we can make any kind of decisions. We don’t want to base a decision on what we think is going to be right because we don’t really know what the regulations will be.”Chip Ganassi Racing, DP, P2, Sports Cars, USCR