Chip Ganassi And Ted Marsh Clinch A Thriller In The Fourth GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series

Chip Ganassi

In spite of a thrilling racing season in the fourth GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series at Road America, a big mishap kept the field under caution for nearly half of the racing championship on that day. A heavy crash between the No. 07 Banner Racing Camaro of Gunter Schaldach and the Joe Foster-driven No. 40 Dempsey Racing Mazda on Lap 5 bamboozled the entire track for quite a while. The mishap took place just one hour before the culmination of the race. During the lengthy safety period, most of the teams opted for different strategies. In this season of GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series, Telmex Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas cruised to their fourth GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series victory of the season.

At one point of time, class-leading Stevenson Motorsports Camaro of Robin Liddell and the Porches seemed to take away the honours from other top notch competitors in the race. But after it fell by the wayside after a spin, there was no certainty as to who can be the next after them. Leh Keen in his No. 59 Brumos Racing Porsche held the top spot before his car ran out of fuel and he had to pit before eight laps of the finishing line. Two laps later, Craig Stanton of No. 44 Magnus Racing also had to pit due to the exhaustion of fuel. Ten minutes before the finishing line, Jordan Taylor of No. 88 Autohaus Motorsports Camaro was looked as the likely victors. But his fuel tank also went dry just after getting the white flag. This helped the No. 67 TRG Porsche of Spencer Pumpelly take the lead. After struggling hard against Eric Curran of No. 31 Marsh Racing Corvette, Spencer Pumpelly too ran out of fuel just before two corners.

Ted Marsh

The late race drama helped Eric Curran win the race after taking his Whelen Corvette 0.559 seconds ahead of John Edwards-driven No. 42 Team Sahlen Mazda RX-8.  This victory marked Marsh Racing’s first victory in Rolex Series competition after entering the highly competitive category last year with its self-built Prep 1 Corvette. Since regular co-driver Boris Said was on NASCAR Sprint Cup Series duty at Infineon Raceway, Eric Curran celebrated his second career victory by sharing the wheel with veteran road racer and former Corvette engineer John Heinricy this weekend.

Spencer Pumpelly managed to get his sputtering TRG Porsche across the line in third, ahead of Stanton’s Magnus Porsche, who rallied to fourth after a late splash-and-go. Jordan Taylor’s Autohaus Camaro rounded out the top-five, which was also on empty by the checkered flag. The final lap was no doubt a range of emotions for Spencer Pumpelly whose hopes ran dry while exiting Canada Corner on the final lap. Though Jordan Taylor and co-driver Bill Lester finished fourth in the race, they still maintain the lead in the GT standings. They are four points ahead of Brumos’ Keen and Andrew Davis, who finished sixth in the racing event in Road to America.

Posted by Vanessa Puzio on July 2nd, 2011 and filed under Rolex Culture, Rolex Events | No Comments »

Team Starworks Prepares To Compete In The Rolex Sports Car Series

Starworks Motorsports

Things have not been very smooth for Mike Forest at Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen which wrapped up this weekend. The Glen’s race is the sixth round of 2011 GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Cars Series. After qualifying on the eighth position on the grid, Mike Forest commenced the race on the track which was wet and very tricky. The fourth lap of the race that initially appeared to be innocent turned out to be an incident that would end the race as the team car got hit by a GT competitor. Mike Forest secured two podium finishes for the team this season and Starworks Motorsports team had arrived at Watkins Glen with hopes to continue the momentum. Unfortunately, the weekend did not go too well for the team as they had to put in a lot of effort to remain in the running. Both the cars that the team had, had to suffer major damages and could not complete the endurance event. Sadly the race and their hopes of a podium finish crashed and the team was out in the early part of the race.

Mike Forest who was driving the #8 Miracle Grout Shield / Dynacor Media / Ford Riley Daytona Prototype accepted the fact that the weekend was very frustrating for them as the result was not at all expected. However he also said that their ride was amazing and it was better in comparison to the ones that the team had used in other races. Expressing his opinion about the ‘Fatal hit’, he said that he was not trying to do something heroic.

Rolex

He had managed to keep his car off the wall but the GT lost control and hit them hard. Nonetheless being positive about the situation is the only thing he could do and that is what he did. He now hopes that he as well as his team learns from their mistakes and don’t repeat anything that can be avoided.

Canadian racer Mike Forest spent some time at his home in Edmonton to rejuvenate himself.  Now he will be heading to Road America where he holds a lot of experience as he has competed there in different races in his career. According to him, if his team gets more time on the track and continues to develop the set up as it would make things easier for them to keep up with the pace in the race. With two podium finishes in the kitty team Starworks is aiming another one at the upcoming Rolex series as they are preparing themselves to compete in the Rolex Sports Car Series which will commence on the 25th of June. The competition is going to be very tough but if they have to win this one, the team should not only focus on the strength of the car but also the mental strength.

Posted by Vanessa Puzio on June 10th, 2011 and filed under Rolex Culture, Rolex Events | No Comments »

Canadian Rider Eric Lamaze Secures First Position In The Rolex Rider Rankings

Eric Lamaze

According to the latest Rolex Rider Rankings that were released by the FEI recently, the Canadian rider and Olympic gold medalist Eric Lamaze is back on the top spot with a total of 3658 points in his kitty. Eric Lamaze dethroned the French champion Kevin Staut who was holding the number one spot since August last year. He slipped down to the second position with a total of 3457 points. On the third position stands Irishman Billy Twomey with 3245 points. The Rolex Rider Rankings are very accurate as they are compiled on a monthly basis. All points that were earned in FEI-sanctioned competition in last 12 months are taken into consideration. Eric Lamaze stated that the last month really helped him in acquiring his new found status of the top rider, however he went on to say that a consistent performance is also very important. Lamaze has been very consistent and has remained in the top four of the Rolex Rider Rankings since he won a gold in 2008 Olympics.

He also stated that along with a consistent performance a great horse will just add to one’s chances of being the number one. Last month can be called very eventful in Eric Lamaze’s riding career. The first day of the month saw him securing a second place in the Rolex World Cup Final. On the 15th of May, he rode on his 15-year-old Dutch Warmblood stallion, Hickstead and captured the €200,000 Longines Grand Prix of La Baule that was scheduled in France. This victory was followed by €200,000 Loro Piana Grand Prix of Rome that took place on the 29th of May in Italy. Incredibly,

Rolex

Lamaze celebrated four big wins in the month of May with his nine-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare, Coriana van Klapscheut, who is owned by Artisan Farms. The pair has enjoyed 2 victories in Valencia, Spain, one in Rome and one in La Baule. The 43 year old rider stated that he had decided to take his career in his own hands and decided to get the horses to compete in European championships.

He revealed that he had started competing in the smaller shows that took place in Europe and slowly made his way and made a place for himself in the world rankings. Eventually he landed in the 30th spot in the world rankings, which was a great deal for him. After that he was invited to some of the most coveted shows where he performed consistently. He also thanked the owners of Ashland Stables and Artisan Farms for their support and thanked his team. This is the third time that Eric Lamaze has bagged the number one spot in the Rolex rankings. He is also the first Canadian to hold the first position in the world rankings and claiming an individual Gold along with a Team Silver at the Beijing Olympic Games. He will be competing in the CSI5* Spruce Meadows “National” Tournament which will commence on the 8th of June as his fans hope and pray that he continues the winning streak.

Posted by Vanessa Puzio on June 9th, 2011 and filed under Rolex Culture, Rolex Events | No Comments »

Top Rolex Women Golfers To Play For The 2011 CN Canadian Women’s Open

Michelle Wie

CN and Golf Canada were happy to announce that five of the top ten players in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings will participate in the 2011 CN Canadian Women’s Open. Ranked no. 10 in the World Women Rolex Rankings, Michelle Wie is leading the way among the participants. World no.2 in Women Rolex Rankings, Suzann Pettersen will follow Michelle Wie along with world no. 4 Christie Kerr. This past weekend, Suzann Pettersen defeated Christie Kerr in the finals of the Sybase Match Play Championship to move from No. 3 to No. 2 on the LPGA Tour’s Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings.

The 2011 CN Canadian Women’s Open will have a purse of $2.25 million. It will be held at Hillsdale Golf and Country Club from August 22nd to August 28th, 2011. Michelle Wie has already won two championships in the LPGA tour. She also managed to make it to the top ten for as many as eight times in the year 2010. This also included her victory at the 2010 CN Canadian Women’s Open at St. Charles Country Club in Winnipeg.

Suzann Pettersen is a seven-time winner in the LPGA tour which also includes the 2009 CN Canadian Women’s Open. On the other hand, the 2006 CN Canadian Women’s Open was among the 14 wins in the LPGA tour won by Christie Kerr.

The world no.1 in the World Women Rolex Ranking Yani Tseng will also join Michelle Wie, Suzann Pettersen and Christie Kerr in the 2011 CN Canadian Women’s Open. Yani Tseng is a six time winner in the LPGA tour and a three-time major winner. Yani Tseng is also the winner of the 2008 Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year Award and the 2010 Rolex Player of the Year Award. She was the winner of the CN Canadian Women’s Tour event to earn an exemption into the 2007 CN Canadian Women’s Open. She finished sixth in the championship.

Suzann Pettersen A field of 156 competitors will battle it out for the $2.25 million CN Canadian Women’s open, 2011. The deadline for players to confirm their intention to compete at the 2011 CN Canadian Women’s Open in Mirabel, Que. is Tuesday, August 16.

Apart from Michelle Wie, Christie Kerr, Suzann Pettersen and Yani Tseng, Lorie Kane, Alena Sharp, Samantha Richdale, Lisa Meldrum and LPGA rookie Stephanie Sherlock will compete for the $2.25 million purse. LPGA rookie Stephanie Sherlock will look forward to becoming the first Canadian to win an LPGA Tour event on home soil since Jocelyne Bourassa who achieved the feat in 1973.

The Tournament Director of CN Canadian Women’s Open, Sean Van Kesteren said that his team was very excited and elated about the fact that the opening season will see world’s top women Rolex players competing with each other in the tournament.

Posted by Vanessa Puzio on May 27th, 2011 and filed under Rolex Culture, Rolex Events | No Comments »