Starworks Motorsport and Alex Popow are undefeated at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. In their first race since switching to the new 4.5-liter BMW powerplant, Popow and co-driver Ryan Dalziel co-drove the No. 2 Soloson Riley-BMW to victory in Friday’s Brickyard Grand Prix. It was the second consecutive Indy win for Starworks and Popow, who won last year’s inaugural Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series race at the Brickyard alongside Sebastien Bourdais.
Dalziel led twice for a total of 12 laps around the 2.534-mile speedway road course. He beat Scott Pruett to the yard of bricks by 3.438 seconds to secure the victory. The victory also moved Dalziel and Popow into the lead in the Daytona Prototype point standings by 10 over Alex Gurney and Jon Fogarty, 229-219, with four races remaining in the Rolex Series season.
“I wasn’t sure if I should have kissed the bricks or kissed the guys on the crew first,” Dalziel said. “We got our new BMW engine only a week ago. We felt we had a pretty special car this year. We were missing just that little bit, and now we have it with the engine.”
Pruett finished second in the No. 01 Telcel/TELMEX Riley-BMW to give Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates the $100,000 prize in the North American Endurance Championship presented by VISITFLORIDA.com. Pruett and co-driver Memo Rojas also won the NAEC drivers title for the series that also included the Rolex 24 At Daytona – which the teammates won – and the Sahlen’s Six Hours of Watkins Glen.
Alex Gurney and Jon Fogarty finished third in the No. 99 GAINSCO Auto Insurance Corvette DP, with fourth place going to the second Starworks Motorsport entry for Brendon Hartley and Pierre Kaffer in the No. 8 Riley-BMW.
Formula 1 and IndyCar veteran Rubens Barrichello led late in his first Daytona Prototype race but came up nine minutes short, having to pit to top off on fuel. He and co-driver Doug Peterson wound up fifth in the No. 77 Doran Racing Dallara-Ford.
Christian Fittipaldi and Joao Barbosa entered the race with a two-race winning streak and the NAEC lead for Action Express Racing, but the No. 5 Corvette DP had a long stop early in the race when a suspension part broke, resulting in a 14th-place finish.
Jeff Segal and Max Papis teamed in the No. 61 R. Ferri/AIM Motorsport Ferrari 458 Italia to give Ferrari its first GT victory of the season. John Edwards and Robin Liddell finished second in the No. 57 Stevenson Auto Group Chevrolet Camaro, giving Stevenson Motorsports the NAEC GT title.
Sylvain Tremblay and Tom Long combined to give SpeedSource its fifth consecutive victory in the GX class, scoring their second triumph of the campaign in the No. 70 MAZDASPEED/Speedsource Mazda6. SpeedSource also won the NAEC title for the class. Dr. Jim Norman finished second in the No. 38 BGB Motorsports Porsche Cayman to secure the GX NAEC driver title.
Grand-Am returns to action at Road America as part of a combined event with the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón. The Rolex Series will join the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge on Saturday, Aug. 10, with the ALMS competing on Sunday.