The Brickyard Grand Prix GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series race was held Friday, July 27, 2012 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
The ninth event in the 13-race series was a true workout for the 34 cars running on the 2.5-mile, 13-turn course. One hour into the three-hour race, the last in a line of storms passed through the area and delivered a deluge that severely hindered visibility for the drivers. With the Brickyard Grand Prix being the first sports car race at IMS in quite some time, the race started on a green track that only became more slippery with the rain and the ensuing weather-related drama included numerous close calls and spin outs as the driver’s attempted to keep their cars in the race. Of the 11 DP and 23 GT cars entered, only 27 endured to take the checkered flag.
In the end, former Indy car champion and Formula 1 driver Sebastien Bourdais (Le Mans, France) took the checker for the DP class win with teammate Alex Popow (Lecheria, Venezuela) driving the #2 Starworks Motorsport Ford Riley. The first series win of the season for Bourdais and Popow also earned them the class win of the inaugural North American Endurance Championship, which saw drivers accrue points at three races: the 50th Anniversary edition of the Rolex 24 at Daytona (held this past January), Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen (July 1) and today’s Brickyard Grand Prix.
Second place in the DP class went to the hard-charging series points leader Scott Pruett (Auburn, Calif.) driving the #01 Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates BMW Riley with teammate Memo Rojas (Mexico City, Mexico). Ricky Taylor (Apopka, Fla.) finished third while chasing down Pruett until a full course yellow came out with two laps to go. Taylor and teammate Max Angelelli (Monaco) drove the #10 Sun Trust Racing Corvette DP.
The checker in the GT class was taken by Andy Lally (Northport, N.Y.) at the wheel of the #44 Magnus Racing Porsche GT3 Cup car with co-driver and team owner John Potter (Salt Lake City, Utah). Having started the season with a class win at the Rolex 24 At Daytona, the win of the Brickyard Grand Prix secured the team the history-making class win of the inaugural North American Endurance Challenge.
Second place in GT went to the #70 Speed Source Mazda RX-8 driven by Sylvain Tremblay (Parkland, Fla.) and Jonathan Bomarito (Monterey, Calif.). Finishing in third place was the #59 Brumos Racing Porsche GT3 Cup car driven by Leh Keen (Charleston, S.C.) and Andrew Davis (Bogart, Ga.).
As the checker waved the cars across the finish, it was fitting that the track was flooded by sunshine and to the cheers of an enthusiastic crowd of spectators, the winners exited their cars to take part in the traditional kissing of the bricks.
In the Brickyard Sports Car Challenge for the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge, Lawson Aschenbach and Eric Curran teamed up for victory in the No. 01 CKS Autosport Camaro GS.R in a race that also ended under caution.
Daniel Rogers and Seth Thomas combined to win the ST class in the Brickyard Sports Challenge in the No. 82 BimmerWorld Racing BMW 328i.
Brickyard Grand Prix 2012 – Photo Gallery (click image for larger picture)
[Source: Rolex Motorsports; IMS]