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Grand Am back on track at Laguna Seca

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The Speedsource Mazda leads the Suntrust Chevrolet at Laguna Seca
The Speedsource Mazda leads the Suntrust Chevrolet at Laguna Seca

RacerViews’ Jeff Kapic was at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca for the Rolex Grand American Road Racing Association race on the weekend.  In the same week that Grand Am and ALMS announced their merger, the Grand Am Series was back on track and provided a great race on a track that is sure to be a mainstay in the united sportscar racing championship.

The race in brief

For Jeff Segal and Emil Assentato, the GRAND-AM Rolex Series Continental Tire Sports Car Festival Powered by Mazda was a battle that enabled them to win the season-long war for the Rolex Series GT championship.

For Richard Westbrook and Antonio Garcia, Sunday’s race at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca represented their Rolex Series-leading third Daytona Prototype victory of the season. And for Dane Cameron and Wayne Nonnamaker, the race allowed them to score a popular breakthrough GT race victory.

Segal and Assentato became the first Rolex Series champions of 2012 on Sunday, clinching the GT title with a second place performance in the No. 69 FXDD Ferrari 458. The driving duo was the only one to field the brand-new Ferrari for the full 2012 season, and eight top-three results from 12 starts –including three class victories – prove it was a good decision. It is the second GT title for Segal and Assentato, who also won the 2010 championship

In addition to the drivers’ championship, Segal and Assentato brought AIM Autosport its first Rolex Series team championship and gave Ferrari its third Rolex Series manufacturers title.

“As of right now the championship is clinched, but it certainly hasn’t hit me yet,” Segal said. “It’s certainly a tremendous accomplishment for our team AIM Autosport in their first year back in GT. With Ferrari in its first year back, it’s just a tremendous day.”

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Photos by Jeff Kapic, September 2012

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