Garcia/Westbrook team up to win Porsche 250
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - Richard Westbrook and Antonio Garcia won the Porsche 250 for Corvette's first Daytona Prototype victory.
The pair, who started on the pole Saturday in the No. 90 Corvette Daytona Prototype, ended the two-year winning streak of Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas on the 2.38-mile road course at Barber Motorsports Park.
The Corvette DP made its debut at the Rolex 24.
Westbrook got his first win and Garcia his second, beating Alex Gurney and Jon Fogarty by 2.15 seconds. It's the first DP victory for Spirit of Daytona Racing.
"You talk about a weekend of firsts,'' Westbrook said. "First win for our team and the first win for Corvette DP, which is just incredible. We've come a long way since Daytona.
"It's good to get the monkey off your back. It's good for everyone. It's good for morale to just to get that first victory out of the way.''
Garcia pulled away over the last three laps after a caution for debris on the track, bunching up the cars for a final restart when Garcia was leading by 32.995 seconds.
Gurney and Fogarty, driving the No. 99 Corvette, were runners-up in the 2-hour, 45-minute race for the second straight year, followed by Rojas and Pruett.
"I saw maybe halfway through the first lap (after the late caution) that Antonio was going to win and from that point on just tried to hang on for second,'' Gurney said.
Westbrook had captured his first career pole in the series to lead a Top 3 qualifying sweep for the new Corvette DP.
Rojas and Pruett are the two-time defending Grand-Am Rolex Series champions. They finished sixth in Daytona.
"The race turned out to be better than we expected,'' Rojas said. "We struggled with speed all week and we didn't know where we were going to be in the race.''
Pruett pitted for tires with about five minutes left, and made it pay off by picking up two spots.
"We just had nothing to lose,'' he said. "We were already back in the pack and thought, `Why not?'''
Rojas received a 10-second stop-and-go penalty for knocking a GT car off the track on the 52nd lap.
The No. 60 Michael Shank Racing team, which won the Rolex 24, finished eighth.