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Grand Am DP - GAINSCO Montreal Preview

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MONTREAL, Aug. 15, 2012: Defending race winners GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing, and drivers Alex Gurney and Jon Fogarty, will race for a repeat victory Saturday at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve that would also give the No. 99 GAINSCO Auto Insurance Corvette Daytona Prototype team its first win of the 2012 season at this weekend’s Montreal 200, August 16 – 18.

Round 11 of 13 races on the 2012 GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series schedule, the Montreal 200 is a timed two-hour sprint that can be seen in same-day coverage on SPEED this Saturday, August 18, at 7 p.m. EDT/4 p.m. PDT.

Circuit Gilles Villeneuve has always been a GAINSCO favorite, and last year Gurney and Fogarty capped the team’s strong run of success in Montreal with their first victory on the 2.709-mile Formula 1 circuit. That win from the pole, the 15th career victory for the team, was also the last time the No. 99 GAINSCO “Red Dragon” was driven to a race win in the competitive GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series Daytona Prototype division.

“The ‘Red Dragon’ always seems to have great pace at Montreal and it felt great to finally capitalize on that and turn it into a victory,” Fogarty said. “Winning on a Formula 1 circuit is special, but winning at a place that has eluded us so many times is much sweeter.”

Race wins have also eluded GAINSCO so far in 2012 but the return to Montreal could be just what the No. 99 squad needs to end the season on a high note. The team has endured every type of setback racing can present this season, including mechanical failures, being taken out in accidents, in-race issues and, most recently, a race car that was just a tick off the pace in last Saturday’s Continental Tire 200 at The Glen.

“We have been competitive pretty much everywhere this year, certainly in the last five or six races besides The Glen last weekend, and I don’t know why it would be any different at Montreal,” Gurney said. “We had a really good race last year. We felt like we arrived at a place setup wise that should be pretty good and we are going to go there and try and turn this thing around.”

Fogarty has a record four pole qualifying efforts with GAINSCO at Montreal, including each of the last three events at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve and in the inaugural GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series race at Montreal in 2007. GAINSCO, Gurney and Fogarty also finished second in the 2010 Montreal 200 and third in 2007 and 2009. The team’s only non-podium result in Montreal was an eighth-place finish in 2008.

“Historically, we have been very good in Montreal,” Fogarty said. “We are heading there with a new package this year with the Corvette. Alex and I know the circuit very well, it’s a place we enjoy and we can get the most out of it. I do think the Corvette should be strong there and I am looking forward to being there. As always, Canada is a great place to go racing.”

Two-time GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series Daytona Prototype Champions in 2007 and 2009, GAINSCO and its drivers have worked hard for their success on the challenging 15-turn road course on Montreal’s Ile Notre Dame.

“Putting the power down is pretty tricky around there,” Gurney said. “You are turning and asking a lot of the tires under load, but we worked on that very hard and got the car working pretty good last year. We have always been really quick at Montreal; we’ve led a lot of laps there and got the first win last year. I think we can do it again. We have a lot of experience there.”