Crash.Net Grand AM News
Radical racer secures Rolex Driver Challenge
13 October 2009
Radical UK Cup title winner Derek Johnston has secured a drive in the 2010 running of the Rolex 24 at Daytona after becoming the first winner of the Rolex 24 at Daytona Driver Challenge presented by Sunoco.
Although he was wrapping up the Radical European Masters crown in France at the time, Johnston secured the honour when Rob Garofall saw his bid to retain the points lead come to an end during the final round of the SPEED Series at Silverstone.
Garofall entered the final race knowing that to maintain his lead – which is worked out on an average points system – he would need to finish either second, third with pole or
fastest lap or fourth with pole and
When he then secured pole position for the season finale, a third place finish in the race would be enough to secure the Rolex drive.
However, a series of issues during the race meant that Garofall was unable to achieve his target as he could only come in 13th place, with the result meaning that he dropped to fourth in the Driver Challenge standings.
As a result, Johnston took the title with a score of 77.50 ahead of British F3 title winner Daniel Ricciardo on 75.50. British GT ace Allan Simonsen was third on 72.14, with Garofall ending the campaign on 69.00.
Johnston will now take up a drive with a top Daytona Prototype team for the annual Rolex 24 at Daytona, and will also take part in the three-day long pre-season test session for the Grand Am Rolex Series at Daytona in January.
As well as securing his slot in the race, Johnston will become an ambassador for both Sunoco and Grand Am in Europe.
In total, no fewer than 86 drivers scored points towards the Rolex Driver Challenge from the four competing series' during the inaugural running of the programme.