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Sunoco Challenge winner Johnston prepares for DP debut
28 October 2009
Fresh from winning the inaugural 2009 Rolex 24 At Daytona Driver Challenge presented by Sunoco, British champion Derek Johnston will next week test a Daytona Prototype at Virginia International Raceway to begin his preparation to drive in the 2010 Rolex 24 at Daytona.
Johnston won the coveted driver's seat in America's premier sportscar race by scoring the highest average point total among registered drivers competing in the Cooper Tyres British F3 International Series, the Avon Tyres British GT Championship, the Radical UK Cup and the SPEED sports prototype series in 2009 competition.
The 47-year old has won the Radical UK Cup for the past two years, in addition to winning Radical's European Masters championship this year, and his success has now landed him a funded seat in a Daytona Prototype in next January's Rolex 24.
As well as testing the Spirit of Daytona team's Coyote-Porsche at Virginia International Raceway over 3-4 November, the Briton will also test at Daytona over 8-9 December and 8-10 January. 8-10, working with Rolex Series veteran Guy Cosmo.
“We will give him the opportunity to run many laps to see how he likes it,” team owner Troy Flis said of Johnston, “I think the Daytona Prototype will be a real good fit for him, coming from racing the Radical prototype, because both cars are similar. I think it's a real cool deal for Derek. He should get up to speed quickly, he just needs to get used to the greater weight of the Daytona Prototype.”
Prior to travelling to Virginia, Johnston will visit Daytona Beach, where Cosmo will take him around the famed Speedway in a passenger car.
“I can't wait to get to drive a Daytona Prototype,” the Briton admitted, “I've been watching plenty of videos, and it looks awesome. I just found out about testing at Virginia, so I'll be watching plenty of videos of that circuit. I can't wait - I hope it's like Rockingham in the UK, because I'm quite good at Rockingham. This is a phenomenal opportunity, and I can't wait to get there and see the car and meet the teams.”
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