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Grand-Am: Edwards chases Mexican hat-trick.


Paul Edwards will be looking for a 'three-peat' as the Grand-Am Rolex Series heads to Mexico City this weekend, having acquired a perfect two win record since the championship began visiting the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez.

In 2005, the Pontiac GTO.R was the platform for Edward's first Mexico City win, which he shared with Jan Magnussen, while the Californian combined with Kelly Collins to take a repeat victory in 2006, again in the TRG-run GTO.R. Now with Banner Racing, Edwards and Collins will be out to beat the rival Porsches and improve on their recent showing at Daytona.

"I've been lucky to have good cars and great co-drivers the last two years," Edwards said, "Kelly was fast there last year as well, so we know the track. The real advantage for us is mechanical, under the car, with the set-up. We can try and team up on qualifying and make the most of it, but we need a consistent race with a quality pit stop. We haven't stopped developing the car; and I think we have made some strides since Daytona."

Banner Racing debuted the new GXP.Rs at the Rolex 24 and put in a strong showing, finishing second with Edwards, Collins and fill-in driver Andy Pilgrim. Edwards is keen to keep that momentum going.

"We had a very reliable car at Daytona," he commented, "The car handled well and the team did a great job. We just had to pit for gas, tyres and a fresh driver, the car never went back to the paddock for prolonged repairs. For a brand new car, the race could have only gone better if we were one more step up on the podium. We are a little down on horsepower compared to our top GT competitors with the way the rules are right now, but we are keeping in the game with strong drives, good pit work and consistent lap times."

The #06 sister car crewed by team owner Leighton Reese, Tim Lewis and Johnny O'Connell came home fifth at Daytona, and Edwards sees no reason why Mexico should not suit the GXP.Rs this weekend.

"The Mexico City track is a great circuit, and the long straight really lets the LS2 engine unwind and go," he reasoned, "The back side of the track, with the fast esses, lets us take advantage of the car's handling and downforce as well as allowed the drivers to show their stuff.

"This year's race will be a lot tougher than the last two, so we need a good handling car in the corners, and especially the fast sweepers. The tyre is different this year, so the handling issues will be new. We need to keep the tyres under us so we have something left at the end. Critical to a good lap will be getting off of that last fast sweeper to maximise our speed down the long straight."


Related Pictures

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Max Angelelli / Jordan Taylor. GRAND-AM Championship Weekend Presented by BMW at Lime Rock Park. 2013 Grand AM Rolex Sports Car Series
Max Angelelli and Jordan Taylor drive the #10 Velocity Worldwide Wayne Taylor Racing Corvette Daytona Prototype to victory Saturday, April 6, 2013 in the third race of the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama. (Photo by Brian Cleary for Chevrolet)
Max Angelelli and Jordan Taylor drive the #10 Velocity Worldwide Wayne Taylor Racing Corvette Daytona Prototype (left) to victory Saturday, April 6, 2013 in the third race of the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama. Alex Gurney and Jo Fogarty, drivers of the #99 GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing Corvette DP (right) finish in second place. (Photo by Brian Cleary for Chevrolet)
John Edwards and Robin Liddell, drivers of the # 57 Stevenson Motorsports Camaro GT.R., race to victory Saturday, April 6, 2013 in the Grand Touring (GT) class of the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama. (Photo by Brian Cleary for Chevrolet)
John Edwards and Matt Bell, drivers of the # 9 Camaro GS.R, race to second place Saturday, April 6, 2013 in the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge race at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama. (Photo by Brian Cleary for Chevrolet)
Rolex Series action [Pic credit: Grand-Am]
Alex Popow and Sebastian Bourdais, drivers of the #2 Ford Riley, celebrate in Victory Lane after wininng the Grand-AM Rolex Sports Car Series Inaugural Brickyard Grand Prix at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 27, 2012, in Indianapolis, Ind. (Photo Credit: Tyler Barrick/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Alex Popow and Sebastien Bourdais, drivers of the #2 Soloson Ford Riley, celebrate after winning the Grand-AM Rolex Sports Car Series inaugural Brickyard Grand Prix at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 27, 2012, in Indianapolis, Ind. (Photo Credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images for NASCAR)
NASCAR stars Marcos Ambrose and Carl Edwards test Doran at VIR   [pic credit: BAM Media]
NASCAR stars Marcos Ambrose and Carl Edwards test Doran at VIR   [pic credit: BAM Media]
NASCAR stars Marcos Ambrose and Carl Edwards test Doran at VIR   [pic credit: BAM Media]
Alex Gurney/Jon Fogarty - GAINSCO Bob Stallings Racing Riley-Pontiac   [pic credit: Grand-Am]
Henri Richard/Rene Villeneuve - Polizei 144 TRG Porsche GT3   [pic credit: Grand-Am]
Romain Dumas/Timo Bernhard - Verizon Wireless Team Penske Riley-Porsche   [pic credit: Grand-Am]
Scott Pruett/Memo Rojas - TELMEX Chip Ganassi Racing Riley-Lexus   [pic credit: Grand-Am]
Scott Pruett/Memo Rojas - TELMEX Chip Ganassi Racing Riley-Lexus   [pic credit: Grand-Am]
Michael Valiante/Joh Pew - Michael Shank Racing Riley-Ford   [pic credit: Grand-Am]
Oswaldo Negri/Mark Patterson - Michael Shank Racing Riley-Ford   [pic credit: Grand-Am]

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