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Penske tests with new car, new team.

Penske Racing returned to Daytona International Speedway with a new car and a crew new to the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series this week during the October Test Days in preparation for the 2009 Rolex 24.

The squad, which did the 24-hour classic for the first time in 35-years back in January, unloaded a brand new Riley, powered by a Porsche flat-6 engine, which it hopes will allow it to come away with a victory on the 40th anniversary of its 1969 Daytona triumph.

Romain Dumas, a four-time participant in the Rolex 24, was the team's lone driver throughout the three-day session. Patrick Long was at the test but did not drive.

"None of these guys worked on last year's 24-hour car," said John Erickson, general manager of Penske Racing's road racing team. "Last year we did all that with the IRL guys, and for this test, we're using guys who were with the ALMS car."

Penske Racing's involvement with the event now known as the Rolex 24 At Daytona dates back to the inaugural Daytona Continental in 1962, when team owner and founder Roger Penske raced a Cooper-Climax T-61 Monaco.

The following year, Penske finished second overall behind Pedro Rodriguez. The 2009 Rolex 24 marks the 40th anniversary of Penske's victory in the event, with Mark Donohue and Chuck Parsons winning in 1969 in a Chevy-powered Lola T-70. Prior to January, it last raced here in 1973.

"The 24 Hour race at Daytona is very important," Dumas added. "I had the chance to win twice in the 24 hour races at Nurburgring (Germany, 2007, 2008) and Spa (Belgium, 2003, 2004) already in Europe, but this is the only 24-race in America. I hope to have a good result this year, for sure. It's the best team here and we are new, but we want to do well."

Dumas raced in the Rolex 24 four times, finishing on the GT podium on two occasions. He was part of the TRG team that finished 11th overall and third in GT last January, co-driving with Spencer Pumpelly, Tim George Jr., Bryan Sellers and Emmanuel Collard in the No. 67 Porsche GT3. He also finished 10th overall and third in GT in 2002, running a Porsche 996 for Freisinger Racing with Ni Amorim, Stephane Ortelli and Hans Fertl.

He also raced a Daytona Prototype in the Rolex 24 twice. In 2007, he finished 18th overall and 12th in class in Alex Job Racing's No. 23 Ruby Tuesday Porsche Crawford, and was part of the No. 59 Brumos Racing line-up in 2005.

"The Daytona Prototype is completely different from the P2 car," Dumas continued. "Overall, it's quite nice. I'm surprised. It has less downforce and less grip, but we have good power and it's cool to drive. Concerning the chassis, it's our first test so we have to continue to work on it."


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
American Lemans Series.  17-19 May 2007. Utah Grand Prix.  Miller Motorsports Park. Salt Lake City, Utah. Romain Dumas.
Max Angelelli / Jordan Taylor. GRAND-AM Championship Weekend Presented by BMW at Lime Rock Park. 2013 Grand AM Rolex Sports Car Series
Max Angelelli / Jordan Taylor. Continental Tire Sports Car Festival. Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. 2013 Grand AM Rolex Sports Car Series
Action. VisitFlorida.com Sports Car 250 at Road America. Grand AM Rolex Sports Car Series [Pic credit: Grand AM]
Starworks Motorsport BMW/Riley duo Brendon Hartley and Scott Mayer celebrate their first Grand AM Rolex Sports Car Series victory at Road America [Pic credit: Grand AM]
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)
Juan Pablo Montoya, Memo Rojas, Scott Pruett and Charlie Kimball, co-drivers of the #01 Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates TELMEX/Target Ford BMW Riley celebrate their win in victory lane at the Rolex 24 at Daytona International Speedway on January 27, 2013 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
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)
The winning #60 Michael Shank Racing with Curb-Agajanian Ford Riley car is brought into victory lane after a gruelling 50th anniversary Rolex 24 at Daytona. [Picture Credit: Daytona International Speedway]
Action Express win the Rolex 24 [Pic credit: Grand Am]
Derek Johnston [Pic credit: Grand Am]
Wilkins/Frisselle - AIM Autosport [Pic credit: Grand Am]
Spencer Pumpelly - TRG Porsche [Pic credit: Grand Am]

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