Grand AM » 07 November 2008
Newcomers set for further Daytona test.
Penske Racing will field a second Daytona Prototype, while Childress-Howard Motorsports will test for the first time at Daytona International Speedway next week during a two-day test for the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series.
The two teams will be joined by many of the Rolex Series veteran outfits among the 18 Daytona Prototypes and 19 GT entries entered for the Tuesday and Wednesday test in preparation for the season-opening 47th running of the Rolex 24 at Daytona.
Penske Racing, which participated in a three-day Daytona test in October, will return with the #5 Porsche Riley for Romain Dumas and Timo Bernhard and has added the #7 entry for 2004 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Kurt Busch and three-time 2008 IndyCar Series winner Ryan Briscoe.
Childress-Howard Motorsports will test with three-time Rolex 24 winner Andy Wallace joined by Rob Finlay in the #4 Pontiac Crawford. Another series newcomer is Forsythe Racing, which will have the #16 Pontiac Coyote for 2004 Rolex 24 winner Christian Fittipaldi and young Italian star Alberto Costa.
Veteran Rolex Series Daytona Prototype teams testing for the first time this fall include Michael Shank Racing with both of its Ford Rileys, AIM Autosport with the #61 Ford Riley, SunTrust Racing and Doran Racing. Krohn Racing and Brumos Porsche, which tested here in October, also return with two-car teams. Englishmen Oliver Gavin and Darren Turner will join Krohn Racing for the test.
Orbit Racing, which tested a Daytona Prototype in October, will return with Kyle Petty, Darren Manning and Leo Hindery driving the #45 BMW Riley. Spirit of Daytona Racing will return, with five-time Daytona 200 by Honda winner Scott Russell sharing the #09 Porsche Coyote with Guy Cosmo.
Alegra Motorsports, GT winner of the 2007 Rolex 24, moves up to the Daytona Prototype ranks with the #22 Porsche Riley to be tested by Cristiano da Matta, Ryan Dalziel, Carlos de Quesada and Jean-Francois Dumoulin. RVO Motorsports will test a pair of Pontiac Rileys for drivers Bill Lester, Justin Bell, Tonis Kasemets and Roger Schramm.
The top five GT teams from 2008 competition will test. Co-champions Kelly Collins and Paul Edwards, in the #07 Banner Racing Pontiac GXP.R, and runners-up Andrew Davis and Robin Liddell, in the #57 Stevenson Motorsports entry, lead the Pontiac stable. Also fielding a Pontiac will be the #32 PR1 Motorsports entry of Mike Forest, Thomas Merrill and Al Salvo.
Defending Rolex 24 GT winners Sylvain Tremblay, Nick Ham and David Haskell return in the #70 SpeedSource Castrol Syntec Mazda RX-8. Other Mazdas at the test include the #69 SpeedSource FXDD entry of Emil Assentato and Jeff Segal; the #40 Hyper Sport entry of Patrick Dempsey, Joe Foster and Charles Espenlaub; the #30 Racer's Edge driven by Dane Cameron and Doug Peterson; and the #36 of series newcomers Yellow Dragon Motorsports.
TRG took fourth and fifth in the 2008 championship for Porsche, and will bring back the #67 Porsche GT3 of Tim George Jr. and the #66 Porsche GT3 of 2006 Rolex 24 GT winner Spencer Pumpelly. John Potter is listed to drive a third TRG entry. Other Porsches include a two-car entry from Farnbacher Loles Racing, including drivers Dave Lacey, Bryce Miller, Daniel Graeff, Seth Ingham and Ron Yarab Jr.; the #64 JLowe Racing Porsche of the Main Line of 1996 Rolex 24 winner Jim Pace, Jim Lowe, Tim Sugden and Johannes van Overbeek; the #14 Autometrics Motorsports entry of Jack Baldwin, Claudio Burtin, Cory Friedman and Mac McGehee; the #33 Wright Motorsports GT3 of Phillip Martien and BJ Zacharias; and the #74 GTS Racing with Mitchum Motorsports entry of Jim and Bob Michaelian, Anthony Lazzaro, Joseph Safina and Derek Skea.
Jamie Holtom, the 2008 KONI Challenge Series Street Tuner champion, will join Eric Curran in the #00 Georgian Bay Motorsports Corvette. Ian James and Tom Nastasi will co-drive the #15 Blackforest Motorsports Ford Mustang.
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