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Banner ready to defend title.

Despite the economic struggles currently affecting car manufacturers, Banner Racing has revealed it will still field the #07 Pontiac GXP.R for Kelly Collins and Paul Edwards during the 2009 Rolex Series GT season.

The team will be looking to defend its championship crown, although team owner Leighton Reese will stand down from driving duties during the new season.

“Those guys are going to defend the championship," he said. "We think we've got a good package. We are only running one car at Banner Racing next year. I wouldn't say that I've retired; I'm just not driving now. We're just going to optimise and maximise on one car, and hopefully we can put our rivals down one more time. We're obviously expecting a fierce fight from the Mazda guys, the Porsche guys and the other Pontiacs."

Reese admitted that Daytona isn't the best track for the Pontiacs but added that he believes the Rolex 24 could be a springboard to the team's second straight title.

"We're not as slow as we thought we'd be," he said. "We're not running record times, but against the guys we're usually running against, we're doing okay.

“Daytona is always a struggle for the Pontiacs. So far, the new tyres have worked out well for us, and right now, we're just trying to do some reliability testing. The only way we're going to win this race is to go the distance; we're not going to win it on speed."


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Paul Edwards and Kelly Collins win at Lime Rock for Banner Enginering   [pic credit: Pontiac Motorsports]
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)
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]
Derek Johnston [Pic credit: Grand Am]
Vic Elford, the 2010 Rolex 24 At Daytona Grand Marshal (Photo credit: Motorsports Images and Archives)
The No. 09 Spirit of Daytona Porsche Coyote that will be tested by 2009 Radical European Masters Champion Derek Johnston at Virginia International Raceway
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]
Max Angelelli and Brian Friselle win at Daytona [Pic credit: Grand Am Media]
Alex Gurney/Jon Fogarty - GAINSCO Bob Stallings Racing Riley-Pontiac   [pic credit: Grand-Am]
The Spirit of Daytona entry at Daytona [Pic credit: Grand Am]
The winning TRG team at Daytona [Pic credit: Brian Cleary]
The winning Brumos Racing team at Daytona [Pic credit: Brian Cleary]

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