The GAINSCO Bob Stallings Racing team got their preparations for the 2009 Grand-Am Rolex Series underway with a trouble-free day of running during the 'Roar Before the 24' at Daytona.
Heading into the 24-hour endurance event, which also doubles up as the first round of the 2009 season, former champions Alex Gurney and Jon Fogarty ran competitively inside the top ten in each session.
Seventh quickest in P3, it was their tenth best time overall in P2 that proved the quickest lap for them as the pair shook off the cobwebs following a long off-season.
"It was good to be back racing," said Gurney, who did the majority of his driving in the Saturday morning session. "It was a some what in the air kind of off season for a lot of people, so we are really happy to be back here and racing.
“We've got a lot of work to do. A lot of guys are really fast and we are struggling a bit. There is plenty of time left to figure it out, and we always seem to, so on to tomorrow."
Fogarty was also pleased to be back behind the wheel of the Pontiac Riley, but was keen to use this opportunity as a chance to ease himself back into contention and take it easy initially.
"We weren't afforded any testing opportunities since the end of the season," he said. "This is the first time we have been able to test so (Engineer) Kyle Brannan had a bunch of testing items that we worked through pretty much most of the afternoon.
“That, combined with the abbreviated session because of all the black flags, really didn't allow us to actually try to set a fast time. So, we got through a bunch of test items, but it is time to get on with racing."
Jimmy Vasser and Jimmie Johnson will join Gurney and Fogarty for the race, to be held later this month.