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PR1 gets set for Rolex 24 debut.

Having completed no fewer than six days of running at Daytona International Speedway during the winter, PR1 Motorsports will get set for its debut in the Rolex 24 at Daytona as the 2009 Grand Am Rolex Series season kicks off this weekend.

The team made its debut in the series last year with a pair of top-ten finishes in seven starts with the #32 Pontiac GXP.R, but will be facing the challenge of the round the clock event for the first time.

Mike Forest, Thomas Merrill, Jeff Westphal and Al Salvo will share driving duties while Patrick Barrett is also on the team's roster and will get his chance if needed as a replacement.

“We've gained a lot of experience driving at Daytona over the winter,” Forest said. “It's very unique, with respects to the requirements from a driving point of view, a set-up point of view on the Miracle Sealants Pontiac GXP.R, and making sure the car can last the entire 24 hours. But we gained a lot of experience, and that's going to help during the race.

“It's pretty exciting knowing that the Rolex 24 at Daytona is our first 24 hour race, and there are so many more variables to think about during the race. That's part of the challenge, and hopefully that will highlight some of the strengths we have here at PR1.

“Our goal for the Rolex 24 is to put together a top five effort. I think that would be really big as Daytona rookies, and once you get into the top five anything can happen. The key to that is consistency, staying out of trouble and running consistent, fast laps.”

Despite an average driver's age of just 25 years old, team owner Bobby Oergel said he was confident that the team's strengths will shine in the endurance race format, with the focus firmly on fighting for the win.

“As a team, we're very familiar with each of our drivers from when they were with us in the open-wheel program,” he said. “And while obviously we would have liked to have been at the top of the time charts during testing, this race is about consistent laps and good pit stops.

“If we can do those things, keep the Miracle Sealants Pontiac GXP.R clean, and avoid trouble, we'll end up near the front.”


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
#32 PR1 Motorsports Pontiac GXP.R - Barrett/Forest/Merrill/Salvo/Westphal [Pic credit: Grand Am]
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]
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

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