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Competitors and officials pleased with first IMS test

Grand-Am Road Racing competitors and officials were pleased and optimistic following Thursday's first sanctioned test at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Nine Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series teams participated in the test, which included a pair of two-hour sessions. While the bulk of the time was spent on the 2.534-mile, 13-turn Formula 1 road course, teams also spent a short time on the modified 2.621-mile, 16-turn MotoGP layout.

"Let's go racing," said Scott Pruett after his first run in Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates' #01 TELMEX Lexus Riley he shared with Memo Rojas. "I think we'd put on a heck of a show. I have no question in our mind, compatibility is not an issue. The biggest question for me is, 'When are we going to race?'"

Rolex Series officials held debriefing sessions following both the morning and afternoon sessions.

"We had a fantastic welcome from the Speedway, the media and the entire community," said Grand-Am vice president of competition David Spitzer. "I had conversations with track leadership, and they were delighted by the buzz the test generated and the unexpected large number of people who came here to be part of the day.

"We're confident we will be able to put on a fantastic show at Indianapolis," Spitzer added. "The Speedway will work very well with our two-class format. We will continue to work with our tyre partner, Pirelli, along with the experience of NASCAR and will have no problem designing yires that can race here."

Joining Pruett and Rojas from the Daytona Prototypes at the test were Daytona Prototype point co-leader Jon Fogarty and Bob Stallings Racing owner Bob Stallings in the #99 GAINSCO Racing Pontiac Riley; Wayne and Ricky Taylor in the #10 SunTrust Ford Dallara; Michael Valiante, John Pew and Michael Shank in the #6 Michael Shank Racing Ford Riley; and Buddy Rice in the #90 Spirit of Daytona Racing Porsche Coyote. Indy Racing League veterans Ed Carpenter, Jonathan Klein, Scott Mayer and Ryan Lewis also turned laps in the Coyote.

Four Rolex Series Acxiom GT cars also tested: championship leaders Leh Keen and Dirk Werner in the #87 Farnbacher Loles Racing Porsche GT3; Robin Liddell, Andrew Davis and Mike Johnson in the #57 BryanMark Financial/Stevenson Automotive Pontiac GXP.R; Sylvain Tremblay and David Haskell in the #70 SpeedSource/Castrol Syntec Mazda RX-8; and team owner Kevin Buckler and Spencer Pumpelly in the #68 TRG Pontiac GXP.R.

"It's a pretty fun road course, and it's great to be here in the Grand-Am Rolex Series," said Fogarty, who leads the Daytona Prototype points with co-driver Alex Gurney with two races remaining in the 2009 season. "We put on spectacular racing, and I think we'd be able to do that here, too. Judging by the number of fans we had here, just for the test, there seemed to be a lot of interest, which is great. As a driver, you want to go where people appreciate what you do, and people in Indianapolis know racing. It's great to be a part of that."

Both sessions ran incident free, other than a couple of harmless spins.

"It's been exciting," said Rice, who won the 2004 Indianapolis 500 from the pole. "It's great to get back to Indy. I think the compatibility test has gone really well. A lot of people are excited about it. I think the course is good. There are a few things that we need to work on to make it better, but I don't think there's any major job that needs to be done. I think it's gone quite well."




Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Scott Pruett/Memo Rojas - TELMEX Chip Ganassi Racing Riley-Lexus   [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)
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]
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]

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Hal Raimey - Unregistered

September 04, 2009 4:04 PM

Of course it was "hailed a success." What did you expect Grand-Am and IMS PR to say? A Grand-Am race at Indy is either another sign of the apocalypse, or another sign that the track is soon to have new owners -- based in Daytona Beach, Fla. BTW, why does this Web site insist on using Grand AM instead of the correct usage Grand-Am?



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