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Debutant Johnston to test DP at Virginia

Inaugural Sunoco Challenge winner Derek Johnston will get an earlier-than-expected chance to sample Spirit of Daytona's Coyote-Porsche after being given opportunity to run at Virginia test.

Fresh from winning the inaugural 2009 Rolex 24 At Daytona Driver Challenge presented by Sunoco, British champion Derek Johnston will next week test a Daytona Prototype at Virginia International Raceway to begin his preparation to drive in the 2010 Rolex 24 at Daytona.

Johnston won the coveted driver's seat in America's premier sportscar race by scoring the highest average point total among registered drivers competing in the Cooper Tyres British F3 International Series, the Avon Tyres British GT Championship, the Radical UK Cup and the SPEED sports prototype series in 2009 competition.

The 47-year old has won the Radical UK Cup for the past two years, in addition to winning Radical's European Masters championship this year, and his success has now landed him a funded seat in a Daytona Prototype in next January's Rolex 24.

As well as testing the Spirit of Daytona team's Coyote-Porsche at Virginia International Raceway over 3-4 November, the Briton will also test at Daytona over 8-9 December and 8-10 January. 8-10, working with Rolex Series veteran Guy Cosmo.

“We will give him the opportunity to run many laps to see how he likes it,” team owner Troy Flis said of Johnston, “I think the Daytona Prototype will be a real good fit for him, coming from racing the Radical prototype, because both cars are similar. I think it's a real cool deal for Derek. He should get up to speed quickly, he just needs to get used to the greater weight of the Daytona Prototype.”

Prior to travelling to Virginia, Johnston will visit Daytona Beach, where Cosmo will take him around the famed Speedway in a passenger car.

“I can't wait to get to drive a Daytona Prototype,” the Briton admitted, “I've been watching plenty of videos, and it looks awesome. I just found out about testing at Virginia, so I'll be watching plenty of videos of that circuit. I can't wait - I hope it's like Rockingham in the UK, because I'm quite good at Rockingham. This is a phenomenal opportunity, and I can't wait to get there and see the car and meet the teams.”

Related Pictures

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Derek Johnston
The No. 09 Spirit of Daytona Porsche Coyote that will be tested by 2009 Radical European Masters Champion Derek Johnston at Virginia International Raceway
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)
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]
Spencer Pumpelly - TRG Porsche [Pic credit: Grand Am]
Borcheller/Barbosa - Action Express Racing Porsche Riley [Pic credit: Grand Am Media]
Vic Elford, the 2010 Rolex 24 At Daytona Grand Marshal (Photo credit: Motorsports Images and Archives)
Max Angelelli and Brian Friselle win at Daytona [Pic credit: Grand Am Media]
Henri Richard/Rene Villeneuve - Polizei 144 TRG Porsche GT3   [pic credit: Grand-Am]
Romain Dumas/Timo Bernhard - Verizon Wireless Team Penske Riley-Porsche   [pic credit: Grand-Am]
Underground brand Team Polizei 144 will go mainstream with an entry in the Grand-Am Rolex Series from Laguna Seca
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]
Flags at the Rolex 24 [Pic credit: Grand Am]

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