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McMurray hits the front in Daytona testing

Jamie McMurray paces day two of the Roar before the Rolex 24 Hours test at Daytona for Ganassi
The variety of international talent that comes together for the Rolex 24 At Daytona was very evident Saturday in TUDOR United SportsCar Championship testing at Daytona International Speedway, as a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver and a Formula One test driver led the respective Prototype classes in the second day of Roar Before the Rolex 24 testing.

Jamie McMurray, winner of the 2010 Daytona 500, paced the Prototype drivers with a lap of 1min 38.980secs in the #01 Telcel/Target Ford EcoBoost/Riley.

Sam Bird, runner-up in the 2013 GP2 championship and test driver for the past three seasons for the Mercedes Formula One team, led Prototype Challenge with a lap of 1min 42.010secs in the #8 Starworks Motorsport ORECA FLM09.

McMurray was not aware that he was fastest in practice after getting out of the car he shares with defending Rolex 24 winners Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas and reigning Indy Lights champion Sage Karam.

The team is looking to give Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates its sixth Rolex 24 victory since 2006.

“Today we're really trying to get the car comfortable for everyone,” McMurray said. “The car is different from the one we raced here last year, with traction control, and it drives differently with the turbocharger. Absolutely, this would be a huge race to win. I've won the Daytona 500 and the Coke Zero 400, and even won in go-karts here. It would be awesome to win the Rolex 24.”

David Brabham ushered in the Daytona Prototype era in the Rolex 24 by winning the class in 2003, driving for Multimatic Motorsports. This year, he will drive an LMP2-spec car in its Daytona competition debut as part of the #1 Tequila Patrón HPD ARX-03b/Honda with Scott Sharp and Ryan Dalziel for Extreme Speed Motorsports.

“It's kind of cool to be racing in the first TUDOR Championship race, after being involved here in the very beginning of the DPs here,” Brabham said. “The DPs have come a long way since then. Obviously, I'm used to the P2, having raced the HPD since 2007 and I know the car very well.

“It's difficult to say what's going to happen in the Rolex 24. The two cars have strengths in different areas and perform quite the opposite. It will be a fascinating battle as it goes on.”

Two-time Rolex 24 winner Wayne Taylor is making his return to racing for the event, joining his sons, Ricky and Jordan Taylor, and long-time associate Max Angelelli in the #10 Velocity Worldwide Corvette DP.

Tagged as: Ganassi , Daytona , Rolex , McMurray

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