Despite the economic struggles currently affecting car manufacturers, Banner Racing has revealed it will still field the #07 Pontiac GXP.R for Kelly Collins and Paul Edwards during the 2009 Rolex Series GT season.

The team will be looking to defend its championship crown, although team owner Leighton Reese will stand down from driving duties during the new season.

"Those guys are going to defend the championship," he said. "We think we've got a good package. We are only running one car at Banner Racing next year. I wouldn't say that I've retired; I'm just not driving now. We're just going to optimise and maximise on one car, and hopefully we can put our rivals down one more time. We're obviously expecting a fierce fight from the Mazda guys, the Porsche guys and the other Pontiacs."

Reese admitted that Daytona isn't the best track for the Pontiacs but added that he believes the Rolex 24 could be a springboard to the team's second straight title.

"We're not as slow as we thought we'd be," he said. "We're not running record times, but against the guys we're usually running against, we're doing okay.

"Daytona is always a struggle for the Pontiacs. So far, the new tyres have worked out well for us, and right now, we're just trying to do some reliability testing. The only way we're going to win this race is to go the distance; we're not going to win it on speed."



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