DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (January 24, 2013) – Team owner/driver Claudio Burtin qualified the No. 17 FOAMETIX/Z-Value Porsche GT3 in the GT field for this weekend’s Rolex 24 At Daytona as he and his teammates Martin Ragginger, Jack Baldwin, Mario Farnbacher and Robert Renauer prepare for the team’s sixth consecutive year competing in the day-long Daytona race.
“There was a lot of clean qualifying out there today,” said Burtin, who clocked in with a lap time of 1:52.269 (114.154 mph) for the 32nd fastest GT class time. “Nobody was making much in the way of mistakes, or kicking up a lot of dirt. My last lap was my best lap; I caught a little bit of a draft and some of the adjustments we made to the car allowed the power to be applied a little bit earlier in the corners."
Burtin, Ragginger and Baldwin have all raced together in the five previous appearances of FOAMETIX at the Rolex 24.
“We are looking forward to the race,” Burtin said. “It’s a long race. This is the first time I’ve qualified the car. We’ve led this race and run up front a few times and really we are looking for the finish this time, that’s why I qualified. I’m our slowest driver, so I think we can have a good race if we just stay out of trouble.”
Thursday’s opening one-hour morning practice saw team newcomers Farnbacher and Renauer each get time behind the wheel of the No. 17. Each reported noticeable improvement to the car in comparison to the early January Rolex Roar test.
“We improved the car a lot and we found a few seconds compared to Roar weekend,” Farnbacher said. “We were quick today and we can go quicker too as we continue to improve the car. The fastest GT car was 48.2 – we did a 49.9 – but still, this was the first time out.”
Renauer found the No. 17 faster than during the Roar test.
“The car feels much better than at the Roar,” Renauer said. “They changed the engine and gearbox, so you can feel we have more power in the car and it is much quicker than at the test. We still have some oversteer, but it is much better than the test weekend.”