Drink Florida Orange Juice!/SPEEDCOM/Marcos BMW Paces Practice and Qualifies Second at the 24 Hours of Nurburgring Prewitt, Lassally and Euser Looking For Second Major International 24-Hour Race Win of 2010 NURBURG, Germany (May 14,...
Drink Florida Orange Juice!/SPEEDCOM/Marcos BMW Paces Practice and Qualifies Second at the 24 Hours of Nurburgring
Prewitt, Lassally and Euser Looking For Second Major International 24-Hour Race Win of 2010
NURBURG, Germany (May 14, 2010) - The No. 179 Drink Florida Orange Juice!/SPEEDCOM Communications/Marcos Racing International BMW team qualified a close second in class Friday for the 38th annual Zurich 24 Hours of Nurburgring on the legendary Nordschleife circuit in Germany. The day-long race starts a 3 p.m. local time on Saturday (9 a.m. ET/6 a.m. PT) and concludes 24 hours later at 3 p.m. on Sunday.
After pacing the D1T (Diesel 1) class field Thursday in both a cold and wet night session and that afternoon's opening practice, the No. 179 BMW team was a firm favorite for the pole in Friday's qualifying. Drivers Hal Prewitt, Toto Lassally and Raymond Coronel all took turns at the wheel of the team's quick BMW 320d with Coronel's lap of 9:48.308 ultimately good enough for second on the D1T grid just four seconds behind the No. 177 Team Hungary BMW 120d.
"The most important thing is where we are running tomorrow and I think we have a good chance," Coronel said. "Of course, we can run the same times as the pole car and even faster, but if you get out of your comfort zone, you might take some risks, and I didn't want to take any risks at all. As usual, you have a yellow flag here and a yellow flag there and there is always something happening, always. We will see what happens tomorrow."
Prewitt, Lassally and Cor Euser anchored a class-winning effort in January's 24 Hours of Dubai along with frequent team co-driver Jim Briody. The same four drivers also finished sixth in class in the 2009 24 Hours of Nurburgring in a Marcos Racing BMW 120d, but Coronel and the BMW 320d are both speedy new additions to the team this year.
"I am very pleased with the team and the car, I love it, and it has everything we dreamed about," Prewitt said. "It is well prepared, easy to drive and has the latest and greatest toys for drivers. I am very impressed."
Prewitt has driven in nearly 30 major endurance events and over 150 total races in his career and scored his first international victory in his Dubai debut.
"I think the solution to winning this race is very similar to many of them," Prewitt said. "You have to stay out of the pits and out of trouble and you can do just average lap times and win. I learned a long time ago it's not the fastest lap, it is the continuous laps and never coming in the pits any more than you have to."
Lassally, who earned a top-five diesel-class podium finish in the 2008 24 Hours of Nurburgring, is also pleased with the team's top effort for the 38th ADAC classic this year.
"For the first time we actually have the right team, the right drivers and the right car," Lassally said. "I am very confident that we are going to be right there in the hunt. Basically, it doesn't really matter where you start in a race of this length. We are going to start second, but that's still a very good starting position, and I think at the end we are going to be there. We just have to keep bringing it home."
One team driver who did not get any track time at the Nurburgring on Friday was Euser, who is not even in Germany. The Dutch driving legend, who is celebrating his 30th anniversary in racing this year, is also competing in the Dutch Supercar Challenge event on the Assen circuit back home in Holland this weekend in one of his own Ford-powered Marcos MarcorRelly sports cars. Euser is currently the Dutch Supercar championship leader and traveled overnight Thursday to Assen to compete there today and Saturday. He will rejoin his Drink Florida Orange Juice!/ SPEEDCOM/Marcos teammates at Nurburgring a few hours after the race starts at 3 p.m. on Saturday.
- Prewitt is an orange grower from Florida whose company has produced as much as 1.5 million cartons of orange juice annually in recent years. He uses the "Drink Florida Orange Juice!" campaign to promote the positive effects and health benefits of citrus. From disease prevention, to building immunity and supplying a daily dose of nutrients, 100% Florida orange juice, grapefruit juice and fresh citrus are important keys to overall well being.
- Lassally had perhaps the best summary of what a race as challenging as the 24 Hours of Nurburgring is all about. "This is a marathon, not a sprint. There is a big difference in sprint and endurance racing. In 24-hour-endurance racing, you sometimes have to take calculated risks. In sprint racing, you take chances. You don't take chances out here; you only take calculated risks. That is the main difference."
- Briody is also racing at the Nurburgring this weekend in the Mathol Racing No. 155 Honda Civic Type-R on a team with three European drivers. Briody, who lives with his wife Pat in Prescott, Arizona, is one of America's most successful production-car endurance drivers. The Dubai victory came in his 50th career 24 hour race and this weekend marks his 52nd international 24-hour race after also competing in January's Rolex 24 At Daytona. Briody's impressive career record includes 20 class wins and 24 total podium finishes in worldwide 24 hour races.