No. 17 FOAMETIX/Burtin Racing Porsche GT3 starts from the ninth position for Saturday’s Golden Anniversary event
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (January 27, 2012) – The No. 17 FOAMETIX®/Burtin Racing with Goldcrest Motorsports Porsche GT3 used Friday at Daytona International Speedway (DIS) to run through a pre-race checklist to ensure all-systems are top notch for this weekend’s 50th Anniversary Rolex 24 At Daytona. Live coverage of the Rolex 24 At Daytona begins Saturday at 2:30 p.m. ET/11:30 a.m. PT. on SPEED.
During the qualifying session on Thursday, team driver Martin Ragginger piloted the Porsche to the ninth quickest time with a lap of 1:49.891 (116.625 mph). The No. 17 FOAMETIX qualifying effort places the green and yellow racing machine as one of the six Porsches in the top-10 and the fifth fastest GT3 in qualifying.
Co-driving with Ragginger is team owner/driver Claudio Burtin, Jack Baldwin, Bryan Sellers and Sebastian Asch. Rain was a factor during Friday’s activities and the team clocked only a few laps, in order to ensure that the Porsche was race ready.
Ragginger is the lead driver for Saturday’s Rolex 24 At Daytona and he will start the team off as the No. 17’s qualifying driver. Looking forward to the event, Ragginger has also set personal goals for the endurance race.
“My goal is to be able to stay on the lead lap during the race,” Ragginger said. “We are racing against the competition, but we are also trying to keep the car in one piece. I want to leave the pits and bring the car back to the pits for the next driver, so it can still run it without any damage. Then, of course, to have a good stint, stay on the lead lap and do good lap times. Once my stint is over, the team has scheduled massages for each of the drivers. I will get a massage, sleep a bit and then I’ll be back in the car again.”
Sellers also competed in Friday night’s GRAND-AM Continental Tire Series race and finished third with teammate Mark Boden. Sellers thinks he has an advantage going into Saturday’s Rolex 24 having logged a competitive two hour stint in the car on Friday.
“It is definitely good to be on the podium today before you head into tomorrow’s race because you have a little bit more confidence rolling in,” Sellers said. “You get some of the first pre-race jitters of the year out and you’re able to kind of watch and learn where you’re able to pass and some of those things can apply to tomorrow. Today was a big help. I think anytime you can do laps after lap and get two hours in the car it’s a good thing.”
The Rolex 24 At Daytona weekend continues on Saturday as the clock starts for the 50th Anniversary Rolex 24 At Daytona at 3:30 p.m. local time.
Noteworthy Confident after Friday’s final sessions around the 3.56-mile road course, Burtin is eager to race the FOAMETIX Porsche. Continuing the fast-pace of the weekend, Burtin returns to Georgia on Tuesday for a significant personal occasion. “Martin is the car first and then I will race, followed by Bryan, Jack and then Sebastian,” Burtin said. “Then on Monday, I head back to Georgia because my girlfriend Danielle is 39 weeks pregnant, so for anybody that’s had kids, that’s their due date. Last I hear, she’s going to be induced on Tuesday, so we’re cutting this down to the wire. This will be my fourth child, another little girl. I have two older boys and two little girls. I have a seven year old, who is really looking forward to having a little sister. I’m very much looking forward to our new baby.”… Burtin has nicknames for his co-drivers and crew members. Burtin explains why he gave Ragginger the nickname Cabezon, “Years ago, I met Juan Manuel Fangio, he was five-time Formula 1 world champion and considered the greatest driver of all time. One of his best friends was another Argentine Formula 1 driver named Froilan Gonzalez. His nickname was Cabezon because he wasn’t a tall guy, but he had a very big head. If you look at Martin, for his stature, he has an unusually large head. He wears a large size helmet with, obviously, not the largest of body and stature. That’s why he got the nickname Cabezon.”