Daytona 24: Chip Ganassi Racing preview

TEAMS: TELMEX Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates and drivers Scott Pruett, Juan Pablo Montoya and Salvador Duran (No.01 TELMEX/Target Riley). Defending Rolex 24 At Daytona Champions Target Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates and drivers...

TEAMS: TELMEX Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates and drivers Scott Pruett, Juan Pablo Montoya and Salvador Duran (No.01 TELMEX/Target Riley). Defending Rolex 24 At Daytona Champions Target Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates and drivers Scott Dixon, Dan Wheldon and Memo Rojas (No.02 Target/TELMEX Riley).

VENUE: Daytona International Speedway this Saturday, January 27-28th (1:30pm ET), on the 3.56-mile infield road course in Daytona Beach, Fla. -- Round One of the 14-race Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series season.

WHAT IT TAKES TO WIN: Distance-734 laps; Miles-2613; Pitstops-25; Minutes spent in pits-17; Sets of Tires-24; Gallons of Fuel-501; Gearbox Shifts-22,020; Quarts of oil burned-16 (No.02 winning numbers, 2006)

FAMILIAR FACES IN NEW PLACES: Daytona Prototype team anchorman Pruett returns with a new paint scheme in the No.01 car along with Ganassi's newest NASCAR driver Montoya. After a successful seven-race stock car transition period in 2006, the Formula One veteran is set to make his first career Rolex Series start before contesting the NEXTEL Cup and Busch Series seasons in the No.42 Texaco/Havoline Dodge. Mexico City native Duran joins the duo in handling the driving responsibilities for the No.01 entry after recently securing two A1 GP victories for Team Mexico. Defending Rolex 24 At Daytona Champions Team Target return to action in the No.02 car, making their third-straight Rolex 24 start with the Target Bullseye logo prominently displayed on the car-- signifying they are the team to beat. After completing 734 laps last season en route to the win, Dixon and Wheldon partner with Rojas as the Mexican pilot makes his first start in the series before contesting the balance of the 2007 season with new teammate Pruett.

RACING RESUMES: The Ganassi roster is an impressive group of international motor racing championship talent representing two Indianapolis 500 titles (Montoya-2000 and Wheldon-2005), three open wheel Championships (Montoya-1999, Dixon-2003 and Wheldon-2005), and two Daytona Prototype Championships (Pruett-2004 and 2006).

ROLEX 24 AT DAYTONA HISTORY: In three career appearances (2004-06), CGRFS has a best finish of first (2006) and has won the pole twice (2004-05). All CGRFS entries have all finished in the top-10 with the exception being the No.01 car's 20th DP placing in 2006... To date, the No.01 team boasts 13 wins in 40 career Grand American starts, an astounding winning percentage of 33%. Pruett's pole position in the 2006 Utah finale also marked the No.01 car's 20th in 40 career Rolex Series starts-- a pole-winning percentage of 50%.

2006 ROLEX 24 AT DAYTONA RECAP: The No.02 car with drivers Scott Dixon, Dan Wheldon and Casey Mears led CGRFS at Daytona International Speedway, crossing the finish line first after 24 hours of racing. The No.01 entry with teammates Pruett, Luis Diaz and Max Papis was not as fortunate, after an oil pump issue ended its run at 5:30 am with Pruett behind the wheel. The two Ganassi Daytona Prototypes led a total of 360 out of 734 laps in the event, and ran first and second for the majority of the night session before the No.01 car was relegated to the garage. The Target car picked up the lead at 6:29 am and never looked back, marking the first win for CGRFS at the Rolex 24 in just the team's third attempt.

-credit: www.chipganassiracing.com

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing