Goodyear cars to lead start of Rolex 24 at Daytona.
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Jan. 30, 2003) -- The front of the field is set and Goodyear tires will lead the way at the start of the 41st running of the Rolex 24 at Daytona for the Rolex Sports Car Series.
The Ford Multimatic driven by Scott Maxwell, David Brabham and David Empringham will lead the field to the start of the race at 1 p.m. Saturday. The first 36 positions were set after Thursday's first round of qualifying and the remainder of the field will be determined in Friday's second round.
Goodyear is the exclusive tire provider for the Daytona Prototype and GTS classes in the Rolex Series.
Maxwell's car is one of the new Daytona Prototype class cars making their racing debut this weekend. Another Daytona Prototype, the Brumos Racing Porsche Fabcar driven by David Donahue, Mike Borkowski, Chris Bye and Randy Pobst will start second.
"This race is rarely won from the pole, but it's a thrill and bonus for my guys," Maxwell said. Maxwell drove the car in qualifying.
Justin Bell, driving the Derhaag Motorsports Corvette, was credited with the fastest time in qualifying but will start seventh in the field. The prototype cars will fill the first six starting positions. Bell's quickest lap lasted 1 minute, 49.394 seconds (117.155 mph) around Daytona's twisting 3.56-mile road course. Bell will co-drive with his father, Derek Bell and Simon Gregg and Kenny Wilden.
"I'm overjoyed to get a (quick time) at Daytona," the younger Bell said. "It was a great accomplishment for me personally."
The Heritage Motorsports Mustang GTS car driven by Tommy Riggins, David Machavern, NASCAR star Kevin Lepage and Scott Lagasse will start eighth in the field.
A field of 45 cars is expected to start the race Saturday.
Goodyear has a two-year winning streak in the twice-around-the-clock classic and has won an industry record 28 of the 40 races.