Daytona 24: Robin Liddell preview

Scotsman Robin Liddell begins his quest for Grand American Rolex GT Series title honours by contesting the Daytona 24 Hours next weekend (26-27 Jan). Liddell makes his debut for the North Carolina-based Stevenson Motorsports team at the wheel...

Scotsman Robin Liddell begins his quest for Grand American Rolex GT Series title honours by contesting the Daytona 24 Hours next weekend (26-27 Jan).

Liddell makes his debut for the North Carolina-based Stevenson Motorsports team at the wheel of a brand new Pontiac GXP.R in the twice-around-the-clock race in Florida.

The Scotsman, who celebrates his 34th birthday next month (28 Feb), competes in the race -- the opening round of the 13-race Grand-Am series -- for the fifth time in his career aiming for a GT class podium finish.

"Although it will be my first race for the Stevenson team and at the wheel of a Pontiac, I'm very optimistic of claiming some points in what is effectively the toughest and longest race on the Grand-Am calendar," confirmed Liddell who narrowly missed out on the Grand Am championship GT "crown" two years ago.

The Stevenson Motorsport team tested its Pontiac, adorned in an eye-catching all-American paint scheme, for the first time earlier this month.

Robin continued: "The test was very successful especially given that the car had not turned a wheel before arriving at Daytona. It is a credit to the Stevenson team and all the guys at Pratt and Miller for putting together a car which ran so well during the three day test.

"The quality of engineering on the car is very high and it is very adjustable and reactive to change. The tyres also performed well giving a good level of grip and durability. It was my first time running on Pirellis since 2005 and they performed as well as I remember. It is obviously going to be a very tough season with tough competition particularly from Porsche and Mazda.

"We managed to gather a lot of data on the car at the Daytona test with all four drivers getting themselves comfortable in the car. I am really looking forward to the race and the rest of the season. From a championship point of view a top-six finish is important at Daytona but we are definitely aiming for the podium."

A huge field will contest the 46th running of the Rolex sponsored Daytona 24 Hour race staged on a 3.56-mile circuit comprising of sections of the steeply banked and ultra-fast "oval" track plus a twisty infield section.

Robin added: "With over 70 cars on the track, traffic plays a big factor in the proceedings. I'll be overtaking slower GT cars while at the same time, being overtaken by the faster Daytona Prototype class sportscars."

"Additionally, while the race attracts some very experienced drivers there are those at the other end of the grid who maybe just contest this race each year making it a little difficult at times due to the difference in driving standards.

"Another problem can be the weather. Florida is generally a good place to be in January but it has rained heavily in the past, making conditions appalling."

American Andrew Davis is Liddell's regular co-driver in the Pontiac GXP-R but the pair will be joined by Randy Pobst and Gunnar Jeanette for the Rolex 24.

-credit: rl

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Robin Liddell , Randy Pobst , Andrew Davis