Daytona 24: Spirit of Daytona driver lineup

Spirit of Daytona's Rolex 24 Hour Driver Lineup Spirit of Daytona is pleased to announce its complete driver line up for the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona. The 09 Pontiac-powered Crawford will be driven by co-owner/ team...

Spirit of Daytona's Rolex 24 Hour Driver Lineup

Spirit of Daytona is pleased to announce its complete driver line up for the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona. The 09 Pontiac-powered Crawford will be driven by co-owner/ team driver, Doug Goad, 2000 NASCAR NEXTEL CUP Champion, Bobby Labonte, European standout, Harold Primat, and Sportscar Champion, Larry Oberto.

This will be Spirit of Daytona's 10th Rolex 24 Hours and will include one of the best driver lineups the team has ever compiled. Even though all four drivers have various racing backgrounds they all have endurance racing experience. Both Doug Goad and Bobby Labonte competed in the 2005 Rolex 24. Labonte competed with his brother Terry and placed 9th overall in the 24 Hours. "Last year in Kevin's car (Ford Doran) I had an awesome time. It was a very valuable experience," said Labonte. Labonte saw an opportunity to race with Goad and Troy Flis, team-owner/manger, for 2006 and decided to go for it. " I know I joined with the team late in the schedule (referring to testing the DP for the first time on Friday, January 20) but hopefully this will be for a better season." Labonte competed in three other races during the 2005 Grand American season, but this will be the first time he gets behind the wheel of a Pontiac-Crawford.

This will be Goad's third 24 Hour race in the 09 Daytona Prototype (DP). He has raced in the event numerous times and won the Rolex 24 Hours in the AGT Class in 2001. This will be Goad's second time racing with a NASCAR driver. In 2004 NASCAR star, Robby Gordon raced for the Spirit of Daytona with Doug Goad, Stephan Gregoire and Milka Duno. Goad is looking for a top-10 finish this year to carry the team into a successful 2006 season. Goad commented on the 2006 event, " Right now everything is going great, considering less than two weeks ago our team was not even sure what our 2006 plans were. The driver line up is great and I am happy to have Bobby, Harold and Larry come on board with our team."

"Everything is lining up for a successful season. The car has run great during our test sessions (private test session held at Roebling Raceway in Georgia) and I think it looks real good. It's almost as if we have a brand new car for a brand new team."

European sports car driver, Harold Primat, from Geneva, Switzerland will be part of the Spirit of Daytona's team effort at the Rolex 24 Hours. This will not be his first endurance race, having competed in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2005. However this will be Primat's first time racing at Daytona, although he has competed on American tracks before. He successfully competed in an LMP2 car at Sebring in 2005 and also raced in US Formula Ford 2000 in 1999 and 2000. Primat said, "I am delighted to join the Spirit of Daytona team and I look forward to my first endurance race of the 2006 season. This is an event I have always wanted to compete in; alongside Le Mans and Sebring, Daytona is one of the greats of endurance racing. It has a wonderful history and it will be a privilege to race there."

Primat will also be joining up with Spirit of Daytona driver, Larry Oberto. Oberto has competed in Grand American events but this will also be his first time racing a Daytona Prototype. Oberto won the Grand-Am SRPII Class in 2003 with his Nissan-powered Lola. Oberto, a fan of prototypes, has tested DPs before, but this will be his first experience racing a Pontiac- Crawford. Oberto had a chance to test the 09DP out on the track during a test day at Roebling Raceway in Georgia. "This team is first class," said Oberto after climbing out of the DP. " I love the team effort and I have great teammates. I actually raced with Harold (Primat) while I competed in the Formula Ford 2000." Oberto was impressed with the car's handling and is looking forward to his late night stint driving during the 24 Hours.

The Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona will have drivers of various backgrounds and nationalities including the Spirit of Daytona's start studded line up. For more information on Spirit of Daytona visit: www.spiritofdaytona.com

-sod-

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Milka Duno , Bobby Labonte , Robby Gordon , Stephan Gregoire , Doug Goad , Harold Primat , Larry Oberto