Daytona 24: Tomas Enge preview

Grand Am: Enge to take American legend Tomas Enge returns to the biggest American Endurance race after last year's debut. He is racing at Daytona 24 Hours. Like last year he is fighting in the colours of the Samax Motorsport team. Also the car...

Grand Am: Enge to take American legend

Tomas Enge returns to the biggest American Endurance race after last year's debut. He is racing at Daytona 24 Hours. Like last year he is fighting in the colours of the Samax Motorsport team. Also the car is the same -- Pontiac Riley of the Daytona Prototype class which is the premium class of the Grand Am. Liberec born driver has flown to the States directly from New Zealand where he raced in the A1GP and after the race is leaving to Australia for yet another A1GP race.

Tomas is sharing the car with Venezuelan Milka Duno, Briton Ryan Dalziel, who has ChampCar experience, and Swiss Harold Primat who has been doing endurance races in the Le Mans Series in last few years. The quartet of drivers is sharing No.11 car.

Tomas & Co have tested successfully for three days at Daytona at the beginning of the year. They were hampered by brake problems at the beginning but they were among fastest after this issue was solved in the field of 60 cars. Approximately half of it forms Daytona Prototypes. "Tomas did a great job during the tests. I believe that he will perform at least at the same level like last year," says Peter Baron, boss of the Samax Motorsport .

The Czech driver finished 6th at Daytona last year. His best result in the Grand Am was second at Salt Lake City that hosted the final race of last season.

The entry list for the 24 hours once again bears some of the biggest names of American racing like Juan Pablo Montoya, Dario Franchitti, Dan Wheldon, Scott Dixon, Helio Castroneves, Justin Wilson, Graham Rahal, Jimmy Vasser and many others.

Tomas Enge: "It is going to be my second participation in this great race and I am looking forward to it! One of the reasons is that we are better prepared and stronger than last year. I think that both crews are very good and also our cars are better. We tested there at the beginning of the year and technicians and mechanics has basically built new cars afterwards. All important parts have been changed. We also have two specs of the engine -- one for qualifying and one for race. Those are important news. The race engine should be much better comparing to last year, all in all we have done very thorough preparations. For fans could be interesting that our Pontiac Riley cars have brand new liveries. Our car No. 11 is white-orange and I like it a lot. Like No. 2 has unusual design with funny, colourful motives that are tied with one children hospital located in Florida. We finished seats on Wednesday. Our crew has different bodies, so it required a bit more work but we are happy with the final solution. The base is Harold's position he is with 190 cm clearly the tallest from our crew. I have a support under back, Ryan under thighs and Milka, a small lady, needed basically a second seat that placed into the original one. Daytona 24 hours is a big race itself and because takes place in January many drivers from Indy car series, ChampCar, Nascar, ex-F1 drivers want to race there. I really want to improve on last year where I was sixth. I wish it even more as it would help on New Zealand's A1GP struggle."

Antonin Charouz, manager: "I believe that Tomas will show a good form like he did last year in both Grand Am championship and Samax Motorsport. Daytona is one of the most famous races around the whole world, so everyone is even more motivated to succeed there. Our other two drivers, my son Jan and Stefan Mucke, successfully tested for Samax at the beginning of the year. However, both are now fully focused on the preparation tests of our main program for this year which is the Le Mans Series. We will enter brand new prototype Lola B08/60 LMP1 Coupe Aston Martin."

www.tomas-enge.com

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya