Daytona 24: Toyota Lexus preview

Lexus Sets Sights on First Rolex 24 Victory TORRANCE, Calif. (Feb. 1, 2005) -- Featuring a powerful driver line-up that includes defending series champion Scott Pruett, Lexus has set its sights on its first Rolex 24 at Daytona victory in this...

Lexus Sets Sights on First Rolex 24 Victory

TORRANCE, Calif. (Feb. 1, 2005) -- Featuring a powerful driver line-up that includes defending series champion Scott Pruett, Lexus has set its sights on its first Rolex 24 at Daytona victory in this weekend's Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series opener at the Daytona International Speedway.

Pruett returns in last year's championship-winning CompUSA Lexus-Riley, one of six Lexus-powered entries in the race including three from the stables of Ganassi Racing.

Pruett will be joined in the #01 CompUSA car by full-time Grand Am teammate Luis Diaz, as well as IRL rookie Ryan Briscoe, who comes to Ganassi Racing after serving as the Toyota F1 test driver for the past three seasons. Ganassi Racing also will field a car for Target drivers Scott Dixon, the 2003 IndyCar Series champion, his IRL teammate Darren Manning and Nextel Cup driver Casey Mears. Veteran road racers Stefan Johansson and Cort Wagner will team with Nextel Cup star Jamie McMurray in the #02 New Century Mortgage Lexus-Riley.

Also returning with Lexus power for the 2005 season is Doran Racing and the #27 Lexus-Doran. Italian FIA GT champions Matteo Bobbi and Fabrizio Gollin are in line to run the full season with the team. They'll be joined for the Rolex 24 by sports car star Didier Theys -- a two-time Rolex 24 winner who co-drove to victory for the team at Watkins Glen last year.

New to Lexus power in 2005 will be Robinson Racing. Formers sports car and NASCAR star turned television analyst Wally Dallenbach Jr. will anchor the #74 -- 74 Ranch Resort Lexus-Riley. He'll be joined by younger brother Paul Dallenbach, team owner George Robinson and former IndyCar driver Johnny Unser for the twice-around-the-clock extravaganza.

Rounding out the Lexus line-up is the #3 OzExe Lexus-Fabcar from Cegwa Sport. Team owner Darius Grala will be joined by Mark Patterson, Bohdan Kroczek, Quentin Wahl in the cockpit.

Lexus-powered cars won 5 races and 11 of 12 pole positions in 2004. In addition, the manufacturer powered Scott Pruett and Max Papis to the Driver's Championship, as well as Ganassi Racing to the team title.

SPEED will provide 14.5 hours of television coverage on this year's Rolex 24 at Daytona beginning at noon on February 5, and will carry all of the action through the first seven hours of the race. After a one-hour break, the telecast resumes at 8:00 p.m., with coverage continuing until 11:00 p.m. ET. The third and final segment of the telecast will hit the airwaves at 8:00 a.m., and run through the race's conclusion, including the post-race victory celebrations.

-toyota-

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Darius Grala , Wally Dallenbach , Didier Theys , Casey Mears , Max Papis , Scott Dixon , Scott Pruett , Jamie McMurray , Luis Diaz , George Robinson , Matteo Bobbi , Ryan Briscoe , Mark Patterson , Johnny Unser , Quentin Wahl , Paul Dallenbach , Cort Wagner
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing , Doran Racing