Daytona 24: Tuttle Team/SAMAX Friday report

The SAMAX Motorsport cars are ready to challenge for honors in both classes of the Rolex 24 At Daytona, with the No. 11 Tuttle Team Racing/SAMAX BMW-powered Riley Mk XI in the DP class and two Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars in the GT class. Brian...

The SAMAX Motorsport cars are ready to challenge for honors in both classes of the Rolex 24 At Daytona, with the No. 11 Tuttle Team Racing/SAMAX BMW-powered Riley Mk XI in the DP class and two Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars in the GT class. Brian Tuttle, who shares the No. 11 Riley with Kyle Petty and Boris Said, will start 26th on the 67-car grid, based on his Thursday qualifying.

The team's GT cars both qualified again on Friday. Johnny Mowlem put the No. 17 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car ninth on the GT grid with a lap time of one minute 54.300 seconds on the 3.56-mile Daytona International Speedway infield road course. He will alternate with Lance David Arnold, Bryan Sellers, Jan Seyffarth and David Shep. Dave Lacey qualified the No. 71 SAMAX/Doncaster Racing Porsche 13th in class (1:56.006) for his co-drivers Brent Martini, Greg Wilkins and Mark Wilkins.

SAMAX notes

UPS Porsche Junior Team drivers Lance David Arnold and Jan Seyffarth have seen both coasts this month, during their first visit to North America. After testing for the Rolex 24 in Daytona Beach, Fla., they traveled to Porsche Motorsport North America headquarters in Santa Ana, Calif. They spent two days rebuilding an engine -- "We won't say which one!" Seyffarth grinned -- and helped pack boxes in the warehouse. "We also learned a lot about the business, the language and the culture," Arnold added, noting they enjoyed the sights of Hollywood and Beverly Hills.

Dave Lacey is the president of KidsFutures, a consumer-rewards program that enables Canadian families to save money for their children's post-secondary education. Members purchase products and services from designated manufacturers and retailers, and earn cash rewards that can be directed to tax-sheltered education savings plans. A government grant program can add another 20 to 40 per cent.

Johnny Mowlem is still thrilled with the Rolex Oyster Perpetual Daytona Cosmograph watch he won in the 2004 Rolex 24. Now he finds himself checking wrists. "It's such a beautiful watch," he said. "I've always been into watches, but I don't really know them. Now I find I look at other people's watches a lot more. It's the sort of thing I probably wouldn't have bought, but I'm so, so chuffed that I won it. It means a lot to me. If I won a second one, I'd alternate wearing them."

Brian Tuttle has one goal in the Rolex 24 -- to drive as many hours as possible to gain points toward the Jim Trueman Award, presented to the top sportsman driver in the Rolex Sports Car Series Daytona Prototype class. "I'm really working hard to win that award because the winner gets a trophy in Daytona USA with their name on it," he explained. "So for the next 20 years, I could bring my kids and my kids' kids up there and say, 'I won that award.'"

Hoosier Racing Tire will attempt a first during the Jan. 28-29 Rolex 24 -- a 24-hour race with just one tire compound. Mike Kraemer, product manager, explained: "This will be the first time any tire company has tried to do this with one compound to cover all conditions and temperatures. This is one of our goals for the series -- to make the racing as easy possible, by reducing the variables that teams and drivers have to accommodate. There are plenty of other things to overcome. We don't want to add to their burden."

-tuttle/samax

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Series Grand-Am
Drivers Kyle Petty , Boris Said , Johnny Mowlem , Dave Lacey , Brent Martini , David Shep , Greg Wilkins , Mark Wilkins , Brian Tuttle , Jan Seyffarth , Lance David Arnold