BEYER RACING SHOWS STRENGTH, LEADS FOR THE FIRST TIME AT DAYTONA Daytona Beach, Florida - July 5th, 2009 - The Beyer Racing team had an impressive run yesterday at the Brumos Porsche 250 at Daytona in which the ...
BEYER RACING SHOWS STRENGTH, LEADS FOR THE FIRST TIME AT DAYTONA
Daytona Beach, Florida - July 5th, 2009 - The Beyer Racing team had an impressive run yesterday at the Brumos Porsche 250 at Daytona in which the #13 Lennox Chevrolet Riley led the Rolex Sports Car Series field for the first time in the rookie team's career with 19 year old Ricky Taylor behind the wheel. It was a blistering hot and humid day that tested the limits of fitness and endurance of the four young Beyer Racing drivers (Jared Beyer, Mike Forest, Jordan Taylor, Ricky Taylor) and proved that they are ready to compete with the top runners of the series.
Ricky Taylor took the green flag in the #13 Lennox Crawford Riley Daytona Prototype after qualifying in the eight position for the third time this year with a lap of 1m43.249s. Taylor picked up two positions on the start and then on Lap 4 moved into the Top-5 by out-braking and passing the #12 Penske machine in Turn 1. After a caution period on Lap 11 the Beyer Racing crew opted to stay out while the leaders pitted to adopt an alternate strategy, which handed Taylor the lead of the race. On the restart the Apopka, FL native opened an impressive gap and led the first 11 laps of his career at his home race. Taylor pitted on Lap 23, seconds before the mandatory 45-minute pit window had expired, handing the controls over to teammate Mike Forest. After the pit stop shuffle Forest found himself once again showing the speed of the #13 car and battling for the top positions, while at the same time desperately waiting for a caution period that would allow the Beyer Racing team to get back in sequence with the leaders and take advantage of their alternate pit strategy. Unfortunately the yellow flags never waved and Forest was forced to pit under green flag conditions on Lap 57 loosing precious time and positions. Ricky Taylor brought the car to the checkered but after the unfortunate green flag stop was only able to climb to the 12th position, a disappointing result in an otherwise impressive race.
For the crew and drivers of the #5 Lennox Chevrolet Crawford machine the race marked the end of a hectic week in which the crew had to prepare a new Crawford chassis and fit it with a Chevrolet engine in only a few days, and in which the drivers, Jared Beyer and Jordan Taylor, had only a few laps due to limited practice time to adapt their driving and learn the handling characteristics of the new car before the race. After scoring a season best qualifying effort of 13th with a lap of 1m44.387s, Jordan Taylor managed to pick up positions on the start and was running in the Top-10 when he noticed an issue that would make for a long day for him and his teammate. Not only was the temperature extremely high inside their #5 machine as in any other Daytona Prototype, their chassis also radiated additional heat in the pedal area making it uncomfortable and quite painful for the drivers. After Taylor communicated the problem through the radio, Jared Beyer was fitted with additional heat protection before jumping into the car on Lap 19 for his stint. Beyer had a tough task at hand as he barely had any practice laps with the Crawford chassis before the race due to various minor problems that arouse during the very limited practice sessions. The New Braunfels, TX native was able to quickly adapt to the new car and ran his fastest lap times of the weekend during the race. Taylor got back behind the wheel on Lap 46 and took the checkered flag for the 70-lap race. Despite their heating problems and the fact that they ran a brand new chassis with virtually no testing before the race, the duo of Jared Beyer and Jordan Tyler managed to bring the #5 Daytona Prototype home in 15th place.
Ricky Taylor #13 Lennox Chevrolet Riley
"Things went very well today, the #13 Lennox Chevrolet Riley was very strong, we've made a lot of progress over the last few races. This is the first track that we come to where we've raced before so I think you could really see it in our speed that we have the car figured out and we were able to be right on pace with the leaders.
It was a great feeling leading the race today, the Ganassi car was right behind us and it was just so weird to hear the team saying that on the radio. You cherish every moment you get when you can be ahead of Penske, Ganassi, Wayne Taylor Racing and all those guys. It was a great day."
Mike Forest #13 Lennox Chevrolet Riley
"Even though we finished 12th we have to be extremely pleased with ourselves. We led for a number of laps, we were running second for a while, and we were steady and consistent and running the same lap times as the leaders. So for where we were and where we are going we need to be pleased with the step we made today.
The first twenty laps you feel ok, it's hot but you don't realize the toll it's taking on your body. You try to drink some water and keep hydrated but all of a sudden the heat builds up and you can really just feel it soaking in right into you, your feet are burning just because of the temperature of the pedals. With three or four laps to go on my stint it was getting really difficult out there, it just gets extremely hot and there is nothing you can do about it, I'm sure it was at least 130 degrees in the cockpit. But we toughed it out and Ricky brought it home strong, so overall a good race."
Jordan Taylor #5 Lennox Chevrolet Crawford
"It was a tough race today, it was really hot. We had a few problems in the pedal box of the car with the heat, but we got through that. The start was pretty good, I passed a car right away and then when Kyle Busch went off we picked up more positions and got into the Top-10. After that we had a problem with my feet overheating so we had to pit so Jared could get in.
The Crawford chassis was pretty good, I was surprised with how well it adapted to the new tire. I think we still have a lot of work to do with the handling but it's looking good for the future. The team did a great job putting it together and we'll just keep working with it over the next few races."
Jared Beyer #5 Lennox Chevrolet Crawford
"The car was good today up until the point that it started getting really hot and we had to make additional driver changes. During my stint things went well, I had to get used to the Crawford which is a lot different, and since I barely got any laps in practice I had to get up to speed during the race. Definitely the toughest thing out there today was the heat and just trying to deal with it. But overall it was a good weekend for us, the Beyer Racing guys did a great job putting this new car together and it looks like once we figure it out we'll be pretty fast with it."
After a well deserved break the Beyer Racing team will return to the track July 17-19 for the Porsche 250 Presented by Legacy Credit Union at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama, round 8 of the 12-race Grand Am Rolex Sports Car season.