Daytona II: Guy Cosmo preview

Saturday's Brumos Porsche 250 will be Cosmo's last Daytona Prototype outing with Spirit of Daytona (Daytona Beach, FL) 2 July 2009-- When the Rolex Sports Car Series convenes this weekend for the Brumos Porsche 250, the Saturday sprint race will...

Saturday's Brumos Porsche 250 will be Cosmo's last Daytona Prototype outing with Spirit of Daytona

(Daytona Beach, FL) 2 July 2009-- When the Rolex Sports Car Series convenes this weekend for the Brumos Porsche 250, the Saturday sprint race will mark the start of the second half of the 2009 season.

But for racer Guy Cosmo, the event is more likely to have the feeling of a bittersweet end of an era, as he makes a last race start behind the wheel of the No. 09 Spirit of Daytona Coyote-Porsche V8 for Spirit of Daytona Racing.

Cosmo made his first start with the team as co-driver with Bobby Labonte in a Crawford-Pontiac in 2006. He was then retained to help the team assess the strengths and weaknesses of the Coyote-Porsche V8 package in preparation for the newest specification Coyote machine, has been with the organization since late 2007, and with the newest Coyote being deployed into race action with a new race line-up, Cosmo is now looking ahead to giving the No. 09 machine a strong final run as he moves into free-agency.

"We've made such incredible progress with this old Coyote and Porsche V8 since we started this program in late 2007, but the advancements we've made since January this year at the Rolex 24 have been huge," said Cosmo, who jumped into a KONI Challenge machine at Mid-Ohio and led the race early on. "We've shown very good speed in qualifying and the races since then, so I'm excited to get back to Daytona and see the fruits of our labor with this old girl. It will be a bitter-sweet moment for us, as it should be this car's strongest performance, yet sadly, it's last race before being permanently retired from Rolex Series competition."

Since working with a car that has its engineering roots in some of the very first Daytona Prototype events ever held, Cosmo has had his hands full, wresting everything he's been able to out of the years-old machine, and creating several improbable performances along the way.

"I'm obviously disappointed to not be driving the new 90 Coyote, as everything we've determined over the years to be inherently wrong with the old design of the 09 chassis has been effectively addressed with the new 90," said Cosmo. "Having driven it's very first laps on track, I know it will be very competitive straight out of the box, and that it's a car that will contend for race wins in this very competitive series - an opportunity that unfortunately, I've never had with the 09 car. I can tell you, however, that any car out there is going to have a real hard time getting by me in that old beast this weekend!"

While he was looking forward to putting some of the blood and sweat of his labor to good use with the newest-specification Coyote, Cosmo knows that he's shown he can do a lot behind the wheel, no matter what the machinery is, and also that he's far from done working with Spirit of Daytona.

"Over the past number of years I've forged a very strong relationship with (Spirit of Daytona team owner) Troy Flis and I'm grateful for the opportunities and support he's given me," said Cosmo, who was also tapped by the team for his expertise as a driver coach as the team posted a driver line-up of motorcycle champs to open the 2009 Rolex season.

"I've really enjoyed working with all of our crew from Spirit of Daytona Racing and Lozano Brothers Porting on this entire project, and am going to miss driving for them dearly. However, when one door closes, another door opens. I'm now a free-agent in the Rolex paddock and am looking for a new home with a competitive team, where I can show what I'm really made of. I know I can win races and championships in this series. Now I've just got an earlier start on the next stage of my career."

-credit: sgm

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Bobby Labonte , Guy Cosmo