Daytona II: Points championship heats up

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (July 1, 2003) -- As the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series rolls into Daytona Beach this week for Thursday night's Paul Revere 250, many of the drivers and teams have more on their mind than just a trip to Victory Lane.

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (July 1, 2003) -- As the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series rolls into Daytona Beach this week for Thursday night's Paul Revere 250, many of the drivers and teams have more on their mind than just a trip to Victory Lane. After the first seven rounds of the 12-race season, the driver point standings in all three of the Rolex Series classes are the closest they have been all year.

In the premiere Daytona Prototypes class, the once healthy lead of Brumos Racing #59 Porsche drivers Hurley Haywood and JC France has been trimmed to only two points by their teammates in the #58 Red Bull Porsche, David Donohue and Mike Borkowski.

However the two sets of Brumos Racing drivers are not the only ones in the hunt for the first-ever Daytona Prototypes championship, as both teams are keeping an eye over their shoulders at Terry Borcheller, who is coming on strong following his victory and two podium finishes last month in the Bell Motorsports #54 Chevy. Borcheller is now only seven points out of second place and nine points behind the leaders.

The Rolex Series GT class has new points leaders heading into the Paul Revere 250. Marcus Motorsports #69 BMW M3 drivers Hugh Plumb and Brian Cunningham claimed the lead following their second-place finish in the class last week at Mid-Ohio. The BMW pair now holds a two-point advantage over Ferrari of Washington drivers Cort Wagner and Brent Martini, who previously held the top spot.

Wagner and Martini had a dismal finish in Mid-Ohio due to a major collision their #33 Ferrari 360GT was involved in during practice. Although the team worked around the clock to repair the damage, the Ferrari was only able to record 30 laps of the 102-lap race before retiring. The Ferrari of Washington team, which debuted a new race car at the beginning of June, will bring its older Ferrari 360GT out of retirement for the Paul Revere 250. Wagner and Martini hope that the same car that brought the team the GT championship last season still has enough good luck in it to move them back into the points lead this week.

Mosler Automotive #31 Mosler MT900R driver Joao Barbosa holds the largest advantage among the three class leaders, but at only five points his lead in the GTS driver point standings is far from comfortable. Three-straight GTS wins by Tommy Riggins and Dave Machavern in the Heritage Motorsports #48 Mustang have allowed the drivers to put themselves back in contention for the championship.

Barbosa knows that every point and finishing position counts. He was able to earn a couple of extra points at the Mid-Ohio Road Racing Classic when his co-driver Justin Bell made a pass to claim second-place in the class in the closing laps of the race.

With all three class point championship standings so close heading into this week's Paul Revere 250, race fans are sure to have an exciting race on Thursday night as the drivers let it all hang out in their quests for the coveted championship Rolex watches, as well as an appearance in Daytona International Speedway's Victory Lane.

Practice for the Paul Revere 250 will get underway on Wednesday at 2 p.m., with qualifying for the race at 7 p.m. The Paul Revere 250 will begin on Thursday night immediately following NASCAR Winston Cup qualifying. Tickets for the Paul Revere 250, as well as the entire Pepsi 400 event weekend, are available online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 386-253-RACE.

Additional information on the Rolex Sports Car Series and Paul Revere 250 can by found online at www.grandamerican.com.

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Series Grand-Am
Drivers Justin Bell , Terry Borcheller , Hurley Haywood , JC France , Joao Barbosa , Tommy Riggins , Hugh Plumb , Mike Borkowski , Brent Martini , Cort Wagner