Daytona II: Porsche preview

Porsche Hoping For First 2008 DP Win At Daytona Brumos Team Has Momentum on Wave of Back-to-Back Podiums; Ruby Tuesday Porsche Crawford Tweaks New Chassis DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - July 3 - Porsche customer performance teams will be seeking the...

Porsche Hoping For First 2008 DP Win At Daytona
Brumos Team Has Momentum on Wave of Back-to-Back Podiums; Ruby Tuesday Porsche Crawford Tweaks New Chassis

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - July 3 - Porsche customer performance teams will be seeking the first DP Class victory of 2008 in tonight's Brumos 250 at Daytona International Speedway. The event is the eighth in the 14-race Rolex Grand Am Sports Car Series Presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16.

With the Fourth of July holiday only hours away, it seems only appropriate that the red, white and blue-liveried Porsche-Rileys of Brumos Racing would be in the July 4 spotlight after an impressive run in the rain-swept Emco Gears Classic at Mid-Ohio two weeks ago. A late caution deprived Darren Law from reeling in the eventual winning Pontiac-Riley of reigning series champions Alex Gurney and Jon Fogarty. As that race drew to a close, the fastest car on the track was clearly the No. 58 Brumos Racing entry of Phoenix resident Law, who took over at the midway from co-driver David Donohue, of Malvern, Pa. Donohue and Law also started from the pole position.

The team's sister No. 59 car, driven by Portugal's Joao Barbosa, was able to make up a lap deficit to the race leader and was following Law up through the standings when the final caution came out. Law and Donohue wound up second for the second straight race and Barbosa, teamed with Daytona hometown favorite J.C. France, finished an impressive fifth overall.

Law and Donohue also finished a close second in the Sahlen's Six Hours of the Glen at Watkins Glen in early June. In short, the team that is based in Jacksonville just up the highway from Daytona is on the rise.

Add that to the fact that 2008 marks the 35th anniversary of the first major victory for the Brumos. In 1973, two young American drivers named Hurley Haywood and Peter Gregg piloted a Porsche 911 RSR to a surprise victory in the Daytona 24 Hours. Then as now, the Brumos sported the familiar white paint scheme accented by the broad red and blue stripes.

This might be their week.

"It would be very special to win here tonight," said Haywood. "That victory (in 1973) certainly put our team on the map and we followed up with a win at Sebring so that certainly put Peter and I on the map. Because we're the sponsor of the race, we will have a lot of our people here. We are also bringing in Detlev von Platen (president and CEO of Porsche Cars North America) and Michael Bartsch (vice president and COO for PCNA). It would be nice to win for them."

Haywood feels the race could be won or lost in the pits.

"It's essential that we do not make any mistakes," Haywood continued. "It's going to come down to not making mistakes. We'll be fast at this track, but all of the cars are fairly even in terms of speed. The team that doesn't make any mistakes should come out on top."

Weather could be an issue with rain in the forecast.

"It's always a gamble here with the weather and there is always a good chance it will rain," Hay wood said. "You just hope that you won't start the race with one type of setup and have the weather conditions change right away like Mid-Ohio." One team clearly hoping for a strong result is the Ruby Tuesday Alex Job Racing operation that is running its third straight race with its newly redesigned Porsche- Crawford piloted by Bill Auberlen of Redondo Beach, Cal., and fellow Californian Joey Hand of Sacramento. The car was competitive in its maiden outing at Watkins Glen in early June, but retired with a drivetrain malfunction on the pace lap at Mid-Ohio. Recent work on a new front splitter has yielded some positive results, leaving team owner Alex Job encouraged.

"There were a number of versions of the splitter tested and so obviously the one that was most successful is going to be on the car today," Job explained. "Today will be the true test for it because like a wind tunnel test, like a coast down test, the true test is on the track with competition - your competition.

"We seem to face one challenge after another. We debuted a totally untested car in the six-hour race at Watkins Glen. Today we are debuting updates on a one-day schedule— practice, qualifying and the race all in one day. It's hardly an ideal situation, but we're you're faced with a totally new car in mid-season, it really limits your options. But like Bill Auberlen said, we're cautiously optimistic."

In a few hours, he'll have first-hand knowledge of the on-track version of the car's development. Tonight's race begins at 8 p.m. ET.

***

Porsche GT Teams Seek More of the Same Following Mid-Ohio Success

Not to be overshadowed, Porsche customer performance teams in the GT Class arrive in Daytona on a high after strong showings at Mid-Ohio, highlighted by a victory for the Farnbacher Loles Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup driven by Leh Keen of Charleston, S.C., and Florida's Eric Lux of Jacksonville.

Keen overhauled the Pontiac GXP-R of Robin Liddell with only a handful of laps remaining to score the initial Porsche win of 2008 in GT competition

Farnbacher Loles Racing made a special stop en route to this week's race at Daytona Team owner Dino Loles, driver Leh Keen and 15 members of the crew visited Camp Boggy Creek in Eustis, Fla., on Wednesday. The camp was founded by actor Paul Newman and General H. Norman Schwarzkopf as one of the Hole in the Wall Camps for children who have chronic or life-threatening illnesses.

TRG also comes to Daytona with high hopes after placing two of its cars in podium spots in January's Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona and a third car in fourth. The team will attack the Brumos 250 with no fewer than four entries, including Ted Ballou of Corona Del Mar, Cal., and Andy Lally of Dacula, Ga., who finished second in January behind the Mazda RX-8 of Nick Ham, Sylvain Tremblay, Raphael Matos and David Haskell.

"Daytona is clearly the most important track on the Rolex Series schedule and also the one where I feel we have our best chance for success," said TRG owner Kevin Buckler in his team's race preview. "Our team has always run well there and it has historically been a 'Porsche friendly' circuit, so I expect we'll definitely be in the mix for the victory. We've got four stellar driver lineups and four great cars."

A total of 11 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup entries will compete in the GT Class in tonight's

-credit: porsche

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Alex Gurney , Jon Fogarty , Robin Liddell , Bill Auberlen , Kevin Buckler , David Haskell , Andy Lally , Hurley Haywood , Darren Law , David Donohue , Joao Barbosa , Sylvain Tremblay , Nick Ham , J.C. Fra , Lehman Keen , Eric Lux , Alex Job , Peter Gregg , Ted Ballou , Dino Loles
Teams Alex Job Racing