Daytona III: Friday report

Theys fastest in Dark Dog Finale practice at Daytona. DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (November 8, 2002) -- Points leader Didier Theys posted the fastest lap time during practice for the Dark Dog Grand American Finale being held at Daytona International ...

Theys fastest in Dark Dog Finale practice at Daytona.

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (November 8, 2002) -- Points leader Didier Theys posted the fastest lap time during practice for the Dark Dog Grand American Finale being held at Daytona International Speedway this weekend. Theys piloted the #27 Judd-powered Dallara of Doran Lista Racing to a 125.977 mph lap in 1:41.711 during the morning practice session. Times across the board slowed during the afternoon session as the sun came out and track temperatures began to rise.

"The track was pretty good this morning it was cooler than this afternoon. In the morning here it is always a bit faster because the air is cooler, so the engine breaths better," explained Theys, who will try to hold off rookie Chris Dyson for the SRP driver championship this weekend.

Rand Racing's Ralf Kelleners clocked the quickest SRPII time in the team's #7 Nissan-powered Lola. The German driver recorded a 118.429 mph lap in 1:46.217. "I'm happy to compete against Anthony (Lazzaro) and Terry (Borcheller) this weekend. It's a fresh, new situation. I've been driving with one or both of them all season, so it's fun to race against them," noted Kelleners, whose teammate Borcheller will look to clinch the SRPII driver championship this weekend.

Rob Morgan was at the front of the American GT class in the #46 Corvette of Morgan-Dollar Motorsports. Morgan had a 117.171 mph lap in 1:49.537 in the Corvette, which will try to hold off the ACP Motorsports #19 Corvette this weekend for the class team championship.

"We really don't have anything special that we are doing to win the team championship; we just want to finish. It's our first year in the series, so we are going to try to win it, and I think we can. I feel pretty good about it, especially since there's about nine or 10 cars in our class," remarked Morgan, who will co-drive with his father Charles in the Acxiom Corvette.

The #31 Saleen S7R of Konrad Motorsports posted the fastest GTS time with a 114.904 mph lap in 1:51.537, while the GT points-leading #33 Ferrari 360 GT of Scuderia Ferrari of Washington was quickest in its class with a 112.415 mph lap in 1:54.006.

HANS co-creator Jim Downing had a scary moment during the final practice session of the day when a rear tire blew on his Downing Atlanta #63 Mazda-powered Kudzu while he piloted it down the front stretch. While the car did not hit anything, it sustained major damage when the front end came up and a sparks caused a fire in the rear of the SRP entry.

"I don't think it was tire failure. I think that I ran over something, because it was very sudden. It just exploded, which usually indicates that you just ran over something," explained Downing who was not injured in the incident. "I don't think this will put an end to the weekend. We will have to go to Atlanta and bring some parts back. We'll probably miss qualifying and have to start at the back of the grid, but we are going to do the best that we can on Sunday. We haven't missed a race yet."

The Rolex Series will hold practice at 9:45 a.m. and qualifying at 12:15 p.m.

Morrison/Mosler Announces Davy Jones to Pilot One of Four GTS Entries for 2003

Morrison/Mosler announced Friday that it will field at least four MT900R mid-engine coupes in the 2003 Rolex Sports Car Series. The cars will run in the GTS class starting at the Rolex 24 At Daytona in February.

The four teams that will field cars are Mica Racing, with two cars, Perspective Racing and The Boston Motorsports Group. Mica Racing will feature five-time Indianapolis 500 starter Davy Jones and Mike Floyd in one car, while the second entry will be co-driven by John Heiniricy and Joao Barbosa, who captured the GT pole in a Molser at the 2001 and '02 Rolex 24. The Boston Motorsports Group entry will be co-driven by Scott Deware and Ken Stiver.

Dark Dog Finale Tickets On Sale

The Dark Dog Grand American Finale will run through Sunday, with Saturday's schedule featuring Rolex Series qualifying and a six-hour Grand-Am Cup Series race. The Rolex Series will hold its final race of the season on Sunday with a three-hour race starting at 1 p.m.

Tickets for the event are on sale and may be purchased at the gate. Additional information is available on the Daytona International Speedway website at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling the Speedway ticket office at 386-253-RACE.

The Rolex Series Finale will be broadcast live on SPEED Channel on Sunday, Nov. 10 at noon.

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Ralf Kelleners , Didier Theys , Joao Barbosa , Jim Downing , Rob Morgan , Davy Jones , Ken Stiver , Chris Dyson