Solid Opening Day For Gainsco/Bob Stallings Racing Friday At Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series At Daytona Test Days Alex Gurney Posts The Day'S Third Fastest Time In The Gainsco Pontiac Riley DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (January 4, 2008) -- ...
Solid Opening Day For Gainsco/Bob Stallings Racing Friday At Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series At Daytona Test Days
Alex Gurney Posts The Day'S Third Fastest Time In The Gainsco Pontiac Riley
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (January 4, 2008) -- GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing turned in a solid opening day of practice at Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series Daytona Test Days with Alex Gurney posting the third fastest overall time of the day Friday in the No. 99 GAINSCO Auto Insurance Pontiac Riley.
After the team spent the majority of the morning session on familiarization and break-in runs, Gurney got down to business in the early afternoon practice, lapping the 3.56-mile Daytona International Speedway road course in 1:41.761 (125.942 mph). The time ended up being the third fastest of the day for the reigning Rolex Series Champions, but Gurney believes more speed can be found in the GAINSCO machine.
"I think we are in pretty good shape," Gurney said. " We are learning about the Pirellis at this test and trying to get all the drivers through and just figuring out what's going to break on the car, and so far so good. You always go for speed but we have a little bit of a brake issue we are trying to sort out so we can't do what we think we can do. There's a little bit left."
Gurney's teammate Jon Fogarty also turned Friday practice laps and said he felt no additional pressure returning to the track as Rolex Series Champions.
"We will just go about our business and focus on what are task is and being a past champion really doesn't change that," Fogarty said. "It would be good to start out the season and give everybody a reminder of why we are the champions, that is always a good way to start off the season and rock everybody back on their heels a little bit. That is something you would like to do but we are just going to focus on our race by race at this point."
In the team's corner is the fact the 100% of the championship-winning personnel from 2007 have returned in an attempt to become the first repeat Rolex Series Daytona Prototype Champions in history.
"It's a huge advantage," Gurney said. "I don't know how many teams have that going, maybe a couple of the other top teams, but you are just that much farther ahead of the game. It is just like testing where you learn things along the way, so with the crew and all their knowledge and what they know about this car, we are just that much farther ahead. It's a great feeling and I think it will serve us well."
Jimmy Vasser is also with the GAINSCO team at Daytona and is scheduled to take his first laps on Saturday. On Sunday's final day of testing, two-time reigning NASCAR Cup Champion Jimmie Johnson will arrive in Daytona to join the GAINSCO team and take his laps in the No. 99 Pontiac Riley. Gurney, Fogarty, Johnson and Vasser make up the championship driver lineup for the 46th Rolex 24 At Daytona, January 26 -- 27.