Daytona Test: Day three report

Rolex teams happy with Daytona testing results. DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (January 5, 2003) -- Rolex Sports Car Series testing at Daytona International Speedway wrapped up on Sunday with teams happy with the progress made in their preparations for the...

Rolex teams happy with Daytona testing results.

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (January 5, 2003) -- Rolex Sports Car Series testing at Daytona International Speedway wrapped up on Sunday with teams happy with the progress made in their preparations for the 41st Rolex 24 At Daytona, Feb. 1-2. For Daytona Prototypes teams, the three-day test session was essential in the developments of cars that will make their racing debut in only three weeks as the premier class of the Rolex Series.

"We are continuing to learn things and making our car better every time we go out. Every lap we can put on the track is a lap where we are learning something," said five-time Rolex 24 winner Hurley Haywood, who will co-pilot the #59 Porsche-powered FABCAR Daytona Prototype of Brumos Racing with J.C. France, Scott Sharp and Scott Goodyear.

The quickest lap time of the weekend was set by Brumos Racing's #58 Porsche Daytona Prototype with its 1:48.980 lap at 117.980 mph. Although the #58 machine had not turned a wheel until Friday morning when it hit the track for the first session, the team was not surprised by its impressive performance right out of the box.

"Everything we did in the #59 car that J.C., Hurley and the two Scotts are driving applies, because it's the same car. So it really wasn't like starting over. We were able to have a better starting point. And it's just going well," said Mike Borkowski, who will share driving duties with David Donohue, Wayne Jackson and Chris Bye in the #58 Porsche.

This weekend's testing also marked the first public appearance of Multimatic's Ford Focus Daytona Prototype. Scott Maxwell, David Empringham and David Brabham each took turns at the wheel of the Ford during testing.

"Our car just runs like a train. We don't really have reliability issues right now," noted Empringham. "From the get go it has been imbalanced, which is normal for a new car, so we are just in the process of getting the car balanced to be faster. We are all really happy with how this test has gone. We obviously would like to be a little bit quicker, but we know it's going to come. We've been focusing more on doing miles and looking for reliability problems. And we haven't had anything crop up, so now its all about making it faster for race weekend."

G&W Motorsports' #8 BMW-powered Picchio Daytona Prototype also hit the track for the first time in public this weekend and made several improvements to the car during testing.

"I'm surprised that the car has so much potential to be quick. We are not that far behind. There is a lot to do between now and the race, but I think we can find some time between now and the race. Maybe a few tenths, maybe a second, maybe more... we'll just have to see," remarked Dieter Quester, who will race the BMW with Boris Said, Darren Law and Luca Riccitelli. "We did a lot this weekend, and the car improved. This has been very important, because we now know what to do over the next three weeks."

However the Daytona Prototype teams were not the only ones pleased with this weekend's testing at Daytona. Several GT teams posted impressive times within a second of each other, but it was one of the Orbit Racing Porsches that turned the quickest lap in the class during testing with its 1:53.227 lap at 113.189 mph.

"Things have been fantastic. I think we've done a pretty good job with our setup. Working together with the engineers and the guys on the team has been just perfect," said Porsche factory driver Marc Lieb, who will join Leo Hindery, Leo Baron and NASCAR's Kyle Petty for his first Rolex 24. "It's a good feeling being up at the front. It makes me not as nervous for the race. The car is brilliant. I think there is a good chance to be on the podium at the end of the race."

Derhaag Motorsports dominated the GTS class throughout the weekend of testing, clocking the quickest times in every session with the #40 Corvette. The team's best time of the weekend was a 1:49.585 at 116.950 mph.

Tickets are currently on sale for the 41st Rolex 24 At Daytona and may be purchased by calling the Speedway ticket office at 386-253-RACE. Additional information about the Rolex 24 At Daytona and the Rolex Sports Car Series is available online at www.grandamerican.com.

-garra-

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Kyle Petty , David Brabham , Boris Said , Scott Sharp , Scott Goodyear , Scott Maxwell , Leo Hindery , Hurley Haywood , Darren Law , David Donohue , Luca Riccitelli , Dieter Quester , Mike Borkowski , Wayne Jackson , Chris Bye , Marc Lieb , J.C. Fra