Frisselle Racing Looking Ahead to 24; Brother racing duo both look to get a fast start to 2009 20 January 2009 - Burt and Brian Frisselle are packed up and ready to go this weekend as the 2009 Rolex Sports Car Series season gets off to a fast ...
Frisselle Racing Looking Ahead to 24; Brother racing duo both look to get a fast start to 2009
20 January 2009 - Burt and Brian Frisselle are packed up and ready to go this weekend as the 2009 Rolex Sports Car Series season gets off to a fast start with the 47th running of the Rolex 24 At Daytona.
For Burt, the weekend marks the first race of a homecoming reunion with a familiar friend, as he's re-joined an emerging AIM Autosport and will look to establish a championship presence with co-driver Mark Wilkins in 2009. For younger brother Brian, the Rolex kick-off will be his first race outing with the top-line SunTrust Racing organization, which hired him in the off season following his break-out 2008 season, which saw him score two wins and post record-setting qualifying performances.
Running with the renowned SunTrust Racing organization, which last won the classic 24 enduro in 2005, Brian Frisselle knows that this could well be the best shot he's had yet in his young career to join the fabled names who have pulled into Victory Circle at the World Center of Speed. Piloting the Ford-Dallara combination, Brian will have speed and experience on his side, as his co-drivers include 2-Time Rolex 24 champion Wayne Taylor, former F1 pilot Pedro Lamy and full-season co-driver Max Angelelli.
Brian got his first experience behind the wheel of the famed No. 10 in testing earlier this month, and is anxious to get the Rolex race weekend started and kick the season off with a strong result.
"Things went really well during the test and we just focused on having a car that's going to be good all the way through the tire runs," said Brian. "We weren't trying to go for any particular fast time in testing because that's not at all what this team is about. Wayne (Taylor) is really focused on bringing SunTrust another Rolex win, and he knows better than almost anyone how to be there at the finish to do that."
Helping the transition to the new team is Brian's familiarity with Ford power, which he enjoyed driving into victory lane twice in 2008. SunTrust moved to the blue oval for the 2009 season, and Brian is hoping that's going to help him keep with his winning ways this year.
"The Ford guys are all fantastic to work with, and I think this is going to be a strong combination this year with the Ford-Dallara. SunTrust won with this car last season, and there is no reason not to think it won't be a threat again this year. I'm really happy to have the opportunity to race not only with this team, but also with these co-drivers. They have so much experience and so many tricks from through the years, I'm learning something new from them every time we debrief. This will be my first race with a Dallara, and Max (Angelelli) has been great to talk to because he has experience in both the Riley and the Dallara so that's helped me out a lot."
For Burt, his 2008 Rolex season was one that started with great promise, and he's focused on getting 2009 off to another strong start as he rejoins the team he raced with in 2007. That year, AIM moved from formula car sprint events and ventured into their rookie year of Rolex Sports Car Series racing.
"Yes, it is like a reunion for me to be back with AIM Autosport, but at the same time, it's like joining a completely different team," offered Frisselle. "Everything has gone up three notches in pretty much every area that the team deals with. They have so much experience now. Where before, they were just happy with running in the top five, now everything is about winning. They have done it before, so there is good reason for them to have the expectations that they do, so I'm really excited about the year."
"Even the car (the first Riley Technologies-built chassis #001) is the same way. It's the same car, but every possible upgrade has been adapted on it, and it feels like a brand new car compared to the last time I drove it. This team showed that they are winners last year, and the focus this year is to keep that momentum and be a factor in the championship, so that's the main focus is to start the year as best as we can."
Despite his youthful demeanor, this weekend's Rolex 24 actually marks the fifth start for Frisselle, who was part of the driving line up that was leading the race late in the going last year only to suffer from a suspension failure that punted them out of the lead. Despite that disappointment, he will look to put all the lessons learned to good use this year.
"You just never know what this race is going to throw at you so you just have to keep calm and focused on what the job is. There's no getting excited until the race is done, and there is certainly no getting discouraged if there are any setbacks because this is a long race, and you just have to push to the finish no matter what happens. Hopefully we can be there at the end and get up on that podium!"