Frisselle Racing Scores Best Rolex 24 At Daytona Result
Brian races closer to the podium but Burt's race ends early
25 January 2009 -- With a father who has several wins in some of the sport's biggest races, Burt and Brian Frisselle were looking to follow in that family legacy and score a new Rolex watch this weekend as the brother racing duo chased success in the 47th running of the Rolex 24 At Daytona to open the 2009 Rolex Sports Car Series season.
Burt was making a return to AIM Autosport, where he will race for the full year with co-driver Mark Wilkins in the No. 61 Ford-powered Riley. The Rolex kick-off marked the first race start for Brian with SunTrust Racing as the Colorado-based youngster looked to grow his win tally in Rolex competition.
Despite running with a new team and a new chassis, Brian proved up to the task as he put in a flawless race performance, including a strong final stint to turn the car over to co-driver Max Angelelli to fight to the finish. His Italian teammate showed great pace and remarkable judgment, but the effort came out just seconds short after 24 hours of racing as the No. 10 came home 4th, just yards behind the race winning Brumos Racing machine. The result is the best to date for Frisselle Racing in the race, having scored a fifth place finish together in 2007.
"It was an excellent effort on the SunTrust team's part," Frisselle said. "The car ran flawlessly, for the most part. We had very minor issues and we stayed on the lead lap. There are a lot of positives that come out of this. Most importantly, we come out of here with good points, because the ultimate goal this year is the championship. Sure, we wanted to win this race, but the championship is the ultimate goal. I'm very satisfied. I didn't put a wheel wrong throughout the entire 24. I kept it on the track and the team did a great job of supporting me and giving me a great piece of equipment to run in. It's a great way to begin this relationship."
As Brian was posting his inch-perfect stints on the 3.56-mile road course, he had an extra fan on hand to root him on later in the race, as his brother Burt's race ended early. The AIM Autosport machine was classified 16th in the Daytona Prototype rankings after a motor issue halted the progress of the team in the dark Daytona night.
"It's frustrating because we'd done everything right at that point," said Burt. "We had set a great pace, and our Rolex 24 co-drivers (John Farano, David Empringham, and Alex Figge) were really kicking some butt in the car. But it's just one of those things. A lot of the Ford guys had this issue so I'm sure they will find out exactly what it was and have it sorted by VIR. But I'm happy for Brian to get this great result and that they didn't have the problem. Those guys (Brian with SunTrust) are going to be strong this year, but I know Mark (Wilkins) and I will be looking to take the fight to them all season long!"
Round two of the 2009 championship will be staged at VIR on April 24.