Daytona24: Matthew Marsh preview

Hong Kong driver Matthew Marsh in the Rolex 24 at Daytona Hong Kong racing driver Matthew Marsh hopes to return home from Florida next week with a new wristwatch. The winning drivers in this weekend's Rolex 24 at Daytona (January 24/25) each ...

Hong Kong driver Matthew Marsh in the Rolex 24 at Daytona

Hong Kong racing driver Matthew Marsh hopes to return home from Florida next week with a new wristwatch. The winning drivers in this weekend's Rolex 24 at Daytona (January 24/25) each receive a rare timepiece from the race title sponsor - and the kudos of victory in one of the classic round-the-clock sports car events.

Marsh, the 2004 Porsche Carrera Cup Asia champion, will share driving duties of the number 86 Porsche GT3 with Dominik Farnbacher, Eric Lux and Kevin Roush. The car, entered by 2007 GrandAm Rolex GT champions Farnbacher-Loles Racing, set the fastest time at the official test days for the 24-hours earlier this month.

"Like Le Mans or Monaco the word Daytona has gravitas even outside of the motor sport world," says Marsh who became in 2007 the only Hong Kong driver to have raced in the prestigious Le Mans 24-hours. "Daytona scores extra cool points for the variety of drivers it attracts and the unique nature of the track."

This year's Rolex 24 will star ex-F1 driver Juan Pablo Montoya, three-times NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson and Indy 500 winner Dario Franchitti. IndyCar star Danica Patrick is back for her second attempt as is actor-turned-racer Patrick Dempsey. In 1995 the legendary Paul Newman scored a class victory at Daytona at the age of 70 (having taken up racing aged 43 and then finishing second at Le Mans in 1979).

The 5.7 kilometre Daytona International Speedway combines the oval circuit used for NASCAR's Daytona 500 - corners banked at 31-degrees - with an infield section. By the finishing time of 3:30pm on Sunday the winning car will have covered approximately 690 laps and 3900 kilometres.

-credit: matthewmarsh.net

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Series GRANDAM