fast start Krohn Racing/TRG newcomer Christian Fittipaldi posted the fastest time on track during opening-day practice for the Rolex Sports Car Series race at California Speedway, with a lap of one minute 34.249 seconds on the 2.88-mile infield...
Krohn Racing/TRG newcomer Christian Fittipaldi posted the fastest time on track during opening-day practice for the Rolex Sports Car Series race at California Speedway, with a lap of one minute 34.249 seconds on the 2.88-mile infield road course. Fittipaldi drove the No. 66 Krohn/TRG Pontiac-powered Riley for the first time this week, sharing driving duty with Jorg Bergmeister. Their teammates Nic Jonsson and Tracy Krohn were third-fastest (1:34.619) in the No. 67 Pontiac-Riley.
"The car is good!" Fittipaldi enthused. "We were trying some different stuff this afternoon, but we're pretty happy with it and I'm confident we're in good shape for the race. A race car is never easy to drive, but I think this is less difficult than some of the cars I had before. I'm very happy that I had the chance to come over here [to Krohn/TRG]. Hopefully we can put on a good show on Sunday. I'm confident we're going to be up there at the end of the race."
Jorg Bergmeister made two transitions this season -- from GT-class racing to DP (Daytona Prototype) and from Porsche to Pontiac power. He was surprised at the smooth shift.
"I expected the Pontiac driving style compared to the Porsche would be a lot different. But it's not too different, and I adjusted pretty quickly to it," he said. "The Pontiac-Riley has more horsepower and more downforce; it's more fun. Because it has more torque, you have to be a little bit more careful with the throttle on the exit, so you don't spin the tires too much."
Racing provides an intense testing ground for production vehicles. Jim Lutz, GM Racing Daytona Prototype program manager, explained:
"The Pontiac Daytona Prototype engine is based on the GM LS6, part of the small-block V8 heritage of engines. The race engine uses the same basic parts that are on our Pontiac production car -- the cylinder heads, intake manifold and block are all related to the Pontiac GTO street car. Part of our job at GM Racing is to transfer information and knowledge from what happens with the race motors back to the production engineering guys. Racing subjects these cars to things the normal civilian doesn't subject his car to, but it's still important to know how the parts react under these conditions."