Spirit of Daytona Heads to Laguna Seca in Search of Podium Series return to Mazda Raceway a welcome one for SDR drivers after Road America
When the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series heads to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca this weekend for the Continental Tire Sports Car Festival it will be the first event at the famed California road course for the series since 2009. For Spirit of Daytona, it’s been a little longer.
Spirit of Daytona last competed at the 2.2-mile, 11-turn road course in a DP in 2006 and drivers Antonio Garcia (1DP start-2008) and Paul Edwards (0 DP starts) have limited DP experience at the track as well. Still, expectations are sky high.
A veteran driver, Garcia has made multiple visits to Laguna Seca -- including a DP start in 2008 for Cheever Racing -- and Edwards has had plenty of success at the track in the GT ranks with a win in 2008 and a runner-up finish in 2009. Add the fact that Spirit of Daytona has unloaded at each track this season as one of the fastest cars in the garage, and the recipe is there for the team’s first podium of the season.
“Laguna Seca should be an awesome track in a Daytona Prototype. The characteristics of the track should really suit the Chevy Coyote and I am really looking forward to it,” said Edwards. “The team is way overdue for a result and hopefully California brings us some luck.”
Two weeks ago at Road America, Spirit of Daytona struggled with rainy conditions all week and finished 10th. Despite a pair of practice incidents the team still turned the fastest lap in the weekend’s final practice session and the third fastest lap in the race.
Laguna Seca’s windy track layout should be an advantage for Spirit of Daytona. At similar tracks this season the team has qualified on the front row four times, won two poles and led the most laps at Barber Motorsports Park. Despite running strong at each track this season, a podium finish has been elusive. Still, the team is cautiously optimistic this weekend.
“The Chevrolet Coyote has been running well at every track. We know a podium isn’t very far away,” admitted Garcia. “Laguna Seca should be a good track for us so hopefully we do it this weekend.”
By: spirit of daytona racing