Following In His Dad’s Tire Tracks, Alex Gurney Takes First Laps At Indy
GRAND-AM Teams Test Continental Tires In Preparation For 2012 Races
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Sept. 7, 2011) – Times have changed, but the Gurney name remains magical at hallowed racing ground such as Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Alex Gurney, son of legendary driver/owner Dan Gurney, took center stage Wednesday at IMS, site of the first day of GRAND-AM tire testing in preparation for races next season during the 2012 Super Weekend at the Brickyard. Continental Tire testing continues Thursday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
The GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16 and the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge will participate in a pair of races (July 27) during the July 26-29 event, joined by the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NASCAR Nationwide Series.
“It’s very special to be taking my first laps at Indianapolis, 41 years since my dad last drove here in a race,” said Alex Gurney, part of one of six teams participating in the two-day session. “I’m very happy that GRAND-AM made the move to come here.”
Gurney drove the No. 99 GAINSCO Auto Insurance Chevrolet/Riley that he shared with Jon Fogarty in winning the 2007 and 2009 Daytona Prototype championships. Fogarty tested that car in GRAND-AM’s only prior outing at Indy, in 2009.
Also testing Wednesday were Ricky Taylor and Max Angelelli in the No. 10 SunTrust Chevrolet/Dallara, Craig Stanton and John Potter in the No. 44 Magnus Racing Porsche GT3 and Ronnie Bremer in the No. 57 Stevenson Auto Group Chevrolet Camaro. The test also included a pair of Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge teams, with John Edwards driving the No. 9 Stevenson Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro (Grand Sport class) and Eric Foss driving the No. 27 Freedom Autosport Mazda Speed 3 (Street Tuner).
Gurney enjoyed the feeling driving through Turn One of the famed 2.5-mile oval – running in a different direction on the sports car layout – although he found the front straight a lot different than he envisioned.
“Watching Indy on TV all through the years I thought the front straight was really wide,” Gurney said. “It doesn’t feel that way in a race car. It’s a lot narrower than I expected, and feels closed in and tight. That’s something I didn’t expect.”