Homestead: Banner Engineering preview

Banner Engineering Pontiac GXPs ready to return to Grand-Am Racing at Homestead Eden Prairie Minnesota (March 21, 2008): The Banner Engineering/Shock Doctor Pontiac GXP.Rs are set to return to action when the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series ...

Banner Engineering Pontiac GXPs ready to return to Grand-Am Racing at Homestead

Eden Prairie Minnesota (March 21, 2008): The Banner Engineering/Shock Doctor Pontiac GXP.Rs are set to return to action when the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16 Rolex GT class heads to Homestead Florida for the GAINSCO Grand Prix of Miami on March 29.

Paul Edwards and Kelly Collins will once again pilot the #07 Banner Pontiac GXP while Leighton Reese will be joined by Jan Magnussenwho is coming off a convincing win in a Corvette in the Sebring 12 hour earlier in March.

"We are extremely fortunate to have Jan Magnussen with us for Homestead in the No. 06 Banner Engineering Pontiac GXP.R," said Leighton Reese. "Jan Magnussen is world class and it is humbling to be racing with a driver of Jan's capability.

"For some reason the car goes like it is supercharged when Jan is in the seat. The things he has picked up and learned from racing all over the world is amazing and he is always willing to share that. That will not only make our Banner Pontiacs stronger when he is in the car but also makes our whole team stronger."

Reese also said that the Banner Racing Team is anxious to get going at Homestead after a two month layoff after the season's opening race at Daytona.

"We are going to Homestead trying to redeem ourselves because we had a tough run at Daytona," said Reese. "Homestead will be the first race of the year that will represent the kind of races we will run for most of the rest of the season.

"We are going to be more competitive at Homestead, because, although the top speeds of the GT cars are nearly the same at both tracks, you don't run the sustained high speeds at Homestead that we did at Daytona. We were at a distinct disadvantage at Daytona because of the higher profile of our Pontiac GXPs and it took us 12 hours to get the 07 Banner Pontiac GXP into the lead at Daytona."

Edwards and Collins, teamed with Jan Magnussen, rallied back after a late night crash to finish the season's opener at Daytona in 7th position. Reese and co-drivers Marc Bunting, Robert Nearn and Andy Pilgrim finished 22nd in the #06 Banner Pontiac GXP after a broken half-shaft and contact dropped them many laps behind.

Another addition to the Banner Pontiacs for the hot southern Florida track at Homestead will be air conditioning as both GXPs will have on board air conditioning to fight the heat. The units were designed and built by Leighton Reese Performance Group in their Eden Prairie Minnesota shop and the team was encouraged to give them a try in competition after successfully testing them earlier this year.

"Richard Petty tried this about 20 years ago and got laughed off the track but I think that the time and technology is right to make the units work for us now," said Reese.

-credit: be

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Paul Edwards , Jan Magnussen , Kelly Collins , Leighton Reese , Richard Petty , Marc Bunting , Robert Nearn