Rolex Series Heads to Homestead-Miami Speedway For Hoosier Tire Introduction Test
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (November 29, 2004) -- Just a few weeks after one of the most exciting seasons in Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series history, the series and its teams are wasting little time in their preparations for 2005 with this week's Hoosier Tire Introduction Test at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Nearly 30 teams will take part in the test sessions which are scheduled to take place from Tuesday, November 30 through Thursday, December 2. More than half of the participants will be Daytona Prototype teams, including several programs that will be making their first public appearance in South Florida.
A handful of teams will debut never-before-seen Daytona Prototype chassis and engine combinations, including the brand new No. 19 Finlay Motorsports BMW Riley--which will be piloted by Michael McDowell and Memo Gidley--as well as the No. 15 Essex Racing Ford Crawford in the hands of drivers who have not yet been named.
Another team that will make its Daytona Prototype debut will be Orbit Racing, which won last season's Rolex 24 At Daytona GT class. The No. 39 Orbit Racing Pontiac Riley will be co-driven in this test by Rolex Series returnee Jim Matthews and series newcomer Joel Camathias of Switzerland, as well as SunTrust Racing regular Max Angelelli.
Michael Baughman and Bob Ward--familiar faces from Rolex Sports Car Series and Grand-Am Cup competition--will co-pilot the No. 47 Michael Baughman Racing Pontiac Crawford for the first time in a public setting. The No. 49 Multimatic Motorsports Ford Multimatic will be driven by Scott Maxwell, while the No. 74 Robinson Racing Lexus Riley will be shared by George Robinson and NBC NASCAR commentator Wally Dallenbach.
After fielding a Lexus-powered Doran in 2004, Michael Shank Racing debuts the No. 6 Pontiac Riley this week with Paul Mears Jr. and Mike Borkowski sharing driving duties. Also returning to the Daytona Prototype ranks will be Gunnar Racing with a No. 45 Ford Multimatic for South Floridian Gunnar Jeannette, of Palm Beach Gardens, at the wheel.
Among the 2004 series regulars participating in the test will be the No. 09 Spirit of Daytona Pontiac Crawford of Doug Goad and Stephan Gregorie, the No. 27 Doran Racing Lexus Doran of Didier Theys and Jan Magnussen, the No. 29 Silverstone Racing Services Pontiac Crawford of Chris Hall and the No. 58 Brumos Racing Porsche Fabcar of Darren Law and David Donohue.
Andy Wallace--who co-piloted the No. 2 CITGO machine with Milka Duno to two wins at Homestead last season--will be joined by Paul Edwards in the No. 20 CITGO Howard-Boss Motorsports Pontiac Crawford. The 2004 Rolex 24 At Daytona-winning No. 54 Kodak EasyShare Bell Motorsports Pontiac Doran will also be in action this week, with 2003 Daytona Prototype champion Terry Borcheller, car owner Forest Barber, Anthony Lazzaro, C.R. Crews and 2003 Champ Car champion Paul Tracy all expected to spend some time in the cockpit.
The GT class will also be well represented with GT champion Bill Auberlen sharing the cockpit of the No. 21 Prototype Technology Group with Joey Hand. Flying Lizard Motorsports will field two Porsche GT3 Cups driven by Johannes van Overbeek, Lonnie Pechnik, Seth Neiman and Jon Fogarty, while Scuderia Ferrari of Washington will be on hand with a pair of Maserati Light GTs for drivers to be announced.
TPC Racing -- which won the 2004 Super Grand Sport (SGS) title -- will test the No. 36 Porsche GT3 Cup in the new 2005 GT configuration with John Littlechild, Michael Levitas, Randy Pobst and Spencer Pumpelly sharing driving duties. South Florida-based JMB Racing USA will test the No. 11 Ferrari 360GT with Matt Plumb and Anthony Pinto, while the No. 98 GT Technologies Porsche GT3 Cup of Marc Feinstein, Brady Refenning, of Stuart, and Carlos DeQuesada, of Miami, will also test.
2004 SGS driver champions Andy Lally and Marc Bunting, who recently signed to drive for The Racer's Group in 2005, will join TRG owner Kevin Buckler, as well as Dave Master and Marc Sluszny at testing, as the team will test three Porsche GT3 Cups during three days of testing.
The Rolex Sports Car Series returns to racing action February 3-6 for the Rolex 24 At Daytona - the most prestigious road racing event in North America. Round 2 will bring the series back to Homestead-Miami Speedway March 3-5 for the Grand Prix of Miami, as part of the TOYOTA Indy 400 weekend.
The Grand American Road Racing Association, which sanctions the Rolex Sports Car Series and the Grand-Am Cup Series, is one of the fastest growing motorsports organizations in the United States. The 14-race 2005 Rolex Series schedule and the 11-race Grand-Am Cup calendar will deliver professional sports car racing to many key markets throughout North America in addition to being televised in the United States and Canada on SPEED Channel and distributed globally through ESPN International. With title sponsorship support from Rolex Watch USA, the Rolex Sports Car Series showcases emerging and legendary drivers from around the globe and thoroughbred racing machines from the industry's leading constructors and the world's top automobile manufacturers. Learn more about Grand American at www.grandamerican.com.