BARBOSA SEEKS THIRD STRAIGHT ROLEX SERIES VICTORY AS GRAND PRIX OF MIAMI RETURNS TO TRADITIONAL SPRING DATE Rolex 24 -Winning SpeedSource RX-8 One of Eight Mazdas Entered DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (March 2, 2010) - The Grand Prix of Miami returns...
BARBOSA SEEKS THIRD STRAIGHT ROLEX SERIES VICTORY AS GRAND PRIX OF MIAMI
RETURNS TO TRADITIONAL SPRING DATE
Rolex 24 -Winning SpeedSource RX-8 One of Eight Mazdas Entered
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (March 2, 2010) - The Grand Prix of Miami returns to its traditional spring date Saturday for Round 2 of the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Coming off the Rolex 24 At Daytona, the event begins the two-hour, 45-minute "sprint" format utilized in most of the remaining Rolex Series events. The race takes the green flag at 5 p.m. ET (SPEED, live). The event also marks the first live flag-to-flag radio broadcast by the Motor Racing Network.
Joao Barbosa will be looking for his third consecutive Rolex Series victory when he joins Terry Borcheller in the No. 9 Action Express Racing Porsche Riley, co-winners of the Rolex 24. Barbosa won at Homestead-Miami Speedway last fall when he joined substitute driver Hurley Haywood in the No. 59 Brumos Racing Porsche Riley, when the Grand Prix of Miami served as the Rolex Series season finale.
The Action Express entry is one of 15 Daytona Prototypes entered in the event on the 2.3-mile, 11-turn circuit. The event also has 18 entries in the GT class, including SpeedSource's Rolex 24 At Daytona class-winning No. 70 Castrol Syntec Mazda RX-8 of Sylvain Tremblay and Jonathan Bomarito.
Barbosa and Borcheller were joined by Ryan Dalziel and Mike Rockenfeller in their Rolex 24 victory. Dalziel will race for the remainder of the season in the No. 8 Starworks Motorsport BMW Riley, which debuts at Homestead with Mike Forest as co-driver. Bill Lester and Ian James will drive the team's No. 7 BMW Riley.
Brumos Racing will be looking for its second consecutive Grand Prix of Miami victory when David Donohue and Darren Law take over the team's iconic No. 59 Porsche Riley.
"Homestead has been one of our best tracks historically," Donohue said. "In the past few years we seemed to always run into bad luck and couldn't capitalize on our advantages, but the No. 59's victory last year changed that."
Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas won the 2008 Grand Prix of Miami, the last time the event was held in the spring. They return with a BMW powerplant in the No. 01 TELMEX Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates Riley.
Jon Fogarty will look to win the pole for his sixth consecutive qualifying attempt on Friday in the No. 99 GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing Chevrolet Riley. Fogarty and Alex Gurney - the defending Daytona Prototype champions - did not attempt to qualify for the Rolex 24 after the car was damaged in a practice accident. Fogarty won the pole in six of the final seven races in 2009.
Max Angelelli captured the pole for the 2010 Rolex 24 in the No. 10 SunTrust Racing Ford Dallara. That car is expected to be qualified at Homestead by his new regular co-driver, Ricky Taylor.
In addition to Starworks Motorsport, Michael Shank Racing and Level 5 Motorsports will field two Daytona Prototypes. Brian Frisselle joins Michael Valiante in Michael Shank Racing's No. 6 The Pit Stop on Norris Lake Ford Riley, while John Pew joins Ozz Negri in the No. 60 Crown Royal XR Ford Riley. Scott Tucker, Christophe Bouchut and IndyCar Series regular Ryan Hunter-Reay will drive the two Level 5 Motorsports BMW Rileys.
AIM Autosport makes its 2010 debut with Burt Frisselle and Mark Wilkins in the No. 61 Pacific Mobile Ford Riley, joining single-car Daytona Prototype entries from Krohn Racing, with Nic Jonsson and Tracy Krohn in the No. 75 Ford Lola; Doran Racing, with Memo Gidley and Dion von Moltke in the No. 77 McDonald's Ford Dallara; and Spirit of Daytona, with Buddy Rice and Antonio Garcia in the No. 90 Porsche Coyote.
The Rolex 24-winning SpeedSource Castrol Syntec entry is one of eight Mazda RX-8s entered in the GT class for the Grand Prix of Miami. In addition to the No. 70 of Tremblay and Bomarito, SpeedSource has the No. 69 FXDD entry for Emil Assentato and Jeff Segal, and will debut the new No. 68 Nuclear Clean Air Energy Mazda RX-8 for 2009 Formula Atlantic champion John Edwards and Star Mazda Series champ Adam Christodoulou, both rookies in GRAND-AM.
Dempsey Racing also has a pair of Mazda RX-8s, the No. 40 for Patrick Dempsey and Joe Foster, and the No. 41 for 2009 GT champion Leh Keen and James Gue. Team Sahlen is fielding a pair of Mazdas for Joe Sahlen, joined by Joe, Will and Wayne Nonnamaker, while Racers Edge Motorsports has the No. 30 Idemitsu RX-8 for Todd Lamb and Jordan Taylor.
Porsche will be represented by five single-car entries from TRG, Magnus Racing, Autohaus Motorsports, Miller Barrett Racing and Grant Racing/901 Shop, while Turner Motorsport has the No. 94 BMW M6 for Bill Auberlen and Joey Hand.
LG Motorsports makes its Rolex Series debut with the No. 28 Wheel Enhancements Corvette for Kelly Collins and Eric Lux, while Banner Racing fields the No. 07 Mobil 1 Corvette for 2009 Miami GT winner Paul Edwards and Scott Russell. Stevenson Motorsports returns with a pair of Camaros, the No. 57 for 2009 race runners-up Robin Liddell and Andrew Davis, and the No. 97 for Jan Magnussen and Gunter Schaldach.
Practice for the Grand Prix of Miami begins at 9:30 a.m. ET Friday, with qualifying beginning at 3:45 p.m. The race takes the green flag at 5 p.m. Saturday, following the Homestead 200 for the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge at 1 p.m. Qualifying will be streamed live on SPEEDtv.com beginning at 3:40 p.m. ET Friday.