DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Sept. 4, 2001) -- An impressive field of more than 40 race cars will converge on Daytona International Speedway next week for final Rolex Sports Car Series race of the season, the Grand-Am Finale, Sept. 12-16. The 42-car field...
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Sept. 4, 2001) -- An impressive field of more than 40 race cars will converge on Daytona International Speedway next week for final Rolex Sports Car Series race of the season, the Grand-Am Finale, Sept. 12-16. The 42-car field includes 16 entries into the Rolex Series' premier SportsRacing Prototype classes.
Among the prototype entries is current-points leader Dyson Racing Team with its pair of Norcold/Thetford/Goodyear-sponsored Ford-powered Riley & Scotts. Englishman James Weaver will look to wrap up his second-straight SRP driver championship in the #16 car, while team owner Rob Dyson will join his son Chris, both of Pleasant Valley, N.Y., in the #20 prototype.
The Dyson team will face fierce competition from a strong field of SRPs, including the #37 Banana Joe's Judd-engined Lola and #27 Doran/Lista Racing Judd-powered Ferrari. Robinson Racing also hopes to be a top contender in their new 74-Ranch Resort Riley & Scott Mark III-C. The team has attempted to debut the car several times during the season, but developmental setbacks delayed its first race appearance. Although the team will have both its race cars on hand in Daytona, it fully intends to run the Mark III-C in its first-ever Rolex Series race.
The local favorite in the SRP class will be #6 Serta Ford Riley & Scott of Orlando-based Miracle Motorsports. The Serta machine is currently on display at DAYTONA USA for fans to get an up close and personal look at the race car. Another Florida-based team, Sezio Florida Racing Team, plans to test some new bodywork on its #78 Scutum/Selom-sponsored BMW-powered Norma while at Daytona in preparation for the 2002 Rolex 24 At Daytona.
The #28 Ford Riley & Scott will travel to Daytona with a new owner, sponsor and driver line up. Formerly part of the Banana Joe's team, the #28 entry will sport the colors and name of the Eran South Corporation at the Grand-Am Finale. New-owner Blackforest Motorsports Group will have Floridians Allen Ziegleman, of Boca Raton, and Peter Argetsinger, of Weston, behind the wheel for the race.
After winning the SRP class at the Rolex 24 At Daytona earlier this year, Jim Downing, of Atlanta, will return to the 'World Center of Racing' in hopes of a repeat performance in his #62 HANS-sponsored Mazda Kudzu.
Six SRPII cars are lined up to compete in the smaller prototype class. Archangel Motorsport Services has already locked up the class team championship for 2001, but which of its two cars to take the top honors will be decided on the racetrack in the Grand-Am Finale. Archangel's #21 180 Commerce/bendevlin.com-sponsored Nissan Lola will try to hold off its sister car, the #22 180 Commerce/Avon Tyres-sponsored Lola, for the class championship.
The Archangel machines will face tough competition in the class from its rival Porschehaus Racing, as well as some new teams to the Series. Two Nissan-powered Pilbeams have entered the SRPII race at the Grand-Am Finale. Team Bucknum Racing will contest the #31 Fairy Tale Brownies/Red Line Oil-sponsored Pilbeam, while Southern Comfort Racing will campaign the #48 MCI Coaches/Fender/Amadus Industries Pilbeam. Also returning to the Rolex Series will be Team Spencer with the Trench Shoring Services/Crocotile Modular Flooring-sponsored Mazda Kudzu.
The prototype classes will not be the only ones seeing some fierce competition during the three-hour race, as 26 race cars will also run in the GT classes. A lone Oldsmobile will compete against a strong contingent of Camaros and Corvettes in the American GT class, while the GT class already has 15 cars lined up to race, including 12 Porsche GT3 R/RS.
However, the sentimental favorite in that class will be the #14 Porsche RSR of Autometrics Motorsports. The Grand-Am Finale could quite possibly be the last time a normally aspirated, air-cooled Porsche 911 professionally competes at the 'World Center of Racing.' The Porsche RSR won its American debut at Daytona nearly 28 years ago at the hands of Hurley Haywood and Peter Gregg. Rolex 24 At Daytona-veteran Cory Friedman and Ray Shaffer will share driving duties in the Autometrics Porsche RSR at the Grand-Am Finale.
Teams will begin arriving in Daytona early next week for the Grand-Am Finale, with testing being held at the Speedway on Wednesday, Sept. 12 and Thursday, Sept. 13. Practice will begin on Friday, Sept. 14, with qualifying on Saturday, Sept. 15. The green flag will fall on the final Rolex Series race of the season on Sunday, Sept. 16 at noon. Also racing at the event will be the Grand-Am Cup Street Stock Series, U.S. F2000 National Championship, American City Racing League and SCCA Pro Spec Racer.
Sunday's Rolex Series race will be broadcast live on Speedvision. Tickets are still on sale for the event and may be purchased from the Daytona International Speedway ticket office or online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com.