JAMES WALKER TO RACE AT DAYTONA
Jersey, UK -- 17 December 2009 - The off-season is long for single-seater racers so Jersey's James Walker is delighted to have the opportunity to head Stateside after Christmas to get a taster of a completely different kind of racing.
James will compete in the 'Rolex 24 at Daytona', one of the top 24-hour sportscar races, held annually at the world-famous Daytona International Speedway in Florida. He will race a Porsche in the GT class alongside Porsche factory driver Patrick Pilet, his manager and Porsche specialist Tim Sugden, the owner of the team Jim Lowe and also Jim Pace.
The J Lowe Racing team will give James a great introduction to the world of endurance racing which is quite a different discipline to the flat out world of single-seater racing. The pace is still fast and furious but you have to make sure your car makes it all the way through the 24 hours so patience can play a big part.
James will get his first taster of the Porsche and the Daytona track when he takes part in the "Roar before the 24", which is a three-day test in early January. He will then return to Florida for the big race, which gets underway on January 30th.
James has always wanted to take part in a 24-hour race and hopes that after Daytona the next stop could be the Le Mans 24 Hours.
"I'm really looking forward to racing in America for the first time," he said. "It's even better that my first ever 24-hour race is going to be at Daytona, racing with people like ex-F1 driver Juan Pablo Montoya and current NASCAR Champion Jimmie Johnson. It was a chance that I just couldn't turn down. I'll have to make the most of the test to make sure I've got to grips with a car that's totally different to what I'm used to. I can't wait!"
James' manager, Tim Sugden, has raced at Daytona before so knows what is in store for James.
"It will be great to race with James, especially when you consider it was me who taught him to drive!" said Tim. Endurance racing is a new challenge for James. The biggest thing he will have to learn to cope with is the different speeds of the cars in different classes. There won't be a single lap where you are not overtaking or being overtaken yourself; you have to keep a constant eye on your mirrors. One of the hardest things to learn is to relax. You have to go off for short sleeps during the 24 hours but with all that adrenalin pumping around your body it can be hard to switch off. Racing at night will also be a new experience. It's going to be a baptism of fire but James is going to love every minute of it."
The Rolex 24 is an important event as it signals the start of the racing year in the USA. In 2010 it will also signal the start of James' racing year as after the 24-hour race he will return to Europe to concentrate on his plans for the season ahead.