Labontes prepare for Daytona 24 test days

Bobby And Terry Labonte Among Motorsports Stars Prepping For Rolex 24 DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., (Jan. 7, 2005) -- The brother tandem of Bobby and Terry Labonte are among the major motorsports names that were participating on Friday in the first day...

Bobby And Terry Labonte Among Motorsports Stars Prepping For Rolex 24

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., (Jan. 7, 2005) -- The brother tandem of Bobby and Terry Labonte are among the major motorsports names that were participating on Friday in the first day of a three-day test session in preparation for the Feb. 5-6 Rolex 24 At Daytona.

Both the Rolex Sports Car Series and the Grand-Am Cup have invaded "The World Center of Racing" for the three-day test session for the upcoming Rolex 24. The Rolex Sports Car Series entry list for the test session features 58 entries and 31 Daytona Prototypes, which would be a record for the Rolex 24.

Bobby and Terry Labonte will share driving duties with IRL IndyCar Series' star Bryan Herta of Andretti-Green Racing and former Formula One driver Jan Magnussen on a Pontiac Doran Daytona Prototype fielded by Doran Racing.

"It's a race you always watch and you always want to be a part of," said Bobby Labonte, who drives the No. 18 Interstate Batteries Chevrolet in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series. "We've always watched it on TV and we always know who wins from the Al Holbert days on back. It's kind of cool. Terry's driven this race before years ago. It's my first time and I'm really looking forward to it. "

Terry Labonte, who is driving a limited NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series schedule in 2005, was a regular competitor in the Rolex 24 in the 1980s. Between 1981-1987, Labonte made seven starts and posted an overall best finish of sixth.

"This is exciting," Terry Labonte said. "Bobby and I have been talking about this for a while. Bobby really did all the work putting this together. We've got a good team. I think it's a great series. I've been following the series for a while and it's really come a long way."

Terry Labonte said the biggest challenge in the grueling twice-around-clock challenge will be handling all the shifting duties on the Daytona Prototype, which is the premier division of the Rolex Sports Car Series.

"The biggest difference is shifting the transmission," Terry Labonte said. "This transmission is completely different than what I'm use to running. I think that's going to be the biggest thing to get adjusted too is upshifting and downshifting. They don't use a clutch where we use a clutch some in ours."

The Labontes are part of the All-Star cast competing in the Rolex 24. Among the NASCAR drivers participating include 2004 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series champion Kurt Busch, Greg Biffle, Matt Kenseth, Casey Mears, Jamie McMurray, Tony Stewart and Jimmie Johnson.

Other notable star drivers from other forms of motorsports competing in the Rolex 24 include Paul Tracy, Dario Franchitti, Buddy Rice, Scott Sharp, Stefan Johansson, Scott Dixon, Boris Said and Wally Dallenbach.

Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series regulars returning for the international event that kicks off the motorsports season include five-time Rolex 24 winner Hurley Haywood, Scott Pruett, Terry Borcheller, Wayne Taylor, Darren Law and Max Papis

"It's quite a mix of people that come here for the 24 hours," Bobby Labonte said. "Obviously this race has been going on for a long time. It's definitely a neat program getting a lot of different people here to do this."

Rolex 24 At Daytona testing continues on Saturday and Sunday. Testing sessions are free and open to the public with access to the Oldfield Grandstand available through the lobby of DAYTONA USA.

Tickets for the Feb. 5-6 Rolex 24 At Daytona are available online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.

-dis-

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Series Grand-Am
Drivers Wally Dallenbach , Matt Kenseth , Bobby Labonte , Terry Labonte , Tony Stewart , Stefan Johansson , Jan Magnussen , Boris Said , Greg Biffle , Kurt Busch , Casey Mears , Scott Sharp , Max Papis , Paul Tracy , Dario Franchitti , Scott Dixon , Bryan Herta , Scott Pruett , Wayne Taylor , Jimmie Johnson , Jamie McMurray , Terry Borcheller , Hurley Haywood , Darren Law , Al Holbert , Buddy Rice
Teams Doran Racing