GRAND-AM ROLEX SERIES GOES SHORT TRACK RACING AT LIME ROCK PARK IN MEMORIAL DAY CLASSIC
Daytona Prototypes, GT Cars Go Toe-To-Toe on 1.5-Mile Circuit
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (May 12, 2010) - In all forms of motorsports, some of the most popular racing is on the short tracks.
In the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, that means places like Bristol Motor Speedway or Martinsville Speedway. In the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16, the closest thing to a short track is Lime Rock Park in Lakeville, Conn., scene of the May 31 Memorial Day Classic (2 p.m. ET, SPEED).
GRAND-AM's lead class, the Daytona Prototypes, will lap the seven-turn, 1.5-mile circuit about every 49 seconds. Add in a full field of production-based GT cars - which average 53-second laps - and it means an afternoon of side-by-side fender-rubbing excitement.
"It's valid to call Lime Rock a short track, because that's exactly what it is," said Burt Frisselle, who co-drives the No. 61 AIM Autosport Ford Riley with Mark Wilkins. "You have to really work for every inch on a short track. It might take you five or six laps to set somebody up to make a pass, and most likely passes are going to come with an assist from GT traffic."
The Aspen, Colo., resident knows something about NASCAR short track racing. While Frisselle has been a regular in the Rolex Series since 2004, he and his brother Brian raced in selected NASCAR Whelen All-American Series races for Stacy Compton's team in 2007 at Virginia's Motor Mile and South Boston Speedway.
"A big similarity is that the NASCAR short tracks and Lime Rock are so momentum based," Frisselle said. "You've got to get in a smooth rhythm, and traffic will play a huge factor. You're going to get binged around quite a bit, and you have to fight for every inch.
"That's the kind of racing you're going to see at Lime Rock, and I think we'll put on a good show for the fans."
Frisselle is coming off a second-place finish at Virginia International Raceway, matching his best career finish. He and Wilkins share third in the Daytona Prototype point standings, finishing in the top three in three of the four races. They are 28 points behind co-leaders Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas (137-109), and trail second place Ryan Dalziel by seven points.
The Memorial Day Classic, Round 5 on the 2010 schedule, will be a one-day event for the Rolex Series competitors. Practice begins at 9 a.m., with qualifying at 11:55 a.m. The weekend also includes a pair of races for the GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge on May 29.