Mark Wilkins Daytona 24H pre-event news 2011-01-19

Mark Wilkins all set for eighth Rolex 24 appearance
Canadian racer seeking his first podium in Daytona Prototypes

Toronto, Ontario (2011.01.18) The 2011 racing season is getting underway and Toronto's Mark Wilkins is all set to head to Florida for the 49th running of the Rolex 24 at Daytona, the leadoff race in the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series. This is Wilkins eighth straight appearance at the Rolex 24 where he recorded podium finishes in 2004 (3rd - SGS) and 2005 (3rd - GT). He switched to Daytona Prototypes in 2007 and is on the hunt for his first podium in that class. Wilkins will be driving the Level 5 Motorsports No. 55 BMW Riley in this year's race.

Wilkins will share driving duties with Christophe Bouchut, Luis Diaz and Scott Tucker.

"I am happy to be here with Level 5 Motorsports for The 24 this year" commented Wilkins. "I learned a lot driving with Christope and Scott in an LMP car last year, understanding their driving styles and how they like to set up a car. That experience will be invaluable for us going into Daytona and in achieving a podium result. We had a great test session a couple of weeks ago at Daytona and everyone on the team is extremely confident."

The Microsoft, E Data Solutions, Selling Source, US Bank No. 55 BMW Riley recorded the third-fastest time at the recent Roar Before the 24 test days just two weeks ago posting a lap of 1:40.491 at 127.533 miles per hour.

"I really enjoy racing here on the Daytona road course", Wilkins stated. "I have two third-place finishes in The 24 and Daytona is also where I recorded my first GRAND-AM series pole back in 2008 in the AIM Autosport Ford Riley Daytona Prototype. But I've also had some disappointment here and really hope that this year we can turn that around and go for a win."

Before racing gets underway, Wilkins will be joining a number of other GRAND-AM drivers for the annual Boggy Creek Gold Tournament. Boggy Creek is part of the Hole In The Wall Camps founded by Paul Newman and the golf tournament, designed to foster awareness of the camp's work and to raise funds to support its efforts has become an annual tradition for GRAND-AM events at Daytona.

-source: mark wilkins PR

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