Mid-Ohio/Daytona II: SAMAX/Doncaster Racing preview

The SAMAX/ Doncaster Racing drivers will tackle two very different track configurations in less than a week, competing in Rolex Sports Car Series races at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio, on June 24 and at Daytona International...

The SAMAX/ Doncaster Racing drivers will tackle two very different track configurations in less than a week, competing in Rolex Sports Car Series races at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio, on June 24 and at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla., on June 29. The rolling 2.258-mile Mid-Ohio track is a natural road course, while the 3.56-mile Daytona circuit incorporates a high-banked oval and an infield road course. Dave Lacey and Greg Wilkins, both of Toronto, will drive the No. 17 SAMAX/ Doncaster Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car in both races.

smooth setup

Dave Lacey is looking forward to racing on the newly paved surface at Mid-Ohio, though he acknowledged the team will have to find a new car setup.

"The historical setup that we've had on the car won't apply, so bringing that setup into the race weekend is not going to be that beneficial. I think the G-loads will be higher if it's smoother. It looks like really fresh tar, so the grip levels will be increased," he noted.

"It's a great part of the country, with rolling hills and a dedicated road course, my favorite type of facility. I wish it was a bit more open -- it's not hugely high-speed corners -- but still it's a terrific race track and I'm definitely looking forward to seeing what the new surface does to the whole setup."

gear change

The SAMAX/Doncaster crew will use a different gearbox for the Daytona race, to cover the long banked oval portion of the track. Doncaster principal John Lacey explained:

"We change the gearbox, and that's the only thing we do for the car. We work on the same shocks, the same wing setup, the same fundamental aerodynamics of the car. There is a Porsche-defined Daytona gearbox versus the gearbox that we use for all other tracks. Without it, we would just run out of revs."

quick prep

The Rolex Series teams will have a fast day at Daytona, with practice, qualifying and race in one day. Their car setup will be complicated by track conditions that change between the morning practice and night race. The SAMAX/Doncaster team will start with the setup used in the Rolex 24 at Daytona in January, with changes for the two-hour 45-minute June sprint.

"It's a complicated race for us in that we practice, qualify and race all in the same day. The issue is trying to get the best setup for the car in very short order. We remember what we did for the 24-hour race; that's where we'll start, but you do set up a car differently to run for 24 hours than you do for two hours," John Lacey said. "The challenge is really to get in and get out in one day. It makes a long day for the drivers and the crew."

-samaxmotorsport.com

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Dave Lacey , Greg Wilkins