PORSCHE POWER FASTEST IN BOTH CLASSES AT ROLEX 24 HOURS AT DAYTONA WINTER TEST THIS WEEK; BRUMOS PORSCHE RILEY AND FARNBACHER LOLES 911 BEST IN CLASS DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Jan. 9, 2009) - After eight test sessions earlier this week - seven during...
PORSCHE POWER FASTEST IN BOTH CLASSES AT ROLEX 24 HOURS AT DAYTONA WINTER TEST THIS WEEK; BRUMOS PORSCHE RILEY AND FARNBACHER LOLES 911 BEST IN CLASS
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Jan. 9, 2009) - After eight test sessions earlier this week - seven during the day and one at night - for both classes of the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16 at Daytona International Speedway, the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup racers and Porsche-powered Riley Daytona Prototypes won more sessions than any other manufacturer.
In fact, Porsche teams were fastest in seven of the 16 test contests, with Mazda second (with four fastest times) and Lexus and BMW tied for third with two fastest sessions. In both the Daytona Prototype and GT classes, however, Porsche teams turned the fastest overall times of the weekend.
Darren Law, from Phoenix, Ariz., and Dominik Farnbacher, from Ansbach, Germany waited until the final day to set the fastest laps of the Roar Before the Rolex 24." Law, driving the No. 58 Brumos Racing Porsche Riley, led the Daytona Prototypes class in the Monday's conclusion of the three-day session with a lap of 1:41.733 (125.977 mph). He will co-drive with David Donohue, Malvern, Penn., Buddy Rice, Phoenix, Ariz., and Antonio Garcia, Madrid, Spain, in the 47th Rolex 24 at Daytona, which takes the green flag at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, January 24. Law also was fastest in the third session on the first day of the test event.
Farnbacher, who has won the Rolex 24 GT class before (2005), waited until the final 30 minutes of the closing session before running a lap of 1:50.881 (115.853 mph) in a simulated qualifying run in the No. 86 Farnbacher Loles Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup racer which he will share with Eric Lux, from Jacksonville, Fla., Matthew Marsh, from Hong Kong, and Kevin Roush, of Upland, Calif.
"We've spent a lot of time with this car, and the team has done a good job with setup," Law said. We've been inching up on it and it's getting there. We're pretty happy with the car. We're close to going racing now. Right now, we're running in race equipment, making sure that everything is working properly.
Farnbacher turned the fastest time in the GT class in three of the eight practice sessions over the three-day test on the famous Daytona 3.560 combination oval and road-racing circuit. Farnbacher Loles Racing has five 911s entered in the Rolex 24.
"We had a good performance, and everything worked very well," Farnbacher said. On our fastest lap, our setup was like what it would be for qualifying, and it worked pretty good. Also, we put new tires on and we wanted to see what the difference would be between old and new tires. It was not really a big gain. The Pirelli tires are very good and very consistent. I also did a long run to see how the tires would perform through the stint, and the Pirelli tires were very consistent. We are quite happy to have such good lap times."
The final test session produced the three fastest GT laps of the weekend. Andy Lally, from Dacula, Georgia, ran a lap of 1:51.169 (115.284 mph) in the No. 67 TRG Porsche 911 GT3 he co-drives with Justin Marks, from Rockland, Calif. Pat Long, from Belleair, Calif., Jorg Bergmeister, from Langenfeld, Germany, and RJ Valentine, from Braintree, Mass. Third in the GT class in that Monday session was the No. 65 TRG Porsche 911 GT3 of Craig Stanton, from Long Beach, Calif., who ran 1:51.176 (115.277 mph) in the car shared by John Potter, from Salt Lake City, Utah, Bryce Miller, from Summit, N.J., and Marco Holzer from Germany. TRG, like Farnbacher Loles, also has entered five 911 race cars in the event.
Also, Penske Racing announced its driver lineup and sponsorship for the Rolex 24 at Daytona. Romain Dumas, Timo Bernhard and Ryan Briscoe will co-drive the No. 16 Crown Royal Cask No. 16 Porsche Riley, with Dumas and Bernhard continuing in the car for the remainder of the Grand-Am Rolex Series season. Dumas was fastest in the Porsche Riley Daytona Prototype in test session six.
"Going into the Rolex 24, we have two goals as a team," said Bernhard, who won the GT class in the 2002 Rolex 24 and then captured overall honors for TRG the following year in a Porsche 911 GT3 RS.
"Sure, we want to win the race because it's an outstanding race. But on the other hand we are looking for a good start to the season for the whole year, so we can fight for the championship."
In all, 18 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars in the GT class and three Porsche-powered Rileys in the DP class are entered in the Rolex 24. Both cars are powered by the Porsche 911-based boxer engine, with specs varying according to Grand-Am rules. The 911 GT3 Cup car is powered by the 3.6-liter, water-cooled flat six-cylinder boxer engine which delivers 428 horsepower, while the Daytona Prototype Porsches have the same engine configuration with a 3.99-liter displacement which produces 510 horsepower mounted in a Riley chassis.