SCC: Birmingham: Open test notes

Drivers get first taste of Barber Motorsports Park BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (May 15, 2003) -- Racers got in their today when Barber Motorsports Park hosted an open test session for participants of this weekend's grand opening event. Teams and drivers of...

Drivers get first taste of Barber Motorsports Park

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (May 15, 2003) -- Racers got in their today when Barber Motorsports Park hosted an open test session for participants of this weekend's grand opening event. Teams and drivers of the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series and Grand-Am Cup Series were impressed with the new facility.

"This place is great. It's challenging. You need a great car setup. It's definitely got a lot of mojo factor involved here. You've really got to hang it out to get a good lap time here," said 2002 GT driver champion Cort Wagner, who is currently tied atop the GT point standings with his #33 Ferrari co-driver Brent Martini. "It's really exciting. A lot of the corners are blind. The apexes are blind up the hills. It's going to be really challenging. It's going to be an incredible race with all the cars on the track."

Although veteran driver Hurley Haywood has already logged hundreds of miles around Barber Motorsports Park as the lead driver for the Porsche Driving Experience, today's test session was the first chance for the five-time Rolex 24 At Daytona winner to take out the Brumos Racing #59 Porsche-powered FABCAR Daytona Prototype that he will pilot in this weekend's race with J.C. France.

"It's very busy. It's going to be a real battle out there. It's also going to be physically pretty difficult because you don't get any rest on this racetrack. You are always shifting. You are shifting six gears up and down all the time. It's going to be a rough one, but the track is great. It's going to be a lot of fun," remarked Haywood, who is tied for the lead in the Daytona Prototype driver point standings with France.

Most drivers spent today's test session learning the new racetrack and finding out the best way to improve their speed on the challenging course.

"On this track you are going to have to be very precise. To be fast on this track with all the hills and blind corners you are going to have to hit your marks every time to keep your momentum going and keep your speed up," said #48 Mustang driver Dave Machavern, who is tied for second in the GTS driver standings with his co-driver Tommy Riggins.

The Rolex Series and Grand-Am Cup will return to Barber Motorsports Park's 2.4-mile course for official practice sessions on Friday. Both series will hold qualifying on Saturday, with the Grand-Am Cup Barber Park 200 Grand Sport race at 4 p.m. The Grand-Am Cup Barber Park 200 Sport Touring race will be at 8:15 a.m. on Sunday, and the premier Rolex Series event - the Barber 250 at The Park - will get underway at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday.

Tickets are currently on sale for the Barber 250 at The Park and Barber Park Twin 200s and can be purchased by calling 800-240-2300 or 205-327-RACE. Tickets are also available online at www.southtix.com.

Additional information on Barber Motorsports Park can be found online at www.barbermotorsports.com. For more information on the Grand-Am Cup Series, visit www.grandamerican.com.

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Hurley Haywood , Tommy Riggins , Brent Martini