Porsche Returns As GRAND-AM Official Partner For 2011 Rolex Sports Car Series Season
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Jan. 18, 2011) - Porsche's storied history in GRAND-AM Road Racing was underscored this week, with the announcement that it has returned as an "Official Promotional Partner" of GRAND-AM for the second straight year.
Porsche is one of the most successful manufacturers in the history of the Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16, having won a series-record nine manufacturer championships while capturing titles in five different Rolex Series classes, including Daytona Prototype in 2003. The German manufacturer also got its 22nd overall victory in the Rolex 24 At Daytona in 2010. Porsche leads all Rolex Series manufactures with 60 class victories, winning most recently last July, at Daytona International Speedway.
Porsche also is the leading winner in GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge history, with 43 overall and 60 class victories.
"From its inception in 2000, GRAND-AM has provided an excellent platform for Porsche and its customer teams to show both performance and reliability," said Jens Walther, president of Porsche Motorsports North America. "Both our 911 race cars and Porsche-powered Daytona Prototypes have found success in GRAND-AM, and the continuation of our marketing agreement enables us to work with the sanctioning body to help get the word out to our Porsche dealers and customers."
The program also allows all Porsche drivers in the Rolex Series' GT class to be eligible for the prestigious Porsche Cup, awarded by the manufacturer to the top privateer Porsche driver on an annual basis since 1970. The Porsche Cup - with a multiple prize fund of more than $310,000 - is one of the most coveted awards of any manufacturer. Since GRAND-AM's inception in 2000, three full-time Rolex Series competitors have earned the Porsche Cup: Kevin Buckler (2002), Wolf Henzler (2006) and Dirk Werner (2009).
In GRAND-AM's premier Daytona Prototype class, Flying Lizard Motorsports will field a Porsche-powered DP in the Rolex 24. After eight seasons fielding DPs, Brumos Racing returns to GT competition with its No. 59 and its iconic paint scheme. Leh Keen, who shared the 2009 GT championship with Werner, will co-drive at Daytona with Andrew Davis, Marc Lieb and Hurley Haywood, the lone five-time overall winner of the Rolex 24.
Magnus Racing returns to GT with the No. 44 Porsche co-driven by Craig Stanton and John Potter. Buckler owns and operates TRG, the most successful GT team in Rolex Series history, with 26 class victories. TRG is returning with a multi-car lineup. Also, Muehlner Motorsports will make its American racing debut at Daytona with a new Porsche 911 GT3 Rolex Cup. Other Porsche teams expected for the Rolex 24 include Mitchum Motorsports, Paul Miller Racing, Rick Ware Racing, Chris Smith Racing and Bullet Racing.
The 2011 Rolex Series season opens with the 49th Rolex 24 At Daytona, set for Jan. 29-30 at Daytona International Speedway.