Series round two pre-race notes

Anxiety Building as Grand-Am Rolex Series Race at Homestead-Miami Speedway Only Two Weeks Away More Than 40 Rolex 24 Competitors Are Entered for GAINSCO Grand Prix of Miami DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (March 14, 2008) -- A staggering 66 machines from...

Anxiety Building as Grand-Am Rolex Series Race at Homestead-Miami Speedway Only Two Weeks Away

More Than 40 Rolex 24 Competitors Are Entered for GAINSCO Grand Prix of Miami

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (March 14, 2008) -- A staggering 66 machines from the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16, including a number of one-off entries, took the green flag at the Rolex 24 At Daytona a few weeks ago in North America's premier endurance race. Over 40 of those entrants are anxious to return to the track in just two weeks at Homestead-Miami Speedway for the GAINSCO Grand Prix of Miami.

Those 44 entries represent full season Rolex Series machines, comprising the largest grids of any top-level motorsports series in the United States in 2008.

Competitors tested at Homestead for two days last month and are just as anxious to get back on the track. Among those is Miami resident Oswaldo Negri, who has topped the speed charts in nearly every official and unofficial testing and practice session so far in 2008. Driving the No. 60 Michael Shank Racing Ford Riley, Negri blasted to the Rolex 24 pole position and was the fastest in both Homestead testing sessions.

"I just can't wait for Homestead," Negri said. "Mark (Patterson) is really driving great with these new Pirellis and of course Michael Shank Racing showed at Daytona we had a very fast car with the Ford Riley. We were strong in the test at Homestead but haven't stopped working since then, so hopefully we can be even better when we get back to racing. This series is so competitive that you cannot let up one minute.

"It's been a long time since Daytona, so I am just really looking forward to getting going again," Negri continued. "Of course racing at Homestead is always a special thing for me because I live in Miami, so this weekend my whole family can be there. It's just a great weekend to look forward to."

Negri isn't the only one looking forward to getting back in the action. The No. 01 TELMEX Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates Lexus Riley crew and drivers Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas hold the team and driver point leads after winning the Rolex 24 in January by more than a lap. The team also tested at Homestead and lead defending Daytona Prototype driving champions Alex Gurney and Jon Fogarty of GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing by three points.

The Rolex 24 GT winning SpeedSource team is also looking forward to returning to Homestead after taking the Rolex 24 checkered flag by seven laps over its nearest competitors in the No. 70 Mazdaspeed Mazda RX-8. Team owner Sylvain Tremblay's Sunrise, Fla.-based team won last year's GAINSCO Grand Prix of Miami, but elected not to take part in the Rolex sanctioned test last month. Tremblay -- who traveled to Japan this week to continue celebrations of the Rolex 24 win -- and Nick Ham are entered to defend their Homestead race win.

TRG drivers Bryce Miller and Ted Ballou, entered in the No. 66 Mitchell Rubber/Marquis Jet Porsche GT3, trail Tremblay and Ham by three points after finishing second in the Rolex 24 in the GT class.

-credit: garra

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Alex Gurney , Jon Fogarty , Scott Pruett , Sylvain Tremblay , Memo Rojas , Chip Ganassi , Nick Ham , Michael Shank , Ted Ballou , Felix Sabates , Bryce Miller
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing , SpeedSource , Michael Shank Racing