Cosmo and Camirand joined by McDowell for Porsche-powered Rolex 24 effort
Daytona Beach, FL (4 January 2007) --Even if it wasn't just a short trip to the track for Daytona Beach-based Sprit of Daytona Racing, it is still likely that the team transporter would have still been first in line to enter Daytona International Speedway for this weekend's test days, as the entire organization is eager to put the Porsche-powered FABCAR back on track and through its paces as the Rolex Sports Car Series kicks off the 2008 season with three days of testing at DIS this weekend.
The No. 09 Spirit of Daytona entry boasts a FABCAR chassis fitted with a new Lozano Brothers-prepared, Porsche-based 5.0-liter V-8 engine, and made a strong race debut in the season-ending event at Miller Motorsports Park in September as the team used the race as a very public test to put the combination under the strain of nine hours of hard competition in preparation for a maiden run in the Rolex 24.
Arguably, some of the most eager members of the team are the drivers, who will look to continue the development strides that Spirit of Daytona Racing has made in advance of the combination's Rolex 24 At Daytona debut later this month. The team has signed a strong line up to support the program, with Rolex Sports Car Series regulars Guy Cosmo and Marc Camirand being joined by emerging NASCAR star and Rolex veteran Michael McDowell for the 46th running of the Rolex 24 At Daytona.
"We're really happy Michael was able to join us for the 24 and of course we are really familiar with what Guy and Marc can offer to this program so we're just anxious to get going again here in the test," said Spirit of Daytona co-owner Troy Flis. "Obviously we are still early in the learning curve with this car but we were encouraged by the improvements we made after Miller and then again when we got the new Pirellis on it. Everyone is really excited about the package and this driver line up and of course there's no better way to develop a car than race it for 24 hours, so we are working non-stop to be as ready as we can."
The Porsche-powered FABCAR will indeed be in good hands with Cosmo, Camirand, and McDowell putting both their speed and technical talents in play for the team.
"I'm excited to be racing in the 24 and getting to do some road racing again because this is a big, prestigious race that everyone wants to win," said McDowell. "It's like coming back home for me to be racing in the Rolex Series and I'm really looking forward to it. It's great to be part of the development effort for this car and hopefully my feedback will help I'm glad to get the chance to run with Guy (Cosmo) and Marc (Camirand). This will be my fourth 24 but the first time with just three drivers, so I'm also really looking forward to that challenge as well."
The Camirand-Cosmo combination brings a big head start with the package, having already logged hundreds of laps in testing and in the Miller race outing as the team prepares for the 24 and beyond.
"The Pirelli test in November was the first time we ran this car at Daytona, so now we have some data to use as our baseline and hopefully we can keep improving," said Cosmo, who like McDowell won Star Mazda Championship on his way up to the Rolex Series. "The car kept getting faster every time we tried something new, so hopefully we can kept that progress moving forward"
"I'm just happy we can get back to racing!" said Camirand. "I know the team has been working non-stop over the short break to keep improving the car but I am just looking forward to getting back in it and see how it feels. Our run in Miller last year was a great start for this program but now we know we have to keep moving things forward because this is an extremely competitive series and of course you have to be ready for anything once the 24 starts!"