The clock is ticking during Rolex 24 at Daytona testing

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., (Jan. 3, 2003) -- January testing at Daytona International Speedway kicked off on Friday with the first day of a three-day Grand American Road Racing Series Association test session in preparation for the Feb. 1-2 Rolex 24...

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., (Jan. 3, 2003) -- January testing at Daytona International Speedway kicked off on Friday with the first day of a three-day Grand American Road Racing Series Association test session in preparation for the Feb. 1-2 Rolex 24 At Daytona.

Both the Rolex Sports Car Series and the Grand-Am Cup Series teams were on track at the "World Center of Racing" fine-tuning their machines in preparation for the biggest sports car weekend in the United States.

The 41st anniversary of the Rolex 24 on Feb. 1-2 will be the beginning of a new era in sports car racing with the debut of the Daytona Prototype. The sleek, stylish coupes will become the new premier class in the Rolex Sports Car Series.

Brumos Porsche-FABCAR.
Photo by Daytona International Speedway.

Brumos Racing's No. 59 FABCAR Porsche-powered Daytona Prototype and the No. 3 Cegwa Sport Toyota-powered FABCAR were the only Daytona Prototypes that had previously tested at Daytona. Joining them during this weekend's test session are three additional Daytona Prototype entries.

Brumos Racing has its sister car, the No. 58 Porsche-powered FABCAR Daytona Prototype, on track for the first time. The team took delivery of the No. 58 car before the test session and will try to make the racing machine as dependable as the No. 59, which has already had extensive track time at Daytona and other facilities.

"We ought to be able to build into (the No. 58) with what (No. 59 car) is now," said David Donohue, co-driver of the No. 58 Brumos Racing Porsche FABCAR. "Dave Klym and FABCAR are pretty efficient at making their cars. We have no reason to be believe that this one is not going to be exactly the same as the (No. 59) if not better because they learned from their mistakes."

G&W Motorsports' No. 8 BMW-powered Picchio Daytona Prototype and the No. 88 Multimatic Motorsports Ford Focus Daytona Prototype are other Daytona Prototypes making their first appearances at Daytona. Both cars have tested at other facilities, but this weekend's test is their first at the 3.56-mile road course.

"This place is unique," said Darren Law, co-driver of the No. 8 car. "As much testing as we do wherever we go, we can't test for (the Rolex 24) without being here. We can't go without this. This is invaluable.

"Obviously we want to keep developing the car being that it's new. We've got a lot of stuff that we're trying. But more than anything we just want to put some time on it and check the reliability of it. That's going to be the biggest issue with this class."

Boris Said, who'll be joining Law, Dieter Quester and Luca Riccitelli had his way of explaining how to work out the kinks in a brand new race car.

"Cars are like girls I've dated, Said mused. "They're finicky. You have to find out what it likes and what it wants to get the most out of it. It's the same thing. We are just experimenting and trying different things. So hopefully we'll be ready to dance later."

Rolex 24 testing continues on Saturday and Sunday and is open and free to the public with access to a section of the Oldfield Grandstand through the lobby of DAYTONA USA.

Tickets for the Rolex 24 At Daytona are available online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling the Speedway ticket office at (386) 253-7223.

<pre> Top 10 Rolex Sports Car Series Speeds 1. No. 58 Brumos Racing Porsche FABCAR (DP) 117.660 mph 2. No. 59 Brumos Racing Porsche FABCAR (DP) 115.305 3. No. 40 Derhaag Motorsports Corvette (GTS) 115.069 4. No. 88 Multimatic Motorsports Ford Multimatic (DP) 115.015 5. No. 29 Sky Blue Racing Mustang (GTS) 113.836 6. No. 8 G&W Motorsports BMW Picchio (DP) 113.400 7. No. 45 Orbit Racing Porsche GT3 R (GT) 113.139 8. No. 43 Orbit Racing Porsche GT3 R (GT) 112.841 9. No. 3 Cegwa Sport Toyota FABCAR (DP) 112.198 10. No. 83 Rennwerks Motorsports Porsche GT3 R (GT) 111.965

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Series GRANDAM