New Spirit of Daytona Racing Coyote Returns to Race Action at Watkins Glen DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Aug. 5, 2009) -- Less than three weeks after giving Spirit of Daytona Racing a best ever Daytona Prototype finish in Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car...
New Spirit of Daytona Racing Coyote Returns to Race Action at Watkins Glen
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Aug. 5, 2009) -- Less than three weeks after giving Spirit of Daytona Racing a best ever Daytona Prototype finish in Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series competition, Rolex 24 At Daytona winners Buddy Rice and Antonio Garcia head to Watkins Glen International this weekend seeking the team's first Daytona Prototype podium.
Beyond being the best to date for the team, the result at Barber was all the more remarkable as Garcia and Rice co-drove Spirit of Daytona's secondary car, an earlier-specification Coyote fitted with Porsche V8 power, to a strong fourth place finish.
The primary machine is the new-specification Coyote chassis with the Porsche V8-based powerplant which debuted at Daytona International Speedway in the Brumos Porsche 250, but retired following a mid-race accident. That incident was a setback for the team as it works to develop the new Coyote, but with the No. 90 Boy Scouts of America machine repaired and ready to go this weekend, the team is looking forward to making up lost ground in the Crown Royal 200.
Rice, the only driver currently in the Rolex Series with both a Rolex 24 and Indianapolis 500 victory to his credit, and Garcia finished fourth at Barber, and Garcia led the first laps in the car since the Rolex 24. Coming off that finish, and knowing Spirit of Daytona is a former AGT class winner at Watkins Glen, both drivers are confident they can put the No. 09 up front in the two-hour Crown Royal 200 at The Glen, which begins at 6:30 p.m. Friday.
The team is also looking to avenge a disappointing race weekend at Watkins Glen just two months ago. With Garcia scheduled to have made his initial appearance with the team at that race with veteran Guy Cosmo and rookie Scott Russell, the trio prepared to put a solid effort together in the Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen after posting a 12th-place qualifying position. However, Cosmo pulled the car in less than an hour after the green flag flew, with transmission problems prematurely ending the team's day.
"We are ready to go," said team owner Troy Flis. "We would have liked of course to have had the new car at Barber to get those miles in, but we all knew the old car was good in the low-grip situations, and we showed that with our result. It was a good boost for everyone working on this program, and now we are ready with the new car so everyone is optimistic about the weekend. Of course, we wish there were a few extra days for us to run the car and keep learning it, but we'll just make the most of the track time we have. We have a program established and benchmarks that we want to hit, and we just want to stick to that program and establish a base with this car. Hopefully we can do that, and also be competitive in the race!"