Spirit of Daytona Racing Takes Best Finish for Porsche-powered Daytona Prototypes in Porsche 250 (Birmingham, AL) 19 July 09 -- Spirit of Daytona Racing captured the best Daytona Prototype finish in team history on Sunday at Barber Motorsports...
Spirit of Daytona Racing Takes Best Finish for Porsche-powered Daytona Prototypes in Porsche 250
(Birmingham, AL) 19 July 09 -- Spirit of Daytona Racing captured the best Daytona Prototype finish in team history on Sunday at Barber Motorsports Park, finishing fourth in the Porsche 250 presented by Legacy Credit Union with the No. 09 Porsche V8-powered Coyote as drivers Antonio Garcia and Buddy Rice combined for a strong Rolex Sports Car Series outing.
Despite utilizing the older Coyote chassis, the Rolex 24 At Daytona-wining duo made the most of the machine's ability to run well in low-grip situations to post the best finish of any Porsche-powered Daytona Prototype for Spirit of Daytona Racing once again.
"To take fourth with this car is like a win for us," said team owner Troy Flis. "It's a top-ten car, but with these guys (Antonio and Buddy), they got it up to fourth. Even though this isn't the car we planned on racing, I'm really happy to come out of here with this result today. It's also great to have the best-finishing Porsche-powered car here in a Porsche-sponsored event, so that's just one more good thing out of the weekend! Now everyone is really looking forward to seeing what we can do at the Glen."
Garcia opened the race from fifth on the grid before moving up to race in the top two, taking the lead briefly before pulling into the pits to turn the machine over to Rice, who was making his first start on the 2.3 mile Alabama-area road course.
"I was thinking most of the time of the number 90 car, because we would have been even better!" joked Garcia after getting out of the AMA-liveried Coyote. "I really enjoyed the first stint of the race. I was taking it a bit easy with the tires and being careful to try to not over drive it. It was the same for everybody of course. The rubber off-line made it hard sometimes with the GT traffic, but it was great to have this car lead and run so strongly. We were there not by chance so it was a good start to the race."
Rice has made Rolex Sports Car Series race starts going back to 2002, but has most recently been focused on the endurance events like the Rolex 24 At Daytona that he won this January. So the Arizona native was looking to not only learn the Barber track, but also to get more familiar with some of his competition in the Rolex Series.
"I had never been here and didn't really have a lot of seat time before the race started, but overall this was a real solid day for us," said Rice. "The team did a great job, and I was just trying to learn more about how these guys race in the sprint events because there is even more intensity in these short races. It's great to get the best Porsche finish on a Porsche track, and now hopefully we can just pick up on this when we get the new car back for the Glen."
Upstate New York's Watkins Glen will set the stage for round 9 of the Rolex Sports Car Series as part of the NASCAR Sprint Cup weekend.