Grand Sport pole winners Matt Plumb and Nick Longhi won the Grand-Am 200 Friday at Daytona International Speedway, giving Rum-Bum Racing its second consecutive overall victory in the opening round of the Continental Tire Sports Car...
BMW and Volkswagen teams prevail in the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge at Daytona
Grand Sport pole winners Matt Plumb and Nick Longhi won the Grand-Am 200 Friday at Daytona International Speedway, giving Rum-Bum Racing its second consecutive overall victory in the opening round of the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge series. The Multimatic Motorsports Boss 302 Ford Mustang of Scott Maxwell and Joe Foster finished second, followed by the Turner Motorsport BMW M3 shared by Bill Auberlen and Paul Dalla Lana.
"We felt good going into the race," said Plumb, who took the lead on Lap 46 and held it until the checkered flag. "The Mustang was strong at the end and I was lucky to hold him off at the end."
The 62-lap race finished under caution.
Ian Baas and Ryan Ellis prevailed in the Street Tuner class in the APR Motorsport Volkswagen GTI, also from the class pole. The Kinetic Motorsports Kia Forte driven by Nic Jonsson and Andy Lally ended up second and Gregory Liefooghe and John Capestro-Dubets came home third in the BimmerWorld Racing BMW 328i.
"The last few laps were absolutely crazy," said Baas. "I was definitely driving through my mirrors at the end, but all of this crazy stuff was happening in front of us. I was finally able to breathe when the double yellows flew at the end."
The race featured 77 cars, seven different leaders, and six caution periods for a total of 17 laps.
The No. 99 Gainsco Bob Stallings Chevrolet Riley was the fastest in the final practice for the Rolex 24.
If either Jimmie Johnson or Jamie McMurray were to win the Rolex 24 this weekend, they would join Mario Andretti and AJ Foyt as the only drivers to win both the Daytona 500 and the Rolex 24.
Grand-Am has approved the new Ferrari 458 Italia for Rolex Sports Car Series GT class competition. The car is derived from their GT3 car, which is similar to the type of car Porsche runs in the Rolex Series. The first car should be ready for testing prior to the third race of the season, at Barber Motorsports Park. Three Ferraris will contest this weekend's Rolex 24.
2011 marks the 35th anniversary of BMW's only overall victory in the Rolex 24. Peter Gregg, Brian Redman, and John Fitzpatrick drove a BMW CSL to the win that year. BMW has three class victories in the Rolex 24 (1981, 1997, and 1998).
Continental Tire is now the official tire of the Rolex Series and all cars in the Daytona Prototype and GT class will race on the company's new ExtremeContact DR race tire. Continental Tire is among the leading automotive suppliers in the world, employing 149,000 people in 46 countries.
SPEED will broadcast live coverage of the Rolex 24 this weekend. Saturday's coverage will begin at 3 p.m. run until 10 p.m. ET, and Sunday's coverage will begin at 9 a.m. ET and conclude at 4 p.m. SPEED will broadcast all 12 rounds of the Rolex Series in 2011.