Target Chip Ganassi Racing Team to Compete in Rolex 24 at Daytona Daytona Beach, FL, January 8, 2005 -- Target Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates will begin their season just a little earlier than usual as they will field one-time Daytona ...
Target Chip Ganassi Racing Team to Compete in Rolex 24 at Daytona
Daytona Beach, FL, January 8, 2005 -- Target Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates will begin their season just a little earlier than usual as they will field one-time Daytona Prototype entry for the prestigious Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona race in Daytona Beach, Fla. February 3-6. The no. 03 Target Lexus Riley will feature the Target driver super line-up of Casey Mears, Scott Dixon and Darren Manning. It will be one of three Chip Ganassi Racing entries for the signature race of the Rolex Grand American Sports Car Series.
"It was an obvious extension of our long standing partnership with Target to field a car for this prestigious race," said owner Chip Ganassi as he oversaw the first day of testing for the Rolex 24 at Daytona. "It's the first opportunity we've had to bring our three Target drivers together from both the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup and IndyCar Series' and put them in one car to compete as one team. Make no mistake about it, they'll be looking to challenge for the win."
Scott Dixon, 2003 IndyCar Series Champion and driver of the no.9 Target Toyota, has some sports car experience on his side. This will be his second participation in the Rolex 24 hours of Daytona race, and his third Rolex series race following a third place podium finish in the Grand Am Series finale in Fontana last October with co-driver and Target teammate Darren Manning.
"Last year's Daytona 24 hour race was quite an experience and I think it'll be great to have all three Target drivers together in the no.03 Target Lexus Riley," said Dixon. "Both Darren and I have a little more experience now after the podium in the Rolex season finale last year at Fontana and I know Casey's going to pick it up really quickly. This is going to be a really fun event but it's also going to be ultra competitive out there."
Darren Manning, driver of the no.10 Target Toyota in the IndyCar Series, relished his first initiation to the Daytona Prototype Lexus Riley, but is looking forward to the challenges and experience of a 24 hour endurance race on the 3.56-mile road circuit.
"I got a good taste of what Grand Am racing is like last year at Fontana, but this will be my first 24 hour endurance race and I'm really excited about it," said Manning. "There are so many things that can happen in a two hour race, and this will be like running 12 races back-to-back, so it's going to be really interesting. The three of us all have good road course experience and we work really well together, so I'm sure we'll be able to hold our own out there and give them all a run for their money."
Casey Mears, driver of the No.41 Target Dodge in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup series, took his first laps in the Lexus Riley during the test at the "World Center of Racing" in preparation for the Rolex 24 at Daytona.
"This will be something really fun, and new for me and I'm really looking forward to the race," said Mears, who scored two poles in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series in 2004. "These Lexus Riley Daytona Prototypes are a happy medium of various cars I have driven in the past. They have the downforce of an Indy car on the straight-aways and are slower in the corners like a stockcar. It's not too often that Scott and Darren and I get a chance to be in the same place at the same time, let alone share driving duties in the same Target car. It'll be a lot of fun, especially if we can make it to the checkered flag first."
Fans of Target Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates can catch the no.03 Target Lexus Riley in action at the Rolex 24 at Daytona International Speedway, LIVE on SPEED Channel, beginning at 12:00 PM (ET) on Saturday, February 5. Fans are also welcome to follow the team's progress throughout the Rolex 24 at Daytona race weekend by logging on to their official website at www.targetracing.com for news, features, photos and much more.