Daytona 24: AIM Autosport preview

AIM Autosport Gold racer AIM Autosport will race for gold this season, carrying the colors of Exchange Traded Gold and Barrick Gold Corporation in the Daytona Prototype class of the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series. The No. 61 Lexus-powered...

AIM Autosport
Gold racer

AIM Autosport will race for gold this season, carrying the colors of Exchange Traded Gold and Barrick Gold Corporation in the Daytona Prototype class of the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series. The No. 61 Lexus-powered Riley Mk XI will take the green flag for the season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona, set for Jan. 27 and 28 on the 3.56-mile Daytona International Speedway infield road course in Daytona Beach, Fla. David Empringham of Toronto, Brian and Burt Frisselle of Aspen, Co., and Mark Wilkins of Toronto will share driving duty.

Exchange Traded Gold securities, backed by allocated gold held in a vault, offer investors an innovative, cost-effective and secure way to invest in gold that is easier for individual investors than the gold commodity market. Barrick is a leading international gold mining company, with mines and projects on four continents and the largest unhedged reserves in the industry. They will be joined by two more new team sponsors -- RBC Royal Bank, Canada's largest bank, and Telus' Mike Network.

The team will provide more information about its 2007 program during a media conference at Daytona International Speedway on Friday, Jan. 26.

24-hour graphics

AIM team co-owner Ian Willis has already completed a 24-hour stint in preparation for the Rolex 24. He spent last Friday night at the race shop in Woodbridge, Ont., carefully applying decals so the race car would be ready when the crew arrived early Saturday morning.

"We've prepared a good car, but as a new team, we don't necessarily know if we have all the things that teams that have been doing this for a number of years will have, in terms of backups and spares and all of the little things you learn over the years," he said. "Our goal is to finish the race. I'm sure everybody says that for a 24-hour race, but for us, finishing is the biggest victory we could achieve in our first year."

team play

Mark Wilkins has been an integral part of the AIM DP program since it was first envisioned in 2005. He has worked with the crew for four months to help prepare for the 2007 season.

"The biggest challenge is still ahead of us. We've got a lot of work to do, but we've got all the people in place to do it. It's been a complete team effort to this point -- we wouldn't be where we are without the guys we have on the team. Everybody has put forth an unbelievable effort," he said.

"We all understand that we have a big learning curve ahead of us, but we're constantly thinking about ways to improve. If you look at the car, we've relocated all our radio wires and our drink bottle, we sat down and thought about what we wanted to do to make things easier and more efficient. Even though we've been so busy, we managed to get all the detailed stuff done in time for the race. That's all added benefit."

-credit: aim

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Burt Frisselle , Mark Wilkins