Daytona 24: Bullet Racing race report

Bullet Racing Debuts with Strong Daytona Rolex 24 Finish DAYTONA BEACH, Fla (January 27, 2008) Bullet Racing of Vancouver B.C., Grand-Am's newest team, achieved a thrilling result at the 46th running of the Rolex 24 at Daytona Sunday by grabbing...

Bullet Racing Debuts with Strong Daytona Rolex 24 Finish

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla (January 27, 2008) Bullet Racing of Vancouver B.C., Grand-Am's newest team, achieved a thrilling result at the 46th running of the Rolex 24 at Daytona Sunday by grabbing an outstanding 14th place finish from a field of 41 total GT starters. Bullet Racing, led by Steve Paquette, was making their first appearance in Grand-Am competition and opened more than a few eyes as they completed the event in flawless fashion both on the track and in the pits; no incidents, no mechanicals, no penalties, and no damage.

Paquette, himself having won a number of class championships in Canada and the USA, assembled an eclectic group of drivers led by Glen Nixon of Mission, B.C., a Elf Academy graduate with a wide variety of Canadian sports car and sedan successes. He was joined by Zach Arnold of Tiffin, Ohio who had two previous Daytona entries in his background, and rookie Dyrk Van Zandt of Gresham, Oregon. This driver lineup would be sharing track space with names including Montoya, Fittipaldi, Jimmie Johnson, Tony Stewart and Max Papis just to name a few. Some might be intimidated but not this group.

The Bullet team took a studied approach to the task, putting emphasis on car preparation and reliability. The recognized priority was to run fast but without incident, and insure a quality finish for the event. Their efforts were rewarded as each driver contributed according to plan. The Bullet entry progressed through the 41 car GT field after starting 39th, to achieve their final 14th place finish.

Norm Olynuk led the pit and support crew as they performed error free pit stops for fuel, tires and brakes. He and his crew also calmly addressed some daunting challenges caused by heavy rain in the night time hours. Indeed the quick thinking Olynuk quickly solved a throttle sticking issue in the pit stall, avoiding a possible costly visit to the garage area and preserving valuable track position.

Quotes: Steve Paquette, Team Owner and Manager: "I am so proud of everyone on this team. We might be a new team in Grand-Am but we proved we can compete with the larger veteran teams. We stuck to our plan and achieved a complete 24 hour race in our first event, something many said was just not possible."

"This was a total team effort with stellar contributions from every single member of the Bullet group. This is but a first step for our team. We achieved a complete race with an excellent finish. Now we prepare for the next events and improve our results."

"Today is a day filled with emotion, not just for me but everyone in my family and on this team. We will remember this forever."

Victor Durman, Team Co-Owner: "These guys are amazing. They worked tirelessly to bring the best prepared car to Daytona. They vowed to finish and they did. Steve has assembled a group of talented racing professionals and they accomplished a flawless performance. They gave our group of drivers the kind of support needed to gain a great finish. What a fabulous start to a full season of Grand-Am competition in the Rolex series."

Glen Nixon, lead driver: "I have dreamed about competing in Grand-Am, and the Rolex 24 is the biggest event in the entire series. When Steve committed to this program in December, we worked hard to prepare, prepare, prepare. My own company has the motto "Live the Dream" and nothing could demonstrate this more than our performance today. Although we faced challenges today we never gave up, never skipped a beat, and now we get to celebrate. It feels great."

Zach Arnold, driver: "This Bullet crew certainly knows how to prepare a car. It was amazing on my first stint and remained amazing throughout the race, rain or dry. The spotters were a great help and they were a great help in such a busy environment. They kept me out of trouble. I have to say that Bullet has a ton of potential in Grand-Am."

Dyrk Van Zanten, Jr., driver: "I have to recognize the immense support I received from everyone on this team. It is no secret I came with the least experience but the team never faltered in their support. Steve, and everyone else was very clear in directing me in my role. Norm and the spotters talked me through everything. I loved this experience and really look forward to more races with Bullet this year and beyond."

-credit: br

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Max Papis , Jimmie Johnson , Zach Arnold , Steve Paquette