Daytona 24: GM Racing hour six notes

Pontiac Racers Look Strong Going Into Night Fall at Daytona Lowe's ...

Pontiac Racers Look Strong Going Into Night Fall at Daytona
Lowe's #91 Leads Pontiac Charge in DP, Banner in GT at Six Hours

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. Jan. 27, 2007 - Pontiac powered Daytona Prototypes (DP) led the 69 car field to the green flag this afternoon for the start of the 45th running of the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Special Reserve season opening Rolex 24 at Daytona.

Alex Gurney managed to lead the first six laps before having contact with a stricken GT car causing the pole sitter to limp around to the pits for extensive repairs. The result was the No. 99 Gainsco Pontiac Riley going 20 laps down.

The top running Pontiac powered DP car is currently the No. 91 Lowe's Pontiac Riley currently shown in second position. Reigning NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson just relinquished the wheel to teammate Ryan Hunter-Reay.

"I had a good run," Johnson relayed. "I was trying to keep pace with Montoya, on some laps I would gain and on some I would lose, but the gap was pretty close. The traffic with all of these cars really keeps you focused. The track, off the line, is pretty dirty and that will make it hard to pass as the night goes on. I am used to running around with here with guys going about the same speed. There is possible rain, I am looking forward to it. The last time I raced in the 24 it rained most of the night. The team has a good set-up in the rain and we should be strong."

The Banner Engineering Pontiac GXP.R racecars are having a trouble free run in GT. The Nos. 06 and 07 GXP.Rs are running consistently in the top ten, currently sixth and seventh.

"I had a little trouble exiting the pits when I got in for my first stint," said Leighton Reese. "We managed to move up and the cars are really running well. It is tough when you get a good lap going and you have to yield to a DP car. There is a long way to go."

Newly signed GM factory driver Lawson Aschenbach started the No.30 Racers Edge Pontiac GXP.R from the back of the grid due to issues suffered in practice. The 30 team is currently running in 28th place.

"We had a driveshaft break in the first practice session of the weekend and then again just nine laps into the race," Aschenbach commented. "That is a tough way to start a 24-hour race by spending nearly 45-minutes in the garage. I was just getting into a rhythm on the track, letting the early jitters and traffic sort itself out. I was about to start picking off the guys in front of me when the driveshaft went and I had to come in for repair."

-credit: gm racing

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Alex Gurney , Jimmie Johnson , Leighton Reese , Lawson Aschenbach