The No. 66 Krohn Racing/TRG Pontiac-powered Riley Mk XI will start third on the grid for the 2005 Rolex 24 At Daytona. Max Papis qualified the car in one minute 47.166 seconds on the 3.56-mile Daytona International Speedway infield road course,...
The No. 66 Krohn Racing/TRG Pontiac-powered Riley Mk XI will start third on the grid for the 2005 Rolex 24 At Daytona. Max Papis qualified the car in one minute 47.166 seconds on the 3.56-mile Daytona International Speedway infield road course, just 0.238 seconds off the pole position time. He is driving with Jorg Bergmeister and Oliver Gavin. The trio's teammates Nic Jonsson, Tracy Krohn, Jimmy Morales, Buddy Rice and Boris Said will qualify the No. 67 Riley on Friday.
"It was the first time we put the 66 car in the qualifying grid. I think we did a very, very good job; I'm proud of everyone in the Krohn/TRG organization," Papis said. "We have a little bit more to go, but the two people in front of us have a lot of experience. It's a good motivation for the race. We're up there in front, now we have to do it for 24 hours."
The Rolex 24 At Daytona will be the first race in a Daytona Prototype for General Motors factory driver Oliver Gavin. He usually races a Corvette, but has Pontiac power for this race.
"It's my first time driving in the Riley Pontiac and I'm enjoying it an awful lot," he said. "Both cars are a huge amount of fun to drive. The Corvette has got a lot of low-down torque and really punches up the corner, whereas the motor in the Pontiac will pull a little bit more at the top end. It's a bit of a slower burner -- it's still got plenty of punch, but it's not quite so aggressive as the Corvette. It isn't any better or worse. The Pontiac and the Chevrolet engines are both good engines and very strong engines. They just have two quite different characteristics, so you have to tune the car to that and tune yourself to that."
Max Papis and Buddy Rice are two of the 12 drivers selected to compete in the 2005 Crown Royal International Race of Champions (IROC) series. The four-race series carries a winner's purse of $1 million. The 12 drivers represent the Rolex Sports Car Series; NASCAR Nextel Cup, Busch and Craftsman Truck Series; Champ Car World Series; IRL IndyCar Series and World of Outlaws.
"I drove a Craftsman Truck late in 2003 and to drive something similar to a Cup car or a Busch car will be exciting," Rice said. "[The Rolex 24 At] Daytona is one of those deals where guys from a bunch of series can get together and race, and [IROC] is the same deal, only we get to do it four times."