Daytona 24: Lola's 1-2-3, new watches for Seattle/Essex.

The Lola B2K/40 Nissan of Don Kitch/Ross Bentley/Joe Pruskowski and Justin Pruskowski won the SportsRacing Prototype 2 class at Daytona yesterday, finishing 7th overall having completed 652 laps. TeamSeattle, which entered the car in conjunction...

The Lola B2K/40 Nissan of Don Kitch/Ross Bentley/Joe Pruskowski and Justin Pruskowski won the SportsRacing Prototype 2 class at Daytona yesterday, finishing 7th overall having completed 652 laps. TeamSeattle, which entered the car in conjunction with Essex Racing this year and was overseen by Tony Dowe and Mike Gue, not only took home four Rolex watches but also raised more than $100,000 for Seattle's Children's Hospital. The teams second chassis, with Wade Gaughran/Peter Macleod/David Gaylord and Steven Gorriaran behind the wheel finished directly behind the winners to make it a Seattle/Essex Lola 1-2.

Kitch, Ross Bentley, Joe Pruskowski and Justin Pruskowskipiloted the team's Lola to the class win, after the Lucchini Engineering Lucchini- Nissan of Piergiuseppe Peroni/Filippo Franchioni and Mirko Savoldi led the class for several hours, but dropped out with engine failure in the early hours of the morning. Both Lola's ran faultlessly to the finish to make it a clean sweep for Lola sportscars in the classic endurance races. In 2000, Multimatic scored a class win in the 675 spec B2K/40 at Le Mans, and last year John Field's Intersport team took the class honoursat the Sebring 12 hours in the Lola MG EX257.

"You can't get any sweeter than this. A 1-2 finish and $125,000 for the kids. Motor racing at its absolute best. We get to race a fantastic car with a fantastic team, we get to make money for our kids and we represent the beautiful city of Seattle," said driver and team co-founder Don Kitch Jr. 

Founded in 1907, Children's Hospital and Regional MedicalCentre is the premier regional paediatric care centre in the Pacific Northwest, with national prominence for its clinical expertise and affiliation with the University of Washington School of Medicine. The hospital's mission is t o provide excellent patient care, state-of the-art education and research, and highly credible advocacy on behalf of the health care needs of children in Washington, Alaska, Montana and Idaho. 

Team Seattle was founded in 1997 bySeattle racecar driver Don Kitch, Jr. "The first year was supposed to be a one-off deal to raise $60,000 for the kids," he said. "Here we are now, having raised over $1.2 million for the hospital."

The Archangel run Lola B2K/40 of Larry Oberto/Chris Bingham/Brian DeVries and NASCAR star Derrick Cope finished third but were delayed during the night and were classified 18th overall.

Overall honours at Daytonawent to the Racers Group Porsche GT3RS of Kevin Buckler/Michael Schrom/ Timo Bernhard and Jorg Bergmeister. They finished 9 laps ahead of the Ralf Kelleners/Anthony Lazzaro/ Johnny Mowlem Risi Ferrari 360 GT. The new Daytona Prototypes led the early stages of the event but gradually fell back. The Multimatic Ford Focus and the Brumos Porsche both took turns in leading but were delayed through a combination of technical problems and accidents

The Morgan-DollarCorvetter established a comfortable 12-lap lead in the GTS category, and looked set for victory until the team had a number of problems, the most serious of which saw the gearshift lever shear off in driver Rob Morgan's hand! This handed the class win to the Perspective Racing Mosler 900R, driven by Briton Andy Wallace, even though the car was suffering from overheating.

The next event to see Lola's in action will be the Sebring 12 hours next month whereeight cars (a combination of B2K/40's and Lola MG EX257's) are entered.Lola Cars will also be represented in this years FIA Sportscar Championship which is provisionally scheduled to kick off at Estoril on April 14.

-lola-

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Andy Wallace , Chris Bingham , Ralf Kelleners , Anthony Lazzaro , Kevin Buckler , Jörg Bergmeister , Timo Bernhard , Michael Schrom , Joe Pruskowski , Derrick Cope , Rob Morgan , Ross Bentley , Justin Pruskowski , Larry Oberto , Don Kitch Jr. , Wade Gaughran , David Gaylord , Steven Gorriaran