Daytona 24: MSR/Fusion Racing's Canadian ties

B.C. based Financial Firm Provides an Extremely Rare Canadian Combination at Rolex 24 Canadian drivers Paul Tracy and Kenny Wilden drive for Canadian owned team with a Canadian sponsor. (Daytona, FL) 27 January 06 - Abbotsford B.C. based ...

B.C. based Financial Firm Provides an Extremely Rare Canadian Combination at Rolex 24

Canadian drivers Paul Tracy and Kenny Wilden drive for Canadian owned team with a Canadian sponsor.

(Daytona, FL) 27 January 06 - Abbotsford B.C. based wealth management and investment banking firm Graydon Elliott Group is making sure there is a solid Canadian presence at the 2006 Grand American Rolex 24 hour race this weekend in Daytona.

The relatively young financial firm with locations in Abbotsford, Vancouver and Toronto, is the title sponsor for the #6 Lexus-Riley Daytona Prototype, one of the few Canadian owned teams to ever participate in the series, Fusion Racing with MSR.

Fusion Racing, also based in the Fraser Valley of British Columbia, has attracted two very talented Canadian drivers for this race. Paul Tracy, 2003 Champ Car World Series Champion who has 30 wins in the category including five on Canadian soil, will join the team as a guest driver for the 24. Toronto's Kenny Wilden, who had great success in the Toyota Atlantic Series, will drive for the team for the entire 2006 season.

Tracy admits he was attracted to the Graydon Elliott opportunity not only because of the Canadian content but because the team is solid.

"It's an opportunity for me to grow with what they (Graydon Elliott and Fusion Racing) are trying to do in the US. This is a good team with a good car and I'd like to do what I can to help a group of guys from Canada break into the US. It's a win-win for everyone," Tracy said.

Tracy is hoping for a win on the track as well. He raced in the Rolex 24 last year, but gremlins kept the team from making a strong finish. This year once again Tracy wanted to be a part of the international field of drivers who enjoy the grueling challenge of driving in a round-the-clock competition.

Teammate Kenny Wilden, who has 18 years of driving experience in several different racing series is excited about driving for the Graydon Elliott entry for the full 2006 Rolex Series season also because it is so rare to be a part of such a heavily Canadian team.

"It is extremely rare to find a Canadian team sponsored by a Canadian company with a couple of Canadian drivers," Wilden said. "Canadians have to work harder to make it in racing, but generally once they can dig sponsorship out they can compete and win."

Graydon Elliott President and CEO Rodney Gelineau agrees, adding that Wilden's statement parallels what he has experienced during his career in the financial world as well. The explosive growth of the series which almost appears to be busting at the seams, also parallels the growth of Graydon Elliott. The financial services company has expanded from one office in the spring of 2003, to a multi-location business with more than 40 employees in less than three years.

"We decided to get involved in the series in 2004 and I am impressed with the caliber of sponsors and the growing field of cars since we came looking for a team to work with. This is a premier race event with drivers from all over the world and we are thrilled to be a part of it," he said.

Things will start to count beginning at noon on Saturday, as seventy cars will line up for the green flag in the quest for one of racings most portable trophies-the Rolex watch that adorns the wrist of each race winner.

Speed Channel will be providing over thirteen hours of live coverage, commencing with the race start and following the final hours to the checkered flag.

-msr/fusion-

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Series Grand-Am
Drivers Paul Tracy