Daytona 24: SAMAX Thursday report

Tuttle Team Racing/SAMAX will start the Rolex 24 At Daytona from 28th on the 70-car grid after locking in a start position during the first of two qualifying sessions. Brian Tuttle qualified the No. 11 BMW-powered Riley Mk XI he shares with Kyle...

Tuttle Team Racing/SAMAX will start the Rolex 24 At Daytona from 28th on the 70-car grid after locking in a start position during the first of two qualifying sessions. Brian Tuttle qualified the No. 11 BMW-powered Riley Mk XI he shares with Kyle Petty and Boris Said.

The team's GT cars will qualify again, looking to improve on their Friday class positions of 12th (Johnny Mowlem in the No. 17 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car) and 23rd (Dave Lacey in the No. 71 SAMAX/Doncaster Racing Porsche). Mowlem noted: "My first lap in qualifying was the first lap that the car turned today. We had new [brake] discs and pads, and then they black-flagged it. I had three laps to bed some pads and discs in and try to set a respectable time. I'm very disappointed we couldn't show the team's and the car's potential."

MD salute

The No. 17 SAMAX Porsche carries the Muscular Dystrophy Canada slogan -- "let's make muscles move". It's a special hello to David Shep's son Darrin, 16, who has a rare form of muscular dystrophy. Darrin will be avidly watching the Rolex 24 race telecasts. "Having a special-needs child is a life-awakening experience. It was the motivating factor for me leaving the workplace to spend quality time with him. It's been fantastic!" David Shep said. "He's a wonderful young man with an amazing sense of humor. Our family motto is to never give up. We live one day at a time and ensure that each day is fun and stress-free."

Brent Martini, who drives the No. 71 Porsche, is involved with Canine Support Teams, which raises and trains dogs for children like Darrin Shep who are confined to wheelchairs. "The dogs are companions, which makes an enormous difference in the kids' lives," Martini said. "Kids who are wheelchair-bound are seen as misfits or outcasts, but when they have animals, it seems to break the barrier of people being uncomfortable with their situation. It helps their development and helps them become part of the community."

fast design

Bryan Sellers has a fast sponsor. 3-Dimensional Services Group provides services in design engineering, rapid prototyping, casting, injection molding, laser processing and machining. Preparing for les 24 Heures du Mans last year, Seller's team needed a redesigned splitter for the car -- immediately. 3-Dimensional had mold prototypes completed in one day. "It's wild, all the stuff they do. The speed and rate of the prototyping and the range of everything they can do is really impressive," Sellers said. "They've been one of my biggest and longest supporters, since 1999. They followed me the whole way."

Said speed

Boris Said's son, Boris Jr., celebrated his second birthday this week with a party at an indoor go-kart track. "He's been going there since he was six months old. All the kids ride on our laps," Said reported. The youngster will have a new home track in April, when father Boris opens K1 Speed by Boris Said in Irvine, Calif.

-samax-

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Series Grand-Am
Drivers Kyle Petty , Boris Said , Johnny Mowlem , Dave Lacey , Brent Martini , David Shep , Bryan Sellers , Brian Tuttle