Ten Motorsports Rolex 24 Lap 250 Update Daytona Beach, Fla. -- February 5, 2005 -- The Ten Motorsports team, making their rookie debut in one of racing's most famed venues, the Rolex 24 at Daytona, were thrilled to be given the opportunity to...
Ten Motorsports Rolex 24 Lap 250 Update
Daytona Beach, Fla. -- February 5, 2005 -- The Ten Motorsports team, making their rookie debut in one of racing's most famed venues, the Rolex 24 at Daytona, were thrilled to be given the opportunity to take part in the grueling test of mind, body and spirit.
Steve Cameron, team manager for the BMW-Riley, talked about the experience for his crew and drivers: "This is going to be one of the biggest challenges that these guys will ever face. It's a long and difficult race, and I know that everything we take away from these 24 hours will only help us the rest of the season."
Throughout practice over the past several months, including the provisional sessions leading up to the Rolex 24, the number 19 surprised the series, consistently making its way into the top-five. The feat is difficult for any team, never mind a team making their debut in the series.
Hoping to keep the same momentum in the Rolex 24, Memo Gidley started the race in the Make-A-Wish/United States Air Force Reserve Daytona Prototype in the same fashion as the team had become accustomed to, catapulting into sixth place from their starting position of 11th.
Michael McDowell took over the driving duties for Gidley, keeping the number 19 in the lead group, before some of the notoriety of the Rolex 24 took its toll. As Michael Valiante's turn came about, immediately issues arose with the steering rack and exhaust, forcing him into the garage for nearly an hour, dropping the team to 43rd overall.
Both Valiante and Jonathan Bomarito made courageous efforts to bring the Ten prototype back up the ladder to 34th overall, continuing to keep pace with the leaders through 252 laps, when the driver lineup came full circle, and Gidley once again took the wheel.
The Ten team will continue its pursuit of the leaders, knowing full-well that the gods of the Rolex 24 can just as easily change their fortune and land them on the podium -- bleary-eyed and exhausted from the most demanding race of their lives. As they say, there's still plenty of race left!