Daytona 24: VICI Racing preview

XM Satellite Radio And VICI Racing Team Up For The Rolex 24 At Daytona Miami - VICI RACING and XM Satellite Radio will team up to take part in this weekend's Rolex 24 at Daytona, Fla. XM, the nation's largest satellite radio company and the ...

XM Satellite Radio And VICI Racing Team Up For The Rolex 24 At Daytona

Miami - VICI RACING and XM Satellite Radio will team up to take part in this weekend's Rolex 24 at Daytona, Fla. XM, the nation's largest satellite radio company and the exclusive home to racing's biggest stars, Miami-based VICI Racing are now set to enter the third year of a partnership that has seen them successfully join forces on the international race tracks. XM is the exclusive satellite radio partner to Porsche Cars of North America, Inc.

XM Satellite Radio VICI Racing will enter the #18 Porsche-Fabcar in the 45th Rolex 24 at Daytona, which starts at 1:30PM EST on Saturday, January 27. One of the world's most legendary sportscar races, the Rolex 24 has once more attracted the very cream of international sportscar racing teams.

"We're delighted to be able to take part in the Rolex 24 this year in partnership with XM," says VICI RACING Commercial Manager Bill Colleran. "We have enjoyed an excellent relationship with them over the past two seasons and I believe we both share many common synergies: burning ambition and the drive to be winners all the time. They are highly professional and clearly focused, allowing us the move forward together."

XM Satellite Radio VICI RACING will start this week with a new car, new engine, new drivers and a majority of new team personnel, a challenge the team is relishing. In fact VICI RACING took delivery of the #18 Porsche- Fabcar just days prior to Christmas, but was able to gain valuable track time earlier this month during the official Daytona Test Days. The test also gave XM Satellite Radio VICI RACING the opportunity to give its new international driver line-up useful time in the cockpit, and for certain members, the first opportunity to learn this highly demanding 3.56-mile road course for the first time.

"We were very pleased with the progress we achieved during the official test days," comments VICI RACING Team President Ron C. Meixner, himself a veteran Joest Porsche Group C driver with factory backed Porsche 962 and IMSA GTP programmes. "Our new package was completely untested, and in fact finished just hours before the test, so we were starting from a very low entry point. However we were able to work through our objectives, iron out a string of issues, and were able to start evaluating setups. I was also delighted with the performance of our drivers, all are very fast and bring to the team a real blend of youth and experience, providing I believe an ideal scenario for the Daytona race."

Although the package is virtually all-new VICI RACING has much experience of getting up to speed straight out of the box; one of the team's most famous track victories came with the Porsche 911 when they won the GT class of the 1994 Daytona 24 Hours. The team's first ever race in the United States, all the components of the package were new. The team crew was to a mix of US, Swiss and German drivers and mechanics, and with the programme being put together in such a short time some of them only met the first time at Daytona, and language barriers were also to be encountered team manager for the event. The race proved to be a stunning success and one which put the name of VICI RACING firmly on the map. In their very first participation in a long distance race the team steamrollered their way to class victory after 24 hours of tough racing. Not only this, but they finished a whole hour ahead of the second placed Porsche, having snatched the class lead after 7 hours battling the leading Corvette. They never surrendered the GT lead once during the final 17 hours of racing.

Now XM Satellite Radio VICI RACING is rising to the immortal Daytona challenge once more, bringing key engineering personnel over from their German base to assemble five seasoned drivers:

Uwe Altzen is a former Porsche Carrera Cup and Porsche Supercup champion; a veteran professional racing driver who brings a wealth of long-distance hour sports car racing experience to VICI Racing, having finished on the podium in the Le Mans 24 Hours and the Nurburgring 24 Hours races; as well as in the Daytona 24 Hours, where in 1998 he won the GT1 class for Porsche as well as finishing a highly impressive second overall. The German, who has also driven in the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (DTM), International Touring Car Championship (ITC) and the German STW Supertouring series, has spent much of his professional racing career driving Porsche race cars. Gaston Mazzacane is Argentina's most recent Formula 1 driver having competed in 21 Grands Prix for Minardi (2001) and Prost (2002) teams. In 2004 he crossed the Atlantic to race in Champ Cars. The second German driver in the line-up is Robert Renauer who has recently raced in the Porsche Supercup series; the youngster has a growing reputation for being very quick.

Terry Borcheller began racing professionally in 1991. The American has vast experience in US sports car racing and has six important drivers' titles to his name. These include three Grand- American Rolex Sports Car Series titles: GTO (2000), SRP II (2002) and Daytona Prototype (2003). His other championships are the IMSA Speedvision Cup, Grand Sport (1998), the T-1 class of the SCCA SPEED World Challenge (1998) and the IMSA American Le Mans Series, GTS class, (2001). He has also won the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona (2004).

Nicky Pastorelli is another promising young driver. The 23- year-old Dutchman shot to prominence by winning the 2004 European F3000 Championship, before testing for the Minardi F1 Team and being signed as official Jordan F1 driver in 2005. Last year Pastorelli drove in Champ Car as well as being third driver for Midland F1.

The #18 XM SATELLITE VICI RACING Porsche-Fabcar will take to the track at Daytona on Wednesday (January 24) for what promises to be an exciting week.


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Series Grand-Am
Drivers Gaston Mazzacane , Terry Borcheller , Nicky Pastorelli , Robert Renauer