Daytona Rolex 24 testing news

No fewer than 67 cars took part in the three-day Daytona test last week and a full grid of 80 cars is expected for the 24-hours, the first round of the Grand-Am championship, next month. The race, won last year by Chrysler Viper Team ORECA, will...

No fewer than 67 cars took part in the three-day Daytona test last week and a full grid of 80 cars is expected for the 24-hours, the first round of the Grand-Am championship, next month. The race, won last year by Chrysler Viper Team ORECA, will see the debut of the Kevin Doran-prepared Crawford Judd, with owner Fredy Leinhard, Didier Theys, Mauro Baldi and Ross Bentley that wound up sixth fastest at the test.

No records were broken in three days, most teams setting their cars up and bearing in mind Corvette's last minute weight penalty last year! Jon and Clint Field were fastest in their Intersport Lola Judd, recording a 1m40.494, ahead of the Dyson R&S of Andy Wallace, Butch Leitzinger and James Weaver, second with a 1m41.210. Dyson has ordered two new Riley & Scott Mk IIICs for the rest of the season, but does not expect to take delivery until after Daytona. Elliott Forbes-Robinson, the 1999 American Le Mans Series drivers' champion, and Dyson himself, were third fastest.

With larger air restrictors, up from 34.7mm to 38mm, the Champion Racing Lola Porsche is fully competitive at the hands of Dorsey Schroeder, Hurley Haywood, Bob Wollek and Sascha Maassen. It is expected to be confirmed this week in Detroit that Dave Maraj's team will race one of this year's Audi R8s in the American Le Mans Series.

Canadian GT Champion Klaus Bytzek set the pace in GTS, setting a time of 1m47.220s in his Porsche 911 GT1 Evo, but his brother, Harry, saw is Porsche badly damaged by fire, a repetition of an incident during tests in December. Rn Fellows and Andy Pilgrim were second and fourth quickest in GTS in their Chevrolet Corvettes at 1m48.128s and 1m48.769s respectively, split by Gentilozzi's Saleen S7R. Dale Earnhardt Senior missed the test, blaming a heavy cold, leaving Earnhardt Jr to drive the 600bhp Chevrolet Corvette shared with Pilgrim.

Johnny O'Connell drove his last race for Panoz in Adelaide and will drive a GM Chevrolet Corvette in Daytona next month. O'Connell will team up with Ron Fellows, Chris Kneifel and Franck Freon. Panoz driver David Brabham has not been released from his contract to drive the Risi Competizione Ferrari with his friend Allan McNish and Ralf Kelleners. Belgian Eric van der Poele will drive instead. Risi missed the Daytona test last week as it is still awaiting the new Ferrari 333SP chassis from Italy.

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Andy Wallace , Dale Earnhardt , David Brabham , Allan McNish , Butch Leitzinger , Chris Kneifel , Ralf Kelleners , Didier Theys , Johnny O'Connell , Franck Freon , Andy Pilgrim , Mauro Baldi , Sascha Maassen , Elliott Forbes-Robinson , Dorsey Schroeder , Clint Field , Ross Bentley , Kevin Doran , Bob Wollek , Dave Maraj
Teams Risi Competizione