Ten Motorsports and Finlay Motorsports Capture High Marks in an Impressive Start To Daytona Test DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., January 7, 2005 -- A day of anticipation for the Ten Motorsports team began with an injection of angst just minutes into the...
Ten Motorsports and Finlay Motorsports Capture High Marks in an Impressive Start To Daytona Test
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., January 7, 2005 -- A day of anticipation for the Ten Motorsports team began with an injection of angst just minutes into the first practice session. Michael McDowell, in an attempt to maneuver around a stalled car, was forced across the infield as the immobile car suddenly sprang to life, blocking his line, yielding damage to the front end of the Daytona Prototype. Despite having only spent enough time on the track to complete several laps, McDowell showed his talent by holding onto the sixth fastest lap time of the session -- a sign of how the Ten Motorsports team would fair throughout the first day of testing.
A disappointed McDowell assessed the situation; "I came upon the car pretty quickly as I realized it wasn't up to speed. I had just enough time to react and take the high line, but as I did, the car got going again and took away my angle sending me into the grass." McDowell kept his chin up, "Hey, it could've been much worse, I feel fortunate to escape with only minor damage. We've got a long way to go this weekend for testing, and we're going to need to be in tip-top shape to get where we need to be."
As soon as the number 19 reached the paddock, the Ten Motorsports crew swarmed the damaged vehicle. In a matter of hours, the wreckage was repaired and a new adjustable rear end was installed in time for Memo Gidley to partake in the second practice session. In what is becoming old-hat for the rookie team, they captured another top-ten lap time, with the fourth fastest overall -- just one-half second off the pole. Gidley was very pleased overall with the car, "It's tough to know what to expect following any sort of mishap no matter how minor, but it handled terrifically as the results show."
The Ten Motorsports' Daytona Prototype finished off the night on the right note, completing the final provisional in possession of the sixth fastest lap on a track that grew progressively slower as the night wore on. Michael Valiante and Jonathan Bomarito joined McDowell and Gidley in the evening for their first opportunity to take the wheel during the test.
The Finlay Motorsports BMW M3, driven by McDowell and team owner Rob Finlay, was equally impressive on the first day of testing. McDowell's class best 2:05.7 lap time in the first Grand-Am Cup provisional was followed by an eighth best in the second.
Look for both teams to duplicate their efforts on the second day of testing at Daytona International Speedway.