Track At Miami Favored By Pontiac DP and GT Teams Alike Howard-Boss Motorsports Drivers Had Much Success at Southern Race Track; Leading GT Class Pontiac GTO.Rs Successfully Tested Here in 2004 DENVER, N.C. - Andy Wallace and Butch Leitzinger,...
Track At Miami Favored By Pontiac DP and GT Teams Alike
Howard-Boss Motorsports Drivers Had Much Success at Southern Race Track; Leading GT Class Pontiac GTO.Rs Successfully Tested Here in 2004
DENVER, N.C. - Andy Wallace and Butch Leitzinger, both long-time sports car racers, have had good results at Homestead-Miami Speedway. In 2004, Wallace (then with teammate Milka Duno) won both Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series races held there. The following year, Howard-Boss Motorsports teammate Leitzinger finished second at Miami with Elliott Forbes-Robinson. Now, after successful December tests at the 2.3-mile road course, Wallace and Leitzinger are looking forward to the 250-mile event, especially since the two successful drivers are in the same car this season - the #4 BOSS Snowplow Pontiac Crawford Daytona Prototype (DP).
"Historically, Homestead has been a place where the Crawford has done very well," said Leitzinger. "(The car) seems to like the high banks of the speedway. We tested there (last year) and the test went very well; I believe Andy was the fastest during that test. So hopefully we can start to get some momentum - we had a good race in Mexico so we will continue that and start galloping toward getting some more points."
Despite a problematic car door (the team couldn't get it to close during the Mexico City race) the pair finished fourth on March 4 at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez. That successful finish coupled with a 15th place showing at the Rolex 24 At Daytona has put them tied for seventh in Rolex Series driver points and fifth in team points.
"The Crawford chassis has always been quick at Homestead," said Wallace. "So, straight away, we should be at a better level than we were at Daytona or Mexico. When we were testing there last December, we set the fastest time of the test so I am looking forward to returning now for the race. When we get to Homestead this time, we'll have some new shocks on the back that really 'stables' the car up."
The TRG Pontiac GTO.Rs, currently leading the Rolex Series GT class in team, driver and manufacturer points, have never raced at Homestead but have also tested extensively at the track. The Pratt & Miller-built racers had initial testing here in late 2004 with Paul Edwards as one of the drivers. Now sharing the #64 iRise/TRG Pontiac GTO.R with Kelly Collins, Edwards is as optimistic today as he was then.
"We've done a lot of miles at Homestead over the course of a couple of tests," said Edwards. "We've done some full-race distances there too; we've got a lot of setup data for the track. It would be good to put it through an actual green flag there. Our main concern will be the numerous Porsches; if they can get their cars hooked up to where they can take the banking flat-out, then they will have the advantage. We should be able to take the banking flat for the whole race. I think we'll have good results."
With the #64 Pontiac GTO.R and its sister car, the # 65 TRG/F1 Air/Alpine Bagel/GTO.R both coming off podium finishes at Mexico City (first for #64, third for #65) they carry the momentum of a great start to the season - a factor definitely in their favor.
The Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series resumes racing at Homestead-Miami Speedway on March 25. The event will be televised the same day on SPEED TV at 8:00 p.m. EDT.