Rolex Series Testing at Homestead-Miami Speedway to Feature Big Names DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (November 30, 2006) -- While the month of December is traditionally "down time" in the world of motorsports, Homestead-Miami Speedway will be a hotbed of...
Rolex Series Testing at Homestead-Miami Speedway to Feature Big Names
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (November 30, 2006) -- While the month of December is traditionally "down time" in the world of motorsports, Homestead-Miami Speedway will be a hotbed of activity next week as the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Special Reserve will converge on the South Florida circuit for testing in preparation for the 2007 season, and more specifically, the season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona.
Twenty-two Daytona Prototypes and 15 GT machines have been entered for two days of testing on the 2.3-mile road course on Tuesday and Wednesday, December 5-6. Among the drivers slated to participate in the test are four-time NASCAR Cup champion and three-time Daytona 500 winner Jeff Gordon, as well as three-time Indy Racing League IndyCar Series and 2006 Indianapolis 500 winner Sam Hornish Jr.
Gordon and Hornish will use the sessions to familiarize themselves with the Daytona Prototypes they will drive in the 2007 Rolex 24 At Daytona. Gordon will share the No. 10 SunTrust Pontiac Riley with 2005 Daytona Prototype co-champions and Rolex 24 At Daytona overall winners Wayne Taylor and Max Angelelli in what will be his first appearance in the twice-around-the-clock event.
Hornish, meanwhile, will return to the Rolex 24 for the first time since 1999, sharing the No. 60 Flight Options/Net App Lexus Riley with his Penske Racing IndyCar teammate, two-time Indy 500 winner Helio Castroneves, as well as Rolex Series regulars Oswaldo Negri Jr. and Mark Patterson. It will be a homecoming of sorts for Hornish, as he will be reunited with Michael Shank Racing, for which he drove in the 1999 Toyota Atlantic championship before moving into IndyCars.
In addition to Angelelli and Taylor, two other Daytona Prototype champions have been entered for the Homestead test. Scott Pruett, the 2004 co-champion, is entered in the familiar No. 01 CompUSA Chip Ganassi Racing Lexus Riley. Jorg Bergmeister, the 2006 champion, has been entered in a different car than the one he drove to the title, as he is listed in the No. 23 Ruby Tuesday Championship Racing Team Porsche Crawford alongside co-driver Patrick Long.
The entry list features an additional eight cars with drivers that have at least one overall victory in Rolex Series competition. Three-time race winner Milka Duno is entered alongside Champ Car and IndyCar veteran Patrick Carpentier in the No. 11 SAMAX Motorsport Pontiac Riley, while two-time winner Jack Baldwin will share the No. 12 RVO Motorsports Pontiac Riley with Roger Schramm. No. 16 Thetford/Norcold Pontiac Crawford co-drivers Chris and Rob Dyson have both visited Rolex Series victory lane, as has No. 20 Howard Motorsports Pontiac Crawford driver Andy Wallace.
No. 39 Cheever Racing Porsche Crawford driver Christian Fittipaldi is another two-time Rolex Series race-winner, including the overall victory in the 2004 Rolex 24 At Daytona. David Donohue, who is sharing the No. 58 Red Bull/Brumos Racing Porsche Riley with Darren Law, owns three career Rolex Series victory, while their teammates in the No. 59 Brumos Racing Porsche Fabcar, Hurley Haywood and JC France, have two Rolex Series wins. Haywood is also a five-time overall winner of the Rolex 24 At Daytona. George Robinson earned his lone Rolex Series overall win at Mid-Ohio in 2000, and is entered to co-drive the No. 84 Robinson Racing Pontiac Riley with Shane Lewis at the test.
Ten of the 15 GT cars also feature drivers with at least one class victory in the Rolex Series, including the No. 06 Banner Racing Pontiac GXP of co-drivers Paul Edwards, Kelly Collins and Leighton Reese, the No. 15 Blackforest Motorsports Ford Mustang Cobra GT in the hands of Tom Nastasi, Champ Car veteran Alex Tagliani and the ever-popular Boris Said, and the No. 17 Doncaster Racing Porsche GT3 entry of Dave Lacey and Greg Wilkins. A few past class winners are listed in multiple entries, including Wayne Nonnamaker, who has been entered in the No. 41 Team Sahlen Porsche GT3, the No. 42 Team Sahlen Chevrolet Corvette and the No. 48 and No. 49 Team Sahlen Pontiac GTOs, alongside co-drivers Will Nonnamaker, Joe Sahlen and Joe Nonnamaker. Dominik Farnbacher and Leh Keen are entered in both the No. 85 No. 86 Farnbacher Loles Porsche GT3.
Testing on both days will run from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. ET, with a 90-minute lunch break on each day.