Homestead: Toyota Lexus preview

LEXUS SET FOR SPRINT TO THE FINISH TORRANCE, Calif. (Feb. 28, 2005) -- After a grueling test of endurance that saw all six entries complete more than 2,200 miles at the Rolex 24, the emphasis will be on speed when three Lexus-powered Daytona ...

LEXUS SET FOR SPRINT TO THE FINISH

TORRANCE, Calif. (Feb. 28, 2005) -- After a grueling test of endurance that saw all six entries complete more than 2,200 miles at the Rolex 24, the emphasis will be on speed when three Lexus-powered Daytona Prototypes hit the track at the Homestead-Miami Speedway for the Miami Grand Prix, March 5.

While the Daytona race-pace was 80-90 percent of top speed, Miami brings a much different approach, and is expected to be a flat-out sprint from start to finish.

"Truthfully, in the way you approach the race, look at the race and set up for at the race, there really are no similarities with Daytona," said Scott Pruett, the 2004 Daytona Prototype champion. "As a team, we had some very fast race cars at Homestead last year, but we had dismal finishes at both races when we should have been on the podium. I'm really looking forward to going to Miami and turning our luck around."

When it comes to flat-out speed, nobody was better in 2004 than the defending champion #01 CompUSA Lexus-Riley from Ganassi Racing. With Pruett's Daytona pole position, the team has now won 12 of the 13 pole positions since entering Grand-Am competition last year. After leading much of the early going, the #01 dropped to 48th-place at Daytona after a number of early problems, but fought back to finish an impressive seventh overall. Series champion Pruett again will team with Luis Diaz at Miami.

Joining Pruett and Diaz in the Ganassi Racing stable will be Stefan Johansson and Cort Wagner in the #02 New Century Mortgage Lexus-Riley. The duo combined with Jamie McMurray to finish as the highest-placing Lexus-powered entry at Daytona with a fourth-place showing.

Fabrizio Gollin and Mateo Bobbi made a strong run in their debut Rolex Sports Car Series race at Daytona in the #77 Crown Royal Lexus-Doran. The FIA GT champions were running second heading into the final hour before slipping to fifth in the final moments.

Last year's Miami Grand Prix was memorable in terms of excitement, but not results for the Lexus camp as the Ganassi and Doran teams battled for the lead in the final laps before making repeated contact that sent both cars off-track.

Qualifying for the Miami Grand Prix, a part of the Toyota Indy 300 weekend, is scheduled for Friday, March 5, at 4:30 p.m. (EST). The green flag for Saturday's race is set for 3:00 p.m. (EST) with SPEED providing live coverage.

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Fabrizio Gollin , Scott Pruett , Jamie McMurray , Luis Diaz , Cort Wagner
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing