VISION RACING TO COMPETE IN GRAND AMERICAN ROLEX 24 AT DAYTONA CARPENTER, SCHECKTER, FOYT AND GEORGE TO SHARE DRIVING DUTIES IN FIRST GRAND-AM RACE INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Jan. 5, 2007) -- Vision Racing will make its debut in the Grand American...
VISION RACING TO COMPETE IN GRAND AMERICAN ROLEX 24 AT DAYTONA
CARPENTER, SCHECKTER, FOYT AND GEORGE TO SHARE DRIVING DUTIES IN FIRST GRAND-AM RACE
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Jan. 5, 2007) -- Vision Racing will make its debut in the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Special Reserve as team drivers, Ed Carpenter and Tomas Scheckter and A.J. Foyt IV will join team owner, Tony George, behind the wheel of the No. 00 Vision Racing Porsche Crawford Daytona Prototype in the Rolex 24 at Daytona.
This will mark Vision Racing's first foray into Grand-Am Series racing as well as the first attempt for all four aforementioned drivers.
Team principle, Tony George, said, "I have always wanted to do this race and it gives our drivers a chance to tune-up before we officially start the 2007 IndyCar Series season. Now that we have our own race team, it provides me the opportunity to participate in this historic event."
Carpenter recently tested a Grand-Am Series machine at Homestead-Miami Speedway and Daytona International Speedway after the team acquired the No. 00 Porsche Crawford from Cheever Racing.
He said, "Driving a Daytona Prototype is a lot different than an IndyCar, but I have had a lot of fun and I have learned a lot. Participating in the Rolex 24 at Daytona will allow us to improve our road course performance and it helps to break up the off-season a bit."
The Rolex 24 at Daytona may serve as a bit of a tune-up for full-time IndyCar drivers, Carpenter and Scheckter, but for George this will be the first time in a racecar since driving midgets in USAC and competing in the "Chili Bowl", back in the 2001. While George has made his legacy in motorsports as the CEO and owner of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, founder of the Indy Racing League, and owner of Vision Racing, he also had tenure as a professional driver.
George attended racing schools in 1984 and made his debut in the USAC Pro-Ford championship. The following year he finished third in the Sports Car Club of America Formula Ford Central Division, qualifying him for the National Run-Offs. He then drove the Super Vee and Formula Pacific series in 1986-87. In 1989, he competed in the American Racing Series for the legendary A.J. Foyt, finishing 12th in points and capturing five top-tens.
"I am very excited to race again," George said. "Obviously, I love to race, so this is something that I really want to do, but even more than that, it allows me to build a stronger relationship with my team."
The addition of Foyt to the team has not gone unnoticed either. An experienced IndyCar driver as well, Foyt has started 48 races in his Indy-car career, where he earned three top-10 finishes with Foyt Enterprises. This will be his first time behind the wheel of a Daytona Prototype.
"I've known A.J. since he was a kid and he and I both drove for his grandfather, so I was happy to be able to invite him to join us in this venture," George noted. "I view this race as an opportunity to continue to develop Vision Racing into the most competitive team it can be. Each new challenge I have thrown their way, they have met with enthusiastic professionalism. Competing in this race will allow Vision Racing to expand its on-track capabilities."
Between George and his three teammates there is a great deal of racing experience, but they all agree that resting on their laurels is something they cannot do to be competitive at Daytona.
"Grand-am racing is difficult," Carpenter noted. "It's not something you can expect to be successful in right away, so we've got to practice everything from car setup to pit stops to driver changes."
Carpenter and his teammates are currently practicing at the scheduled Grand-Am test (January 4-6) held at Daytona International Speedway. The Rolex 24 at Daytona begins Saturday, January 27th at 1:30 p.m. (ET).