Petty, Andretti Team Up in Porsche for Rolex Sports Car Series Race at The Glen DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (July 31, 2001) - Two of the most famous names in racing will team up to compete in the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series race at Watkins...
Petty, Andretti Team Up in Porsche for Rolex Sports Car Series Race at The Glen
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (July 31, 2001) - Two of the most famous names in racing will team up to compete in the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series race at Watkins Glen International, August 10. Kyle Petty and John Andretti will share driving duties in the Orbit Motorsports #45 Porsche GT3 RS during the Bully Hill Vineyards 250 at Watkins Glen.
The race at The Glen will be the second Rolex Series race of the season for Petty, who also ran in the season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona in February. With NASCAR's Winston Cup Series and the Rolex Sports Car Series sharing the weekend of racing at The Glen, Petty jumped at the chance to slide behind the wheel of a sports car yet again. This time he asked fellow-Petty Enterprises driver Andretti to drive with him in the 250-mile race.
"Kyle came up to me and said 'Hey, do you want to drive,' and I said yes," explained Andretti, who will be competing in his first-ever Rolex Series race. "Kyle had a great time in Daytona with the team, and he really likes them. We'll come out, have a good time and hopefully do well."
"I had a great time running at Daytona, and I'm really looking forward to running at Watkins Glen," Petty said. "It should be a cool deal running with John in a Grand-Am car. We're teammates in the (Winston) Cup deal, but driving the same car takes it to another level."
Petty was behind the wheel of Orbit's #43 Porsche at the end of the 24-hour race at Daytona International Speedway and was part of an exciting battle for position as the checkered flag flew. Petty fought off current-points leader Darren Law, of Phoenix, on the final lap to finish fourth place in the GT class and seventh place overall. As the two drivers battled for position on the final lap, they encountered a mass of slow moving race cars collecting behind the overall winner as he crossed the finish line.
"As I came though NASCAR turn three to four, I looked over at four and see what looks like 15 or 20 cars running at about 40 mph, and we were racing at about 160 mph," said Petty about the final lap of the Rolex 24. "Since I'm new to this, I didn't know if I was breaking some kind of sports car rule by passing everyone, but I wanted that position for the boys on the team. "
Petty's gusty maneuvering on the final lap of the Rolex 24 impressed his Orbit teammates, who are thrilled to have him back on board for the Bully Hill Vineyards 250.
The Rolex Sports Car Series is made up of five classes of cars that will compete together on The Glen's short course. Petty and Andretti will pilot a Porsche that will compete in the Grand Touring (GT) class. The GT class is comprised of racing versions of production sports cars including the Porsche 911, BMW M3, Mosler MT900 and Mazda RX7.
Two other classes of GT cars also compete in the series, including the Grand Touring Super (GTS) and American GT (AGT) classes. GTS cars include turbocharged Porsches, V8-powered Corvettes and V10 Vipers competing against exotic sports cars like the new Saleen S7R. The AGT class includes tube-framed race cars with American engines - Corvettes, Camaros, Firebirds, Mustangs and Oldsmobiles being among the most popular.
The premier classes of the Rolex Series are the SportsRacing Prototypes, which showcase purebred race cars. Prototype designs include low silhouette, mid-engine chassis, high rear wings, and state-of-the-art components like carbon fiber bodywork and onboard electronic telemetry. There are two classes of prototypes, with the SportsRacing Prototype II class featuring lighter weight cars with less powerful engines.
The Bully Hill Vineyards 250 is the ninth race of the series' 10-race season. It is also the second race of the season to be held at The Glen, which hosted the Six Hours of The Glen in May. The Rolex Series race will be held on Friday evening following Winston Cup qualifying. The green flag is scheduled to fall at 6:30 p.m.
Tickets are still on sale for the Bully Hill Vineyards 250 and may be purchased online at www.theglen.com or by calling 607-535-2481. Additional information about the Rolex Sports Car Series and the Bully Hill Vineyards 250 is also available online at www.grand-am.com.