Mexico City: Tuttle Team/SAMAX preview

SAMAX Motorsport has a mix of veteran and rookie drivers in its lineup for the southern round of the 2006 Rolex Sports Car Series, set for March 4 on the 2.5-mile Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez road course in Mexico City. Tuttle Team Racing by...

SAMAX Motorsport has a mix of veteran and rookie drivers in its lineup for the southern round of the 2006 Rolex Sports Car Series, set for March 4 on the 2.5-mile Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez road course in Mexico City.

Tuttle Team Racing by SAMAX driver Brian Tuttle of West Palm Beach Fla., returns to Mexico with two new track assets -- the 2005 race-winning BMW-powered Riley Mk XI, now carrying Tuttle's No. 7, and a former Formula One World Championship test driver to share race duty: Jonathan Cochet of Saint-Germain-du-Corbéis, France, will join Tuttle for 10 races this season. Tuttle has his eye on the Jim Trueman Award, presented to the top sportsman driver in the Rolex Series Daytona Prototype class.

"We're very excited about the BMW package in Mexico because it performed so well last year, and I'm excited to have Jonathan as my co-driver," Tuttle said. "We tested a lot of guys last year and they were all very comparable. Jonathan is very, very fast and the crew has a great relationship with him. We hope to do well in points for both the championship and the Trueman Award. We're ready to rock and roll!"

Two experienced Canadians will share the No. 71 SAMAX/Doncaster Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car. Dave Lacey and Greg Wilkins, both of Toronto, will continue the partnership that has taken them to three wins and 12 podiums together. Doncaster Racing principal John Lacey believes chemistry is the key.

"They are long-time partners who have enjoyed a lot of success. Their styles complement each other. They're both reasonably competitive, but they're good friends," he said. "Part of the success of a team is having good chemistry. Over the years, we've built good chemistry as Doncaster, and we're really enjoying our time at SAMAX. We're looking forward to not only Mexico City, but the rest of the season."

Rounding out the international driving squad are Robert Bell of Northampton, England, and Martin Jensen of Smørum, Denmark, driving the No. 17 SAMAX Porsche. The Mexico race is the first Rolex Series start for both, but Jensen will be in familiar territory. He raced with some of the SAMAX crew members in 2005 and also traveled from Denmark to meet with team owner Peter Baron during the Rolex 24 At Daytona in January.

"Normally, I don't go to watch races because I get irritated that I'm not in there myself, so I'm sure Mexico will be a big relief for me to get in the car," he said. "I'm very much looking forward to the race, especially with Peter. He's got a good team and all the people working with him are top of the line. They're some of the best I've met in motorsport."

-samax

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Series Grand-Am
Drivers Peter Baron , Dave Lacey , Greg Wilkins , Martin Jensen , Brian Tuttle