Mid-Ohio: Spirit of Daytona Racing preview

Spirit of Daytona Racing Has Two Targets at Mid-Ohio Double-duty weekend as No. 09 races, with No. 90 ready to test (Daytona Beach, FL) 18 June 09 -- Spirit of Daytona Racing will be pushing two targets this weekend as the Rolex Sports Car ...

Spirit of Daytona Racing Has Two Targets at Mid-Ohio
Double-duty weekend as No. 09 races, with No. 90 ready to test

(Daytona Beach, FL) 18 June 09 -- Spirit of Daytona Racing will be pushing two targets this weekend as the Rolex Sports Car Series convenes for round 6 of the 2009 season at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course for the EMCO Gears Classic presented by Key Bank. The track is one that has fond memories for the Daytona Beach-based team, having scored a victory there in Grand-Am's AGT class in the 2000 event.

The first goal will be to see the No. 09 Porsche V8-powered Coyote score as strong a result as possible with drivers Guy Cosmo and Scott Russell pushing the venerable No. 09 machine to the limit in Saturday evenings 2 hour and 45-minute race into the sunset.

The second goal will be to make the most of the Rolex Series open test on Monday as the newest-specification Coyote, the Spirit of Daytona Racing No. 90, continues to be developed by Sprit of Daytona Racing in advance of its Rolex racing debut.

While the team is looking forward to the future with the new No. 90 machine, there is no downplaying the current, particularly this weekend at Mid-Ohio. Last season, the Coyote-Porsche V8 machine showed some significant speed as Cosmo wrestled the combination around the 2.258-mile circuit in a heavy downpour, and once again showed the strength of the package in low-grip situations.

So with another possible rainy race this Saturday, Cosmo is understandably looking forward to the weekend.

"We had a pretty strong run going last year at Mid-Ohio even though the conditions were so lousy," said Cosmo, who took race wins at Mid-Ohio in formula car competition before moving into the sports car racing ranks. "Even though the team is pushing as hard as possible to get the new Coyote all set to go racing, we know we could have the opportunity to get a strong result with the 09. We were encouraged with what the new Coyote was able to do right out of the box when we tested at Watkins Glen, so hopefully we can have a good weekend all around out at Mid-Ohio with a good race and a productive test."

Cosmo will be teaming up once again with motorcycle legend Scott Russell, who has impressed in his transition from two wheels to four so far in 2009, and will look to keep growing his pace as he takes on the drivers favorite Mid-Ohio circuit.

"Every time I get out there, I just want to keep getting better and better and take steps forward," said Russell. "I know that I'm not going to get caught up with Guy all at once as far as speed, so I have to remind myself a little bit to be more patient. But every time I get in the car, I'm learning something new and having a little bit more fun! Hopefully we can just keep that going this weekend at Mid-Ohio."

With the 09 car moving rapidly toward the end of its development cycle as the 90 picks up pace with its, the dual programs could prove too much to handle for some organizations. But not Spirit of Daytona, which has stepped up every aspect of the operation to take on the challenge, and opportunity, that exists with the new-specification machine.

"When we laid out our plans for the 2009 season, we knew that we'd have a period of transition like this although we thought it'd be happening earlier in the season," said team owner Troy Flis. "But some things that were out of our control have changed the schedule, but we're just adapting our development schedule to make the most use of the track time that we have, like this test we have on Monday.

"Going up against some of the other chassis that have so many teams racing and developing and testing them is a huge challenge, but we're really encouraged about what we've seen so far out of this car. It's exciting to be part of something like this, and I'm just proud of how this team has responded to the program. We're all looking forward to seeing this car take a green flag in a Rolex race, but we also want to make sure we've got all our I's dotted and T's crossed before we get out there and go racing."

The EMCO Gears Classic presented by KEY Bank will be carried LIVE on SPEED starting at 5:00 PM EST as the team seeks the checkered flag on Saturday night, while working toward that first green flag for the No. 90 on Monday.

-credit: sodr

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Guy Cosmo , Scott Russell