Spirit of Daytona Racing Coyote Races to the Finish in Montreal Montreal, Que- (Aug. 28, 2009) -- Spirit of Daytona Racing made the first Rolex Sports Car Series race finish with the newest specification Coyote chassis on Saturday as Buddy Rice...
Spirit of Daytona Racing Coyote Races to the Finish in Montreal
Montreal, Que- (Aug. 28, 2009) -- Spirit of Daytona Racing made the first Rolex Sports Car Series race finish with the newest specification Coyote chassis on Saturday as Buddy Rice and Antonio Garcia brought the Porsche V8-powered Coyote home 11th in the Montreal 200 for round ten of the Rolex Sports Car Series championship. The result improved on the team's previous best finish of 16th at the Montreal circuit last year.
The race weekend provided the opportunity for Spirit of Daytona Racing to further develop the Coyote on the 2.71-mile Circuit Gilles Villenueve. The team opened the Montreal 200 race weekend with a series of practice sessions on Friday, which saw the entry firmly in the top-ten in the charts throughout. But a motor issue kept the team from making the most of the day as the team had had to rally to make an engine swap after a crank pressure sensor indicated that a change was needed.
Looking to be ahead of the curve with any motor issues, the team elected to make the change to prevent the issue from becoming a bigger one. The effort was quick enough to get the car back out in time for the final night practice session, but it prevented the team from participating in qualifying.
Starting from the back of the pack in the race, Rice played it cool at the start before moving up through the field and establishing the No. 90 in the top ten. By the one hour mark, the Rolex 24 champ had the No. 90 up to 3rd in the order before turning the controls over to Garcia.
"The car was good--we are not where we want to be as far as pace yet, but we definitely made progress and are moving in the right direction with the car," said Rice. "We also learned a lot about things we can do to improve the car in the rain, just with our wipers and sealing up the cockpit a little bit better. That's just part of learning about this car. We're still working on it and we are not as close as we want to be but this was a good weekend in terms of getting a good direction going."
The strong run ended just shy of the hoped-for top ten after the back and forth rain and dry conditions saw the team pit one extra time for wet-weather tires and fight to take the checkered flag in 11th with Garcia behind the wheel.
"We'd have liked to been up in the top ten today, but these results are a lot less important than the results we want to be getting with this package next year," said team owner Troy Flis. "We lost some track time with the motor change yesterday and that put us behind a little bit. But we made progress, no question. We still have to really unlock what it takes to make this car click with these tires and get into that window where they are working as well as they can together and giving the guys a car that they are comfortable with to go out there and have a lot of confidence with. Fortunately, we'll get the chance to keep working at it again this week."
Spirit of Daytona Racing will not have long to rest, as the team will bring the No. 90 Porsche-V8-powered Coyote to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to participate in a test at the famed facility this Thursday.