Rolex 24 at Daytona driver notes

Hans Stuck, No. 54 JET Motorsports BMW M-3, leading GT class "When I got out, I was still on slick tires, and it was getting very slick out there, so we put on rain tires. We've got a special foil on our windshield that prevents the main part...

Hans Stuck, No. 54 JET Motorsports BMW M-3, leading GT class
"When I got out, I was still on slick tires, and it was getting very slick out there, so we put on rain tires. We've got a special foil on our windshield that prevents the main part from fogging up. You don't need to see a lot. You hear a lot, and you know your way around, so you don't look much right or left, you just try to keep it going. With the V-8 it's now even more 'the ultimate driving machine.' It's just that little bit more we need to handle the Porsches. We didn't have this power coming off the corners, and we have a lot more torque now, so we can keep the power coming off the corner on to the straightaway and stay with the Porsches. Of course, with the more power you go through the tires and fuel quicker, so having more power doesn't mean everything."

Chris Kneifel, No. 2 GM Goodwrench/Corvette, leading GTS class and 6th overall
"It's fun. I'm having a blast. There are a few lost soldiers out there, let's just put it that way. You've got to expect the unexpected, but I'm the happiest guy here. It's fun."

Doug Fehan, team manager, No. 2, No. 3 GM Goodwrench Corvettes
"Mechanically both cars are running fine. Telemetry shows the motors are strong, the fluid temperatures are fine, so, so far, so good. We're sixth place overall and GTS cars won last year's race, but we have a lot of racing to go. I don't even like to go there. Goodyear has produced a tire with a softer compound intended specifically for nighttime use, so it should be an advantage for the next 12 hours or so."

Elliott Forbes-Robinson, No. 20 Dyson Racing R&S Mk III-Ford.
"Both cars are doing quite well mechanically, although we lost the radio in the 20 car. That's a little bit of a problem, but not much. Rob (Dyson) spun out there trying to avoid a slower car. The rain has slowed us down a little bit, and the spray from other cars makes vision more difficult. We don't use a special compound tire for nighttime. The tire we're running during the day is fine, and we can go two shifts on them. Going out on hot tires actually saves us about 15-20 seconds over going out on cold tires, even if they were softer. "We feel pretty good about it. We're a couple of laps down right now. That's OK. We've had few little things happen. Right now, we don't have a radio that works. But it's a 24-hour race. It's still early in the race. We have as good a shot as anybody. The 16 is running great. They have of course the best chance to win this thing."

Kelly Collins, #3 GM Goodwrench Corvette
"Our fuel alarm went on just as I was about to pass pit lane. I tried to get on the brakes really hard, but I couldn't make the corner. I radioed in and went on reserve and went another lap, but didn't make it. I had to push the car in. It was like a mini-movie. The whole double stint was full of drama. Our car's running good. Our windshield wiper isn't working up to par, so I used it intermittently, only when I had to. It's sticking on the windshield, so it's heating up the motor, not wanting to work."

Michael Johnson, car owner, Archangel Motorsports #21 and #22 SRP II:
"The rain set us back a little bit. We were running third and fourth, but we went to an intermediate tire when it started to rain, and that set us back a ton. We should have to the rain tires. But we're only one-quarter of the way into the race, and we're running great, so we're happy right now."

Ryan Hampton, #62 Team Spencer Mazda Kudzu:
"When I went out, the car was in the lead, but we broke a header. I was just out there running around, but 15 minute into my shift the header broke. So I came in, we got it back together in about 30 minutes. We lost a couple laps. We were lucky, because a big long yellow came out so we didn't lose quite that much. We're about 12 laps down from where we need to be. If we keep running around, maybe attrition will catch up and help us out this time."

George Robinson, #74 Robinson Hunting Ranch Resort Riley & Scott Judd:
"We're not sure what the problem is. We're down on power and it's not sounding right. We might have lost a cylinder. I hope not, but it's a possibility. Maybe it's not over yet

@!Dale Earnhardt, Jr., No. 3 GM Goodwrench Corvette
"When I went out there in the car it was a little slick. I spun out a few times trying to get going. The track's drying up a lot and it's really gotten quick. Hopefully we can get buckled down here and catch up." "I asked them if I could do a double, but they said later on man, save your strength. I'm ready to go when they are." "I had zero experience in the wet. I've never driven on it, so I was out there learning. But the track dried pretty quick and I felt pretty comfortable and fell into a good rhythm." "They kind of saved me from sending me out earlier because it was raining pretty bad. When I got to get out there the track was relatively dry, so I was OK. (On his first lap) The tires were so cold, and your adrenaline's pumping, and I kind of screwed up. But once I settled down, I felt good."

Butch Leitzinger, No. 16 Dyson Racing RNS Ford
"Right now, it seems to be shaking out between us and the Ferrari. In the dry the Ferrari is a quite a bit faster. It's kind of the usual thing that we've done the last five years between us and the Ferrari. We're very quick on the oval and if it goes to dry it's going to be very tough to stay ahead of them. In these damp and wet and changing conditions, we seem to be a little bit better. It's going to be dry and wet for the rest of the race, so it might depend on the weather. I think it's going to be a long night."

Doug Mills, No. 11 Hamilton Safe Motorsports Camaro, defending Rolex 24 winner and American GT champion:
"We're 25 percent through the race and we're in first place (in AGT). We're going to run a relaxed pace for another six hours, see where we are, and then run to the end. This is the plan we used last year, and hopefully it will pay off this year."

Doug Goad, No. 09 Flis Motorsports Spirit of Daytona Beach XR-1 Camaro:
"We had a number of problems at the beginning of the race. We lost the slave cylinder right at the very beginning, so we couldn't use the clutch. Then, unfortunately, two off-course excursions took care of both front ends of our car, the only ones we had, so after that I got in the car, ran it for awhile, and we were able to make up some of the laps after about four hours. The headlights are on a couple of little brackets that are still on the car. We can't see very much. The car floats through the tri-oval, it's got no aerodynamics. It's sort of like an old Firehawk car. We're just getting around the race track, trying to stay out of trouble."

Max Papis, No. 20 Dyson R&S Ford:
"When I was out there it was raining; it was very difficult. But we have a good car, and we are competitive. Now we have a little disadvantage. We are a few laps down, but we still have 14 hours to go, so that's OK. The Rolex 24 Hour always has a special spirit for me. We hope we can do well here. It would be great to win it."

Randy Pobst, No. 31 White Lightning/Petersen Motorsports Porsche GT3R, GT leader:
"We gained an advantage through good pit stop strategy and by good tire choice strategy. We put on a special grooved Dunlop slick for the intermediate conditions as the track was drying. Between those two maneuvers, we managed to get the car into the lead. It's still very, very early at the Rolex 24 Hours, but thus far the race is going according to plan. The BMW is very, very fast, but that engine has not been raced much in that car, and our car is of course better developed. We hope that over the course of the 24 hours that will work to our advantage. We're actually a little more worried about the other Porsches."

Kyle Petty, No. 43 Orbit Porsche GT3R:
"Peter (Baron) started the race, I got in, and then it started raining so Peter got back in. I couldn't drive in the rain, I wasn't too good. It's going good. We're 23rd or 24th overall, and we started around 56th, so we're having fun. This is a good group of people, and we're having a lot of fun, and that's great. I was in this race once before back in the Eighties, but I didn't run it then. We just kind of showed up and Jack Roush pointed us in the right direction. He was a little bit intense. I think (Scott) Pruett won that year in one of Jack's cars. We were running real good, but we blew up or something. Compared to that though, this is fun."

Eric van de Poele, No. 12 Risi Competizione Ferrari 333SP:
"It was perfect. We had different conditions -- rain, dry, wet back to dry -- It was quite difficult, because there were many pieces on the track. But it was OK. I think it's going to be a good race right until the end."

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Kyle Petty , Butch Leitzinger , Chris Kneifel , Max Papis , Eric van de Poele , Randy Pobst , Elliott Forbes-Robinson , Kelly Collins , Doug Goad , George Robinson , Ryan Hampton , Doug Mills , Jack Roush , Michael Johnson
Teams Risi Competizione , Dyson Racing