Rolex Roundup 2005-02-24

Rolex Roundup -- February 24, 2005 News, Notes & Quotes from the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (February 24, 2005) -- Defending Rolex Sports Car Series Daytona Prototype co-champion Scott Pruett will return to his...

Rolex Roundup -- February 24, 2005
News, Notes & Quotes from the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (February 24, 2005) -- Defending Rolex Sports Car Series Daytona Prototype co-champion Scott Pruett will return to his role as television commentator for one evening this Sunday, as the No. 01 CompUSA Chip Ganassi Racing co-driver will co-host SPEED Channel's popular "Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain."

This season, "Wind Tunnel" has moved to Sunday nights from 9-11 p.m. ET and the new two-hour format will include a weekly rotating cast of in-studio guest hosts, in addition to popular featured guest interviews as Despain has had in the past. Pruett brings unique perspective to the telecast, with considerable racing experience in sports cars, NASCAR and Champ Cars in addition to his successful ventures into television commentary, pit reporting and radio network broadcasting.

Pruett will spend Sunday in the Charlotte "Wind Tunnel" studios with Despain, taking in the action from the racing world. In addition to sharing his opinions on a variety of racing subjects, Pruett will dissect his new children's book, Twelve More Little Race Cars, which is available at

"Wind Tunnel is the show you watch for racing--period," Pruett said. "Whether you're a hard core or casual racing fan, you know this is the show to watch for the latest in motorsports. I'm looking forward to rejoining the show and co-hosting with Dave in the new two-hour format. I've been on the program before, and have known Dave probably longer than either one of us would like to admit, so I'm sure we'll have a good time."

Fans are encouraged to e-mail questions for Despain or Pruett in advance of the telecast to During the telecast, fans may also ask questions or make comments by calling 1-866-W-TUNNEL.


Over the next two weekends, race fans attending NASCAR races at California Speedway in Fontana, Calif. and the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City will get a "sneak preview" of a Rolex Series Daytona Prototype in advance of the scheduled Rolex Series races at each venue.

The No. 31 Nolte Engineering Pontiac Riley prepared by Margraf Racing will be driven by General Motors pilot Paul Edwards on demonstration laps prior to each event. Just minutes before the green flag waves on this Sunday's NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Auto Club 500 at California Speedway, Edwards will hustle the No. 31 Pontiac around the two-mile oval, giving fans a taste of what they will see on the Speedway's infield road course during the weekend of April 1-3.

As the NASCAR Busch Series makes its first trip south of the border for the inaugural Mexico 200 next weekend, Edwards and the No. 31 will run several demonstration laps around the historic road circuit during the weekend. The Rolex Series will visit Mexico for the first time on the weekend of November 5, wrapping up the 2005 campaign in Mexico City.


Spirit of Daytona Racing partnered with Homestead-Miami Speedway to promote the upcoming Grand Prix of Miami in the new "Fan Walk" area of the renovated Daytona International Speedway infield for the four days leading up to last Sunday's Daytona 500.

Race fans at Daytona had the opportunity to be photographed with the Hawaiian Tropic-sponsored No. 09 Spirit of Daytona Pontiac Crawford and several Hawaiian Tropic models. Fans were also encouraged to attend the Grand Prix of Miami--featuring the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series and the Indy Racing League IndyCar Series--on the weekend of March 3-6.

"This year's promotion was much larger in capacity to years past, and all its components assisted us in selling tickets to the Grand Prix of Miami," said Homestead-Miami Speedway senior promotions manager Jeff Hachmann. "We were very pleased. It was a very successful promotion and created incredible awareness for the upcoming Rolex Sports Car Series race at Homestead-Miami Speedway. It also created tons of awareness for the series and the Spirit of Daytona Racing team."

Spirit of Daytona will field the No. 09 for co-drivers Doug Goad and Stephan Gregoire in the Grand Prix of Miami in addition to introducing the team's new No. 07 Pontiac Crawford for drivers Bob Ward and South Florida-resident Roberto Moreno. Tickets for the Grand Prix of Miami are available by calling (305) 230-RACE or by visiting


General Motors kicked off the 50th anniversary celebration for its small-block V-8 engine in fine style at Daytona International Speedway, as the engine opened the year with victories in the prestigious Rolex 24 At Daytona to open the 2005 Rolex Sports Car Series season as well as the 2005 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series-opening Daytona 500.

Wayne Taylor, Max Angelelli and Emmanuel Collard drove the Pontiac-powered No. 10 SunTrust Racing Riley to victory in the Rolex 24 on the first weekend in February, while Jeff Gordon brought his No. 24 Chevrolet home first in the Daytona 500 last Sunday. Since its introduction in 1955, the GM small-block has powered more winning race cars and won more championships than any other engine in American motorsports. The small-block V8 made its debut in the 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air by pacing the Indianapolis 500, and the engine scored its first NASCAR victory the same year.

"Our victories in Daytona continue the winning legacy of GM's small-block engine," said GM Racing director Mark Kent. "Its performance on the race track demonstrates the enduring power of the design."


Fresh from his victory in the Rolex 24 At Daytona, No. 10 SunTrust Racing Pontiac Riley car owner and co-driver Wayne Taylor visited Camp Boggy Creek in Eustis, Fla. last week. Taylor, who hails from Altamonte Springs, Fla., got a guided tour from Camp Boggy Creek's Sarah Gurtis.

The 232-acre facility for Florida's seriously ill children has 44 buildings, including 16 camper cabins, a dining hall, a medical center, a swim center, a stable, a small farm, a sports and recreation center, an arts and crafts building, a creative center and theater. Camp Boggy Creek is also a proud charity of the Grand American Road Racing Association.

"Camp Boggy Creek is just an unbelievable place," Taylor said. "My mission now after touring the facility is to get as many people involved as possible. It is an outstanding facility and I plan on talking to SunTrust, all my friends and neighbors and getting as many people as I can to see, know and contribute to this worthwhile cause."


Sports car enthusiasts from all over the Western United States will have an opportunity to gather for a unique "all-clubs" event dubbed "MarqueMADNESS" in conjunction with the U.S. Sports Car Invitational Presented by Shell V-Power at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca on April 28-May 1.

The weekend will be the inaugural visit to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca for the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series and Grand-Am Cup Series, and serves as the season-opener for the renowned California road course. On Thursday, April 28, MarqueMADNESS will provide sports car enthusiasts with an opportunity to do "warm laps" around the picturesque, 2.238-mile facility, in addition to an inter-club shootout at the Marina Airport that will continue through Friday, April 29. MarqueMADNESS will also feature festival-style marque corrals during the race weekend, and two inter-marque rallyes, as well as parade laps, a photo event, Funcours, special displays and camaraderie.

"We welcome participation and the support of ventures such as MarqueMADNESS," said Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca CEO and General Manager Gill Campbell. "The organizers are putting together an interesting and stimulating event that will involve car enthusiasts from all sorts of clubs and feature numerous makes and models."

To register and purchase tickets, or for further information about MarqueMADNESS, visit or, or call 1-800-327-SECA. Race tickets are also available on


Knobel Racing recently announced that GrupoMetro, S.A. has signed on to sponsor the team's No. 88 Porsche 996 in the March 13 Miller Grand-Am Cup 200, which will be the Grand-Am Cup Series' first-ever visit to Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic. The No. 88 machine will be co-driven by Fraser Wellon, Frank Rossi and Barry Ellis.

GrupoMetro is a leader in the luxury and leisure industry in the Dominican Republic, operating a group of tourist-oriented companies such as MetroYachts, MetroTours and MetroCountryClub, as well as the Embassy Suites hotel and Thrifty Car Rental companies in Santo Domingo.

"We were very excited when we learned the Grand-Am Cup Series would take us to the Dominican Republic in 2005," said Ellis. "Besides the long relationship we have had with our great friends at GrupoMetro, we know how enthusiastic the country is about motorsports and we look forward for this to be a very well-attended event. Two of our team members at Knobel Racing, Hector Rojas and Rafael Rosario, are originally from the Dominican Republic and still have family there. I guess that makes this a hometown race of sorts for us."

Currently, there are 37 cars on the entry list for the GS class only event.


Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Jeff Gordon , Paul Edwards , Stephan Gregoire , Roberto Moreno , Scott Pruett , Emmanuel Collard , Wayne Taylor , Doug Goad , Max Angelelli , Chip Ganassi , Bob Ward , Frank Rossi , Fraser Wellon , Barry Ellis
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing