Rolex Sports Car Series news, notes 2002-02-19

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (February 19, 2002) - The Rolex Sports Car Series has hit the ground running in 2002. Fresh off a successful 40th anniversary of the Rolex 24 At Daytona, the Rolex Series is geared to head southward to Homestead-Miami Speedway...

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (February 19, 2002) - The Rolex Sports Car Series has hit the ground running in 2002. Fresh off a successful 40th anniversary of the Rolex 24 At Daytona, the Rolex Series is geared to head southward to Homestead-Miami Speedway for the Nextel 250 - the first of two combined weekends with IRL. Rolex 24 overall winner Doran Lista Racing will be looking to continue its winning streak in the Florida sunshine, but several cars will be there hoping to dethrone the champ, including a Judd-powered Crawford wearing Dyson Racing Team's #16 for the first time.

Rolex 24 Winner Slated to Race at Homestead, California

2002 Rolex 24 At Daytona-winning Doran Lista Racing has entered the next two stops on the Rolex Sports Car Series circuit. The #27 Judd-powered Dallara that found its way to Daytona's Victory Lane earlier this month will travel back to Florida to race in the Nextel 250 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, March 2. Two-time Rolex 24 winners Didier Theys and Mauro Baldi will share driving duties in the Dallara. The team has also entered the inaugural road race at California Speedway, March 23.

Dyson Racing Enters Crawford in Nextel 250

Two-time Rolex Series champion Dyson Racing Team has entered a Judd-powered Crawford into the Nextel 250 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, March 2. The Crawford is the same one ran by Crawford Racing at the Rolex 24 At Daytona earlier this month. For the Nextel 250, the car will wear the #16 and Goodyear/Bosch/Thetford/Norcold sponsorship and be piloted by champion driver James Weaver and rookie Chris Dyson.

However, it will be chassis-creator Max Crawford and his crew preparing and running the car for Dyson Racing during the weekend. Dyson crew chief Pat Smith and his staff will remain back in New York to continue rebuilding the team's pair of Riley & Scott Mk IIIs. "The Crawford is one of the best cars out there right now, and its good that James will be able to get some more in-depth experience in the Crawford during the Homestead race," Smith commented.

Although the cooperative racing effort between the two teams is currently for only one race, neither team has dismissed the idea of additional joint projects in the future.

Park Place Returns to Rolex Series

Park Place Racing announced that they will contest the majority of the Rolex Sports Car Series 2002 season in the #5 Park Place Limited/TransGroup/Gatorz Saleen S7R. The team also renewed their membership in the Rolex Series' Team Owners Program (TOP), an incentive program for team loyalty to the series.

Bingham raced the Park Place Saleen in the Rolex 24 At Daytona earlier this month as part of Team Seattle, finishing ninth in the GTS class. He will take to the track next at Homestead-Miami Speedway in the Rolex Series' Nextel 250, March 2.

Scuderia Ferrari of Washington Announces All-Star Lineup

Scuderia Ferrari of Washington announced that young American road racing stars Bill Auberlen and Cort Wagner have been signed to drive a Ferrari 360 GT in the 2002 Rolex Sports Car Series. "I have driven a lot of GT cars but this Ferrari 360 GT has the best brakes and balance of any I have ever driven", said Wagner. "It is a delight to drive hard, lap after lap. It's extremely predictable, and I can't wait to get back in it."

"The Ferrari is an absolute blast to drive! The brakes and handling are first class, and I love the F-1 style shifting. Ferrari of Washington has prepared a great car, and I think Cort and I are going to win some races this year," added Auberlen, who has a history of track records, fastest laps, wins, and championships in both open and closed-wheel cars, and has scored more than 30 major road racing victories.

Auberlen joined the factory BMW team in 1998, scoring the first BMW prototype victory that year. He raced in the European ISRS, with podium finishes at Brno and Nurburgring, and drove a BMW V12 LM 98 to fifth in the 1999 24 Hours of LeMans.

Wagner, co-champion of the first Ferrari Challenge series in 1994, won the GT Pole at LeMans in 2001. Wagner won the Porsche Cup, presented to the best private Porsche racer, in 1999. He has previous wins at the Rolex 24 At Daytona, 12 Hours of Sebring and Petit LeMans, as well as numerous other tracks in North America.

Law Inks Two-Year Deal with G&W Motorsports

The winning combination of Darren Law and G&W Motorsports will stay in place for the few more years. Law signed a two-year agreement to continue to be the lead driver in G&W Motorsports' efforts. "I am happy to continue my relationship with G&W," Law said. "The team is a first class operation and we all work really well together."

The chemistry between the two has been remarkable. This season will mark Law's fourth year with the team. Over that time, he won the 2001 Rolex Series GT driver championship and G&W Motorsports has won back-to-back GT team championships (2000&2001).

This season Law is the lead driver in the #07 Momentum Motorsports/USI Insurance/Valley Group/G&W Motorsports BMW-powered Picchio Prototype. Throughout the 2002 season, Law will also have the task of assisting the G&W team as they design and assemble their new Daytona Prototypes coupe. He will be involved in the testing of the new car. The team plans to run the prototype in the 2003 Grand-Am season.

Upcoming Events

March 2 - Homestead-Miami Speedway - Tickets are available for the Nextel 250, part of the 20th Anniversary Grand Prix of Miami, on the Homestead-Miami Speedway website at www.homesteadmiamispeedway.com. They may also be purchased by calling 305-230-RACE or by visiting any Ticketmaster outlet.

March 23 - California Speedway - The Rolex Sports Car Series, as well as the Grand-Am Cup Street Stock Series, will travel to California Speedway next month. The Rolex Series will race on the new road course on Saturday, March 23, and Grand-Am Cup will run a 250-mile race prior to the IRL race on Sunday, March 24. Ferrari Challenge will also run two 30-mintue races during the weekend on Friday, March 22 and Saturday, March 22. Tickets for the action-packed weekend of racing are available online at www.californiaspeedway.com.

Additional information about the Rolex Sports Car Series is available online at www.grand-am.com.

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers James Weaver , Didier Theys , Bill Auberlen , Darren Law , Max Crawford , Chris Dyson , Cort Wagner
Teams Dyson Racing