Craig Stanton Opens 2005 Season at Daytona With Sixth DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., February 4, 2005 -- Defending Grand-Am Cup Grand Sport (GS) champion Craig Stanton opened his 2005 race season with a sixth-place finish here today at Daytona...
Craig Stanton Opens 2005 Season at Daytona With Sixth
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., February 4, 2005 -- Defending Grand-Am Cup Grand Sport (GS) champion Craig Stanton opened his 2005 race season with a sixth-place finish here today at Daytona International Speedway (DIS). The Long Beach, California resident joined with Spencer Pumpelly (Mason Neck, Vir.) in the No. 18 Mike's Homes Porsche 996 of Race Prep Motorsports for the support event to tomorrow's Rolex 24 At Daytona. Stanton, who won this event in 2004 along with five other GS races, began his race and series' championship defense from 18th on the grid in the 200 mile/ 57 lap Grand-Am Cup 200.
In his usual smooth but aggressive style, Stanton attacked the 3.56-mile Daytona road course with the No. 18 Porsche. He fought his way into the top-five before pitting at the race's half-way mark for fuel, new tires and a driver change. Pumpelly then drove to the finish. A stirring late-race battle for position put Pumpelly back into the top-ten after the shuffle of the grid during pit stops. He then drove his way up to eighth with one lap to go and sixth, just under five second behind fifth, at the checkered flag. They were the second-highest finishing Porsche 996 in the event.
Stanton, who won the SGS class Rolex Series event at Homestead-Miami Speedway last year, will make his seventh Rolex 24 At Daytona appearance tomorrow. The green flag falls on Stanton's No. 73 Mesco Building Solutions-Alchemy Porsche 911 GT3 Cup entry of Baldwin-Tafel Racing at noon (EST). Stanton drove to sixth in SGS class at last year's Rolex 24 after being hit early in the race. He will be joined in the Baldwin-Tafel Porsche by owner/ drivers Jack Baldwin (Marietta, Ga.) and Jim Tafel (Alpharetta, Ga.), 2004 Rolex 24 GT class winner Robin Liddell (Northampton, England) and Andrew Davis (Bogart, Ga.).
about the Grand-Am Cup 200: "The guys on the Race Prep team did a great job today. They had a big job of building two new cars in the last week. We didn't qualify as well as we wanted but I know a lot about this type of racing. We were definitely down on power, even compared to the other Porsches. With the 3.4 liter engine this is really a momentum car. We just tucked in with other cars on the banking and let them part the air. The pit stops were flawless. The team had a really good day, a good top-ten finish. We'll take that and get our points and continue on."
about the Rolex 24:
"The team has been behind just a little bit after missing the test. But there is a lot of resources and information on this Baldwin-Tafel team, a lot of experience. So, I am comfortable that we'll be able to make up for that. I think it will be a tire race. Can you balance the front and balance the back? I think you'll be able to double stint the fronts but not the back tires. We'll know that in the first three hours. I'm really excited about being involved with this team. We have a really good shot at showing well here at the Rolex 24."
For more on Craig Stanton please visit www.craigstanton.com.