Pontiac DP versus Pontiac GTO from the Spirit of Daytona's Driver Seat As the Friday afternoon practice session came to a finish both Spirit of Daytona 2005 teammates Doug Goad and Marc Antoine-Camirand had a chance to compare notes about...
Pontiac DP versus Pontiac GTO from the Spirit of Daytona's Driver Seat
As the Friday afternoon practice session came to a finish both Spirit of Daytona 2005 teammates Doug Goad and Marc Antoine-Camirand had a chance to compare notes about their laps turned in the Grand-Am Cup GTO. Not too long ago Goad and Camirand were climbing out of another Pontiac powered racecar, the Crawford Daytona Prototype, which is a beast of another sort. The two drivers commented on the very different racecar experience both Pontiacs offer.
Goad who has had numerous career and race victories campaigning Firebirds, Camaros, and Corvettes enjoyed his first experience behind the wheel of the GTO. " This is a great racecar. It is fun to drive and will excel on tracks like Watkins Glen, Laguna Seca and VIR," he said. When asked to compare the differences between the GTO and Daytona Prototype (DP) Goad was not afraid to state that there are very few similarities. "The DP really wants to be controlled and driven aggressively when on the racetrack. In contrast the GTO needs to be driven very gently. The braking points are different and the center of gravity is much higher. You really cannot compare the two cars. The GTO's handling falls somewhere in between the Corvette and the Firebird."
Camirand said that it takes about five laps to get use to the GTO's handling. Even though Camirand has had two previous GTO test sessions he is still getting use to the car's feel versus the Daytona Prototype. " I really do enjoy driving the car, but I am still learning it. It is a great looking car and the preparation has been awesome. The car has a good base but still leaves room for improvement." Camirand also compared the differences in speed, "when I jump into the GTO it feels slow compared to the DP but I know that it's still going pretty fast. It is just a heavier ride. The line to follow is different than what the DP would use. But it has good grip and will be great for the long ride."
The GTO will finish up practice sessions on Saturday leaving three weeks for the Spirit of Daytona to prepare the car for the first race of 2006 at Daytona International Speedway on January 27.