Spirit of Daytona fifth on Daytona 24H grid

The team leads the Corvette DP brigade ahead of home race.

Daytona Beach - Spirit of Daytona Racing will open the 2013 Rolex 24 At Daytona from fifth on the over-50 car field as the home team looks to open the Rolex Series season with a big result. The race will see full time pilots Ricky Taylor and Richard Westbrook teamed with Antonio Garcia and Oliver Gavin for the twice around the clock classic as Spirit of Daytona looks to deliver another victory with their Corvette DP after winning three races in 2013.

#90 Spirit Of Daytona Corvette DP: Antonio Garcia, Richard Westbrook, Oliver Gavin, Ricky Taylor
#90 Spirit Of Daytona Corvette DP: Antonio Garcia, Richard Westbrook, Oliver Gavin, Ricky Taylor

Photo by: Eric Gilbert

Westbrook took the controls for the 15-minute qualifying session and carded a fast lap time of 1:41.844-seconds in the No. 90 VisitFlorida.com Corvette DP. The pole winning entry set a time of 1:40.553-seconds.

Spirit of Daytona scored two poles with Westbrook driving in 2012 and had been hoping to once again pace the field to the green flag, but will have a little bit of work to do to move forward once the race starts. But the team, which has seen victory in the huge event (AGT, 2002), knows what the big picture is like for this race and is focused on executing on everything within its control to find a way to win.

“We’ll see, when the green flag falls,” said team owner Troy Flis. “I think we’ve got a good driving racecar. I don’t think we had anything for them for the pole. We’ve just got to go out there and do the best we can do. It’s a long race, so looking at that is the biggest thing. We are proud to be the fastest Chevrolet today, but of course the race is what everyone is concentrated on. Hopefully we can just go out there, stay clean and stay out of trouble and be ready to race on Sunday afternoon.

“Obviously it’s nice to be fifth,” said Westbrook. “Doesn’t really matter for a 24 hour race, but what’s really worrying is the gap to the BMW’s. It took a real good lap and a real good tow to even get within 1.3 seconds of them. I’m pleased. The team gave me a great car, I can’t fault the car, and we’re the first Corvette DP so that’s all we can do. I’m pleased for our new sponsor VisitFlorida.com. We’re starting at the front end of the grid, and I think we’re going to have a really good race, actually. I knew the gap was going to be big, but I didn’t think it was going to be that big. But there’s not a lot we can do about the competition—it’s best not to focus on them.”

Spirit of Daytona Racing

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Antonio Garcia , Oliver Gavin , Eric Gilbert , Richard Westbrook , Ricky Taylor
Article type Qualifying report
Tags corvette, garcia, gavin, grandam, rolex, taylor, westbrook