Toyota prepares for its first return to Rolex 24 at Daytona since 1993. TORRANCE, Calif. (January 25, 2003) -- For the first time since winning the overall Rolex 24 At Daytona title in 1993, Toyota is returning to the Daytona International ...
Toyota prepares for its first return to Rolex 24 at Daytona since 1993.
TORRANCE, Calif. (January 25, 2003) -- For the first time since winning the overall Rolex 24 At Daytona title in 1993, Toyota is returning to the Daytona International Speedway for this year's running of the 24-hour extravaganza in the new Rolex Sports Car Series Daytona Prototype class.
Toyota will supply the 4.35-liter V8 Toyota engine to the new Cegwa Sport team, which will campaign a FABCAR chassis.
"We are pleased to return to professional North American sports car racing with Cegwa Sport in the new Daytona Prototype class," said Jim Aust, Toyota vice president of motorsports and the president and CEO of Toyota Racing Development (TRD), U.S.A. "The Grand American staff has put together a cost-effective series that should provide some terrific racing. Toyota has been away from the sports car ranks for 10 years, but we couldn't have found a better time to return than on the 10th anniversary of our win at the Rolex 24 in 1993."
When P.J. Jones' Toyota Eagle took the checkered flag in 1993, the veteran Toyota team was in the midst of an unprecedented stretch of 17 consecutive victories, and it was a strong favorite to win at Daytona. In its first year of existence, the Cegwa team is confident and ready to make the most of its efforts at the 24-hour race.
"We'd certainly be a Cinderella story to run up front at Daytona," said team owner Darius Grala, the 2002 Ferrari Challenge champion and lead driver for Cegwa. "We're a new team, and don't have a lot of the big names that some other teams have, but we're awfully hungry and we've assembled some great young drivers who are all very fast and chomping at the bit. I think we're going to improve tremendously as the season goes on and work to build this program into something special."
In addition to Grala, who had five Ferrari Challenge victories a year ago, Cegwa has assembled a group of young champions to handle the driving chores. Expected to pilot the Toyota FABCAR entry in Daytona are South American F3 champ Oswaldo Negri; Guy Cosmo, who won four races on the way to the 2002 Star Mazda title; and Joshua Rehm, a two-time Formula Dodge champion.
Tickets are currently on sale for the Rolex 24 At Daytona and can be purchased online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling the Speedway ticket office at 386-253-RACE. SPEED Channel will provide 16 hours of live coverage of the Rolex 24 on Saturday, Feb. 1, 12:30 p.m.-9 p.m. ET, and Sunday, Feb. 2, 6 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. ET.
For more information on the Rolex 24 At Daytona and the Rolex Sports Car Series, visit www.grandamerican.com.