Sensing The Sixth: Daytona Prototypes Looking For Record-Extending Win Streak at The Glen WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (June 7, 2007) -- Heading into this weekend's Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen, the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown...
Sensing The Sixth: Daytona Prototypes Looking For Record-Extending Win Streak at The Glen
WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (June 7, 2007) -- Heading into this weekend's Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen, the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Special Reserve Daytona Prototype division is riding a record streak of five different winners in as many races.
A familiar list of former Daytona Prototype champions and first-time race winners alike has graced the top step of the podium five times so far in 2007, but a strong line-up of other top Grand-Am teams and race winners could very well break through to post the record-extending sixth win of the season at the end of Saturday's Sahlen's Six Hour classic.
Here is a look at six Daytona Prototype teams that are among those likely to post the sixth different win of the season this weekend in the Sahlen's Six Hour. The list of half a dozen potent teams includes 15 different drivers, the majority of which have at least one career Rolex Series win or a 2007 podium to their credit, not to mention a great deal of success at Watkins Glen.
The line-up includes the two-time defending Sahlen's Six Hour winning team, another that scored its breakout win in last year's season-ending endurance race, two iconic entries from one of the most famous names in sports car racing, a rejuvenated effort from a top series chassis constructor looking to return to its winning ways and a team that has arguably been the surprise of the season so far in 2007.
No. 75/76 Krohn Racing Pontiac Riley -- The competitive Krohn Racing outfit is being counted as one team in this report because they have held a singular lock on the Sahlen's Six Hours of the Glen the last two years with their nearly identical Pontiac Rileys. Krohn has won the last two editions of the Sahlen's Six Hour, with team owner Tracy Krohn and Nic Jonsson taking their only career Grand-Am Rolex Series win in the 2005 race and defending series champion Jorg Bergmeister and guest driver Boris Said partnering to win last year's classic. Each team is capable of giving Krohn a "three-peat" and the record sixth series win this time around. Krohn and Jonsson are back for a third season together in the No. 76 Krohn Racing Pontiac Riley while teenage stand-out Colin Braun co-drives the No. 75 Krohn Racing Pontiac Riley with Max Papis, who shared both the 2004 Daytona Prototype championship and that year's Sahlen's Six Hour victory with then Ganassi teammate Scott Pruett.
No. 60 Michael Shank Racing Lexus Riley -- Mark Patterson and Oswaldo Negri Jr. put Michael Shank Racing on the map after scoring the first win for all on the team in the 2006 season-ending 1000k race at Miller Motorsports Park, the second longest race on the schedule. Patterson and Negri are also peaking at the right time heading into the Sahlen's Six Hour this weekend after posting a season's best third-place finish one race ago at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in the U.S. Sports Car Invitational delivered by Luggage Express. The duo also finished fourth in both races at The Glen last year. They have proven they have what it takes to win again at the Glen this weekend.
No. 58 Red Bull/Brumos Porsche Porsche Riley -- Co-drivers David Donohue and Darren Law pulled together a spirited effort at Virginia International Raceway in April with a third-place result, just days after their late car owner Bob Snodgrass passed away. It was the first Grand-Am Rolex Series podium for the Red Bull team since 2003, the same year Donohue and then teammates Mike Borkowski and Scott Goodyear won the 2003 Sahlen's Six Hour in the No. 58 Red Bull Porsche, which at the time was a Fabcar chassis. Now relying on the Porsche Riley combination, the No. 58 has been strong at nearly every race this season and was the fastest race car on the track in this past January's Rolex 24 At Daytona, only to be taken out in an accident before nightfall. The pedigree is right for both the drivers -- Law has several GT wins at the Glen -- and team to put together their first win in nearly four years on Saturday.
No. 59 Brumos Porsche/Kendall Porsche Riley -- In his final full season of driving, veteran Hurley Haywood would like nothing than to give the legendary Brumos No. 59 another visit to the Watkins Glen victory lane, which would be an ideal tribute to Snodgrass, who was born in nearby Elmira, N.Y. Haywood is scheduled again to compete with JC France this weekend, and the pair hopes to improve on their best finish of fourth in the season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona, the year's only previous endurance race. Like their No. 58 teammates, the new Porsche Riley package has proven fast and reliable and the No. 59 is far from a long shot for the victory this weekend. With Portuguese sports car talent Joao Barbosa joining the team this weekend as a third driver, their chances all the much better.
No. 39 Cheever Racing Crown Royal Special Reserve Porsche Fabcar -- Christian Fittipaldi and co-driver Harrison Brix will be joined by series newcomer Antonio Garcia, from Catalonia, this weekend as they prepare to give the rejuvenated Porsche Fabcar its first endurance race test. With completely revamped bodywork, the No. 39 Porsche Fabcar has been strong from its debut in the Grand Prix of Miami in March where Fittipaldi led in the early going. The Crown Royal squad also ran up front one race ago at Laguna Seca, where Fittipaldi lapped near the top of the speed charts in practice. While the new combination has produced no finish higher than 11th, all involved in the Cheever and Fabcar camp have what it takes to win the Sahlen's Six Hour this weekend. Fittipaldi finished second to then teammates Krohn and Jonsson after leading late in the 2005 race, while the Fabcar has the 2003 Sahlen's Six Hour win with Donohue and the Red Bull team to its credit.
No. 11 SAMAX CITGO Pontiac Riley -- While the team's driver roster continues to fluctuate on a race-to-race basis, one thing that has been consistent about the No. 11 SAMAX Citgo Pontiac Riley has been its on track performance this year. With lead driver Patrick Carpentier anchoring the team, the No. 11 SAMAX/Citgo squad shocked the sports car world by leading and nearly winning the Rolex 24 before posting a season's best second-place finish. Proving the result was no one-hit wonder, the SAMAX CITGO team went on to post three more top-five finishes in the year's opening rounds and now comes to Watkins Glen a legitimate favorite for the Sahlen's Six Hour win. Carpentier will be joined this weekend by French Canadian countryman Antoine Bessette and sports car talent Tomas Enge, who join Ryan Dalziel, Jean-Francois Dumoulin, Darren Manning and Milka Duno on the large list of drivers who have kept the No. 11 SAMAX CITGO race car in top on-track performance this year. Their first win of the year is not out of the question.
The list of race winners that have posted the record streak to date include the No. 01 TELMEX Chip Ganassi with Felix Sabates (Scott Pruett, Salvador Duran and Juan Pablo Montoya; Rolex 24 At Daytona), No. 99 GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing (Alex Gurney and Jon Fogarty; Mexico City), No. 05 Luggage Express Team Sigalsport BMW (Bill Auberlen and Matthew Alhadeff; Homestead-Miami Speedway), No. 10 SunTrust Racing (Max Angelelli and Jan Magnussen; Virginia International Raceway) and the No. 23 Alex Job Racing/Ruby Tuesday (Jorg Bergmeister and Patrick Long).