DAYTONA, FL (January 30, 1998) - The field is set for tomorrow's Rolex 24 at Daytona International Speedway. The 75 car field will take the green at 1:00 pm. on Saturday afternoon. The Scandia Ferrari 333SP will lead the field to the green flag...
DAYTONA, FL (January 30, 1998) - The field is set for tomorrow's Rolex 24 at Daytona International Speedway. The 75 car field will take the green at 1:00 pm. on Saturday afternoon.
The Scandia Ferrari 333SP will lead the field to the green flag with the Momo Ferrari 333SP alongside. The three Ferrari's in the field will start one-two-three, each with a stellar team of world-class drivers.
The Scandia team Ferrari will be wheeled by Max Papis, Yannick Dalmas, Bob Wollek, Ron Fellows and Andy Evans. Papis finished second in last year's Rolex 24 in unforgettablle drive in the last hour. Papis chased the winning Dyson entry to the closest finish ever in the event's 35 year history.
Yannick Dalmas makes his second appearance in the Rolex 24. Dalmas, the 1992 FIA Sportscar Champion, finished third in a Porsche 911 in GT2 last year.
Bob Wollek is the veteran on the Scandia team, with 18 previous starts in the Rolex 24. He's tallied four wins in GTP cars at the Rolex 24 in 1983, 1985, 1989 and 1991. Wollek has scored an overall or class victory in 73 major international racing events.
Ron Fellows will start his third Rolex 24 tomorrow. Fellows has yet to finish this race in his two attempts. Fellows last won at the wheel of a Ferrari last August at Mosport Park, one week after winning the NASCAR Craftsman Truck race at Watkins Glen.
Starting alongside the Scandia entry is the Momo Ferrari driven by Gianpiero Moretti, Didier Theys, Arie Luyendyk and Mauro Baldi. Moretti is the oldest-ever winner of a WSC or GTP/GTX event. His last win came at the Watkins Glen Six Hour race in June of 1996, at the age of 56 years, 81 days.
1987 Indy Lights Champion, Didier Theys will start his fifth Rolex 24 tomorrow. Theys has made 47 starts in Indy car races but he's no stranger to endurance racing. In 1987, Theys won the Spa 24 Hours touring car classic.
Two time Indy 500 winner, Arie Luyendyk joins the Momo team this year to make his seventh start in the Daytona 24. Arie's best finish in this race was a second place in his first attempt in 1986.
Mauro Baldi rounds out the Momo team this year. Baldi comes from the 1997 FIA GT series where he had three top ten finishes in eight starts. Baldi has competed in five previous Rolex 24s with a best finish of second in his first attempt in 1988.
Starting in the third postion will be the Doyle-Risi racing Ferrari 333SP of Wayne Taylor, Eric Van de Poele and Fermin Velez. Taylor drove the winning Ford Riley & Scott here in 1996. He had a disappointing season in 1997 and will look to start the new season with a good finish.
Van de Poele has yet to finish in the Rolex and he'll looking for for a good result as well.
Velez has five top ten finishes in six Rolex 24 starts. His best finish has been second place in 1992 and 1997. Velez was also the 1982 and 1985 Spanish Hillclimb champion.
The Ferrari teams have done their homework and qualified in the first three positions. The teams have assembled top drivers from around the world to pilot the cars. You can have the best car and the best drivers, but the race will come down to the team that doesn't experience any catastrophic problems. It wouldn't hurt to have a rabbit's foot too.