Tim Allen and others to drive at Daytona

"Tool Time" Tim Allen to Race In Rolex 24 One of Three Actors Competing in IMSA Season Openers DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Jan. 27) -- When Tim Allen, the star of the hit ABC Television sitcom "Home Improvement," heard that ...

"Tool Time" Tim Allen to Race In Rolex 24 One of Three Actors Competing in IMSA Season Openers

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Jan. 27) -- When Tim Allen, the star of the hit ABC Television sitcom "Home Improvement," heard that drivers in the Feb. 1-2 Rolex 24 At Daytona had to make their own repairs if their cars broke down on course at Daytona International Speedway during the 24-hour race, he was thrilled. "I'm gadget-oriented, and proud of it!" says Allen with the gusto that would make his Home Improvement character, Tim Taylor, swell with pride. The actor, who is co-owner of Saleen-Allen Racing with championship driver and car builder Steve Saleen, will drive a GTS-2 class Saleen Ford Mustang in the 35th Rolex 24, the season opener for the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) Exxon World SportsCar Championship and Supreme GT Series. Lest it be thought an act, proficiency with gadgets is not out of place in the Rolex 24. Buddy Norton, driver of a front-engined World SportsCar, once had to run a wire from a broken throttle linkage over the windshield and into the car's open cockpit so he could drive it back to pit road. "Tool Time Tim" would've been proud! "We are finally proving on the track what any Saleen Mustang owner knows -- their car can beat any Corvette or Porsche," said Saleen, the specialty vehicle manufacturer who has built more than 4,000 vehicles since the company's inception in 1984. "The team has proved it by winning the (Sports Car Club of America World Challenge) manufacturers championship in our second racing season." Allen will be joined in the Rolex 24 by Craig T. Nelson, star of the ABC sitcom "Coach." Nelson, whose Screaming Eagles team has run the Rolex 24 for the past two years, will again compete in a Ford R&S Mk. III World SportsCar. Jason Priestley, who stars in the Fox Television drama series "Beverly Hills 90210," will drive a Ford Mustang for the second year in the DAYTONA USA Two-Hour IMSA Endurance Championship race set for Friday at 3:30 p.m. The actors are all teamed with drivers with strong competition backgrounds, so it's not unfeasible they might win their respective classes. Along with Saleen, Allen will co-drive with up-and-coming youngster Rob Rizzo and all-around road racing standout Price Cobb. Nelson counts IMSA GT and SCCA Trans-Am winner Darin Brassfield among his teammates. Priestley will split time in the two-hour event for race-prepared street cars with expatriate Englishman Andy Pilgrim, who unofficially broke the Daytona Endurance Championship track record in testing earlier in January. As difficult as managing their public careers can seem, all three have found the pressure of competing at high speed a manageable endeavor. And, controlling the intensity usually displayed by "Tool Time Tim," Allen sees a simple challenge in his first attempt at the twice-around-the-clock grind. "Staying awake," he said, flashing a trademark smile. Tickets for the events surrounding the Rolex 24 At Daytona are available from $5 for a night practice ticket to $70 for an "Advance Super Ticket" good for admission to all four days of the event, including infield, grandstand, garage and paddock admission and free infield car parking. For tickets call the Speedway ticket office at (904) 253-7223.

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Series IMSA Others
Drivers Andy Pilgrim , Jason Priestley , Steve Saleen