RACE: Prototype manufacturer at 12 Hours at the Point

Prototype Manufacturer To Contest 12 Hours at the point. May 29, 2003: When the green flag flies at Noon this Saturday for the 5th Annual Kumho Tires 12 Hours at the Point, Robert Chase, one of a handful of Daytona Prototype Constructors, will...

Prototype Manufacturer To Contest 12 Hours at the point.

May 29, 2003: When the green flag flies at Noon this Saturday for the 5th Annual Kumho Tires 12 Hours at the Point, Robert Chase, one of a handful of Daytona Prototype Constructors, will step-up to the challenge of the grueling 12 hour race. Chase's firm, Chase Engineering, is one of only nine firms approved to do chassis and body work on the Daytona Prototypes that compete in the Grand-Am Rolex Series.

Chase and his co-driver Rich Mitchum are first time competitors in the 12 Hours at the Point, but have considerable experience in endurance races including the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona. Chase says that the two races are not comparable. According to Chase, "The Rolex is a 24-hour sprint race and the Kumho Tires 12 Hours at the Point is more of a classic endurance challenge." According to Chase, "The pace at Daytona is unbelievable and the game has really stepped up."

Chase maintains that building and setting up a car for the two races cannot be compared. "Well, the biggest difference is about $300,000," a laughing Chase said when asked about it. "Summit Point and Daytona are very different courses. Daytona is very hard on the car, especially for 24 hours," added Chase. Chase, however, also respects the challenge of Summit Point Raceway, "Don't get me wrong, Summit Point is demanding, but it just doesn't have the 195 MPH banking and that make a huge difference on the wear and tear of the car."

The level of competition also is very different between the two races. "At the 12 Hours at the Point, we expect to find some of the best endurance club racers competing, but the Rolex is an entirely different level of competition. The Rolex Series is at least one-third international drivers and the caliber of drivers is unbelievable. You've got people from CART, IRL, F1, and NASCAR and you will be racing against some of the best in the world," said Chase.

Chase, whose first driving instructor was Summit Point's own Bill Scott has yet to challenge the 12 Hours at the Point, but he thinks his team has a good chance for the outright victory of the race favorite Team OG Racing. "Our car is fast and it hasn't been beat yet. "

At midnight, when the checkered flag falls, we will find out if this is still true.

-dcr/jj-

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series SCCA
Drivers Robert Chase