Pirelli Tire Test At Daytona
November 6, 2008 | 10:13 A.M. EST
Penske Racing and Childress-Howard Motorsports will be joined by many of the Rolex Series veteran teams among the 18 Daytona Prototypes and 19 GT entries entered for the Tuesday and Wednesday test, Nov. 11-12, in preparation for the season-opening 47th running of the Rolex 24 At Daytona.
Testing will include a Tuesday evening session running until 7:30 p.m. The sessions will be open to the public, and fans are able to view testing from the Sprint FANZONE with a $10 Daytona 500 Experience track tour-only ticket. Fans who have already purchased tickets to the 2009 Rolex 24 At Daytona will be admitted free.
Penske Racing, which participated in a three-day Daytona test in October, will return with the No. 5 Porsche Riley for Romain Dumas and Timo Bernhard and has added the No. 7 entry for 2004 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Kurt Busch and three-time 2008 IndyCar Series winner Ryan Briscoe.
Childress-Howard Motorsports will test with three-time Rolex 24 winner Andy Wallace joined by Rob Finlay in the No. 4 Pontiac Crawford. Another series newcomer is Forsythe Racing, which will have the No. 16 Pontiac Coyote for 2004 Rolex 24 winner Christian Fittipaldi and young Italian star Alberto Costa.
Veteran Rolex Series Daytona Prototype teams testing for the first time this fall include Michael Shank Racing with both of its Ford Rileys, AIM Autosport with the No. 61 Ford Riley, SunTrust Racing and Doran Racing. Krohn Racing and Brumos Porsche, which tested here in October, also return with two-car teams. Englishmen Oliver Gavin and Darren Turner will join Krohn Racing for the test.
Orbit Racing, which tested a Daytona Prototype in October, will return with Kyle Petty, Darren Manning and Leo Hindery driving the No. 45 BMW Riley. Spirit of Daytona Racing will return, with five-time Daytona 200 by Honda winner Scott Russell sharing the No. 09 Porsche Coyote with Guy Cosmo.
Alegra Motorsports, GT winner of the 2007 Rolex 24, moves up to the Daytona Prototype ranks with the No. 22 Porsche Riley to be tested by Cristiano da Matta, Ryan Dalziel, Carlos de Quesada and Jean-Francois Dumoulin. RVO Motorsports will test a pair of Pontiac Rileys for drivers Bill Lester, Justin Bell, Tonis Kasemets and Roger Schramm.
The top five GT teams from 2008 competition will test. Co-champions Kelly Collins and Paul Edwards, in the No. 07 Banner Racing Pontiac GXP.R, and runners-up Andrew Davis and Robin Liddell, in the No. 57 Stevenson Motorsports entry, lead the Pontiac stable. Also fielding a Pontiac will be the No. 32 PR1 Motorsports entry of Mike Forest, Thomas Merrill and Al Salvo.
Defending Rolex 24 GT winners Sylvain Tremblay, Nick Ham and David Haskell return in the No. 70 SpeedSource Castrol Syntec Mazda RX-8. Other Mazdas at the test include the No. 69 SpeedSource FXDD entry of Emil Assentato and Jeff Segal; the No. 40 Hyper Sport entry of Patrick Dempsey, Joe Foster and Charles Espenlaub; the No. 30 Racer's Edge driven by Dane Cameron and Doug Peterson; and the No. 36 of series newcomers Yellow Dragon Motorsports.
TRG took fourth and fifth in the 2008 championship for Porsche, and will bring back the No. 67 Porsche GT3 of Tim George Jr. and the No. 66 Porsche GT3 of 2006 Rolex 24 GT winner Spencer Pumpelly. John Potter is listed to drive a third TRG entry. Other Porsches include a two-car entry from Farnbacher Loles Racing, including drivers Dave Lacey, Bryce Miller, Daniel Graeff, Seth Ingham and Ron Yarab Jr.; the No. 64 JLowe Racing Porsche of the Main Line of 1996 Rolex 24 winner Jim Pace, Jim Lowe, Tim Sugden and Johannes van Overbeek; the No. 14 Autometrics Motorsports entry of Jack Baldwin, Claudio Burtin, Cory Friedman and Mac McGehee; the No. 33 Wright Motorsports GT3 of Phillip Martien and BJ Zacharias; and the No. 74 GTS Racing with Mitchum Motorsports entry of Jim and Bob Michaelian, Anthony Lazzaro, Joseph Safina and Derek Skea.
Jamie Holtom, the 2008 KONI Challenge Series Street Tuner champion, will join Eric Curran in the No. 00 Georgian Bay Motorsports Corvette.
Ian James and Tom Nastasi will co-drive the No. 15 Blackforest Motorsports Ford Mustang.
Tuesday's session is scheduled to run from 9 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., and concludes with a 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. session Wednesday. January Test Days, "The Roar Before the Rolex 24," is scheduled for Jan. 2-4.