Key GRAND-AM Test Set To Begin At DIS
The GRAND-AM Sports Car Series will stage a major test onTuesday and Wednesday at Daytona International Speedway. The test will feature new cars that will compete at this year’s 50th anniversary edition of the Rolex 24 at DIS.
Four Corvettes are among the seven Daytona Prototypes entered, including three making their public debut. GT has a strong, 23-car turnout, including three new Ferrari F458 Italia Grand Ams, the American testing debut of the Audi R8 GRAND-AM, two Ford Mustangs and a Dodge Viper. The cars will make their competition debut at the 2012 Rolex Series season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona on Jan. 28-29.
The Corvette DP was unveiled on the eve of the recent November test at Daytona, with the Spirit of Daytona entry turning its first laps with Antonio Garcia and Oliver Gavin at the wheel. Both Garcia and Gavin will return to test in the No. 90, while Action Express Racing and SunTrust Racing expected to debut their new Corvettes. David Donohue and Darren Law are entered in the No. 5 Corvette DP, with Joao Barbosa, Terry Borcheller and JC France in the No. 9. SunTrust regulars Max Angelelli and Ricky Taylor are set to drive the No. 10 SunTrust Corvette DP.
Action Express Racing will also test a third car, the No. 58 Porsche/Riley for Felipe Nasr, winner of the 2012 Sunoco Rolex 24 At Daytona Challenge. AC/DC lead singer Brian Johnson and Byron DeFoor will test the No. 50 50+ Racing/Predator BMW/Riley, joined by former Rolex 24 winners Elliott Forbes-Robinson, Jim Pace and Carlos de Quesada.
Three teams will field the new Ferraris built specifically for Rolex Series competition. Scott Sharp, overall winner of the 1996 Rolex 24, will be joined by Ed Brown, Guy Cosmo and Johannes van Overbeek in the No. 03 Extreme Speed Motorsports entry sponsored by Tequila Patron. AIM Autosport debuts the No. 69 FXDD Ferrari for Emil Assentato, Jeff Segal and Nick Longhi. Raphael Matos and Toni Vilander will co-drive the No. 62 Risi Competizione entry.
A late entry was filed by the Audi factory for the Audi R8 GRAND-AM, a new car built specifically for the Rolex Series that will be driven by factory test drivers.
Dodge Viper looks to compete in the Rolex Series for the first time since 2002 with the No. 87 Racers Edge Motorsports 3Dimensional/Dodge Motorsports Viper Competition Coupe for drivers Doug Peterson and Jan Heylen.
Running Ford Mustangs at the test are TPN Racing/Blackforest with Tom Nastasi in the No. 11 Speedlogix/Borla/Race Tec Mustang, while no drivers have been listed for the No. 15 Rick Ware Racing Poynt-sponsored entry that will be driven by Jeffrey Earnhardt in the Rolex 24.
Andy Lally, recently crowned the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Raybestos Rookie of the Year in Las Vegas, will have his first test with John Potter in the No. 44 Porsche GT3 as part of a two-car Magnus Racing entry.
Four-time Rolex 24 class winner TRG will have five Porsche GT3s, including the No. 67 Sargent & Lundy entry for defending winners Spencer Pumpelly and Steven Bertheau. Other drivers include two-time Daytona 500 winner Michael Waltrip, MWR co-owner Rob Kauffman and Rui Aguas, who are preparing to race in the Rolex 24 in a new Ferrari, along with former Formula One and Indy car driver Eliseo Salazar.
Defending Rolex Series GT champions Brumos Porsche leads six single-car teams testing Porsches. Five-time Rolex 24 overall winner Hurley Haywood will share the No. 59 Brumos Porsche GT3 with 2011 champs Leh Keen and Andrew Davis. Three-time Rolex 24 overall winner Butch Leitzinger is part of the lineup on the No. 23 Alex Job Racing Porsche. BMW, Mazda and Chevrolet will be represented by single entries at the test.
Testing on both days runs from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. A section of the Oldfield Grandstands will be open free to the public with access available through the lobby of the Daytona International Speedway ticket office.No Comment