Wednesday, July 01, 2009
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (July 1, 2009) - TELMEX Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates brings plenty of momentum to Daytona International Speedway for Saturday's Brumos Porsche 250, Round 7 of 12 of the 2009 Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16 season.
The 70-lap, 250-mile race, with a two-hour and 20-minute time limit, takes the green flag at 2 p.m. ET (SPEED, live), followed by the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coke Zero 400 at 8 p.m.
Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas are coming off back-to-back victories in the No. 01 TELMEX Lexus Riley, taking sole possession of the Daytona Prototype championship lead.
Ganassi Racing has also entered a second car for the Brumos Porsche 250, the No. 02 Waste Management Lexus Riley for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series regulars Kyle Busch and Scott Speed - who will both make their Grand-Am debuts. Busch will be doing triple duty, running in Friday's NASCAR Nationwide Series race in addition to Saturday evening's Coke Zero 400.
"It's going to be interesting having the two different races on the same day, and it's going to be a big challenge for both of us coming from a car that has a lot of grip and doing a lot of turning to going to the stock car, where we'll be keeping it flat out and drafting all night," said Speed, a veteran of 28 Formula One Grand Prix races before moving over to the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in 2008. "Hopefully, we will be good enough to challenge for the win. At the end of the day, that's what we're going there to do."
Pruett won the 2008 Brumos Porsche 250 in dramatic fashion, passing Alex Gurney in the closing yards in what was then the closest finish in Rolex Series history. Gurney and Jon Fogarty are two-time winners this season in the No. 99 GAINSCO Pontiac Riley, and trail Pruett and Rojas by 11 points (175-164).
Also part of the championship scramble are SunTrust Racing's Brian Frisselle and Max Angelelli - one point behind the GAINSCO duo, while another point back are Penske Racing's Romain Dumas and Timo Bernhard. Both teams are looking for their first victory of the season.
Fifth in the points are 2009 Rolex 24 At Daytona winners David Donohue and Darren Law, co-drivers of the No. 58 Brumos Porsche Riley.
Antonio Garcia and 2004 Indianapolis 500 winner Buddy Rice also were part of Brumos' winning lineup from the Rolex 24. They will be reunited for the Brumos Porsche 250, co-driving the No. 90 Spirit of Daytona Racing Porsche Coyote.
Also making their Daytona Prototype debut are Dion von Moltke and Hennie Groenewald, at the wheel of Doran Racing's No. 77 McDonald's/South African Airways Ford Dallara. Groenewald, currently seeking his fourth championship in the South African Westbank V8 Supercars, finished sixth in the GT class at New Jersey Motorsports Park in May.
Competitors will face dramatically different conditions when they return to Daytona, with the Brumos Porsche 250 running in daylight for the first time. The event dates back to 1967-1985, when it began at the stroke of midnight on July 4. It's been an evening race during the Independence Day weekend since Grand-Am resurrected the event in 2000.
Tremblay, Ham Seek Third Straight Brumos Porsche 250 GT Victory
Sylvain Tremblay and Nick Ham seek to make Grand-Am Rolex Series history in the July 4 Brumos Porsche 250 at Daytona International Speedway. The co-drivers of the No. 70 SpeedSource Castrol Syntec Mazda RX-8 are seeking to become the first Rolex Series drivers to win the same class in the same event in three consecutive years. In addition to winning the Acxiom GT class in the Brumos Porsche 250 from 2007-08, SpeedSource won the GT portion of the 2008 Rolex 24. SpeedSource also fields the No. 69 FXDD Mazda RX-8 for Emil Assentato and Jeff Segal.
A pair of independent Mazda teams is also expected to challenge after strong showings in the most recent event at Mid-Ohio. Dane Cameron and Tom Sutherland finished fourth in the No. 30 Racers Edge Mazda RX-8, while Patrick Dempsey scored a career-best sixth with co-driver Joe Foster in Dempsey Racing's No. 40 El Grado Tequila Mazda RX-8. The team now has five consecutive top-10 finishes since placing 22nd in the Rolex 24.
The hottest car in GT is the No. 87 Farnbacher Loles Racing Porsche GT3 of Dirk Werner and Leh Keen. They have won three of the last four races in the No. 87, taking a 16-point lead (186-170) in the championship.
TRG also is looking to give Porsche its first GT class victory in the Brumos Porsche 250, coming off a 1-2 class finish in the Rolex 24. Andy Lally and Justin Marks share the team's Rolex 24-winning No. 67, while Spencer Pumpelly teams with team owner Kevin Buckler in the No. 66.
Pontiac will challenge for GT honors with the Banner Racing's No. 07 Drinkin' Mate GXP.R of defending champions Kelly Collins and Paul Edwards, and Stevenson Motorsports' No. 57 Bryan Mark Financial GXP.R of Andrew Davis and Robin Liddell. The two teams are second and third in the standings.
The Brumos Porsche 250 will be a one-day event for the Rolex Series competitors. A two-hour practice session begins at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, followed by qualifying at 10:45 a.m. and the race at 2 p.m. For news, notes and live timing and scoring, visit www.grand-am.com, and for live updates, visit www.twitter.com/RolexSeries.