DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Grand-Am Road Racing will sanction a test at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Thursday. Nine teams in the Daytona Prototype and Acxiom GT classes of the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16 will participate in this historic event.
The teams will test on the 2.534-mile Formula One circuit from 10 a.m. to noon, and then switch to the 2.621-mile MotoGP configuration from 1 to 3 p.m.
"This is going to be very cool and exciting, because this is a very historical place," said Buddy Rice, winner of the 2004 Indianapolis 500 and 2009 Rolex 24 At Daytona. "Every time I go underneath the tunnel at 16th Street it gives me the chills. It's an awesome place to be able to drive on."
Scott Pruett, a top-10 finisher in both the Indianapolis 500 and Brickyard 400, agrees.
"It's a dream come true to come back to Indianapolis," said Pruett, the 1989 Indy 500 co-Rookie of the Year. "This is a magical place, and going back there will give me goose bumps."
Rice will drive the No. 90 Spirit of Daytona Racing Porsche Coyote, while Pruett will be joined by Memo Rojas in the No. 01 Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates Lexus Riley.
Others expected at the test include 2007 champion Jon Fogarty with Bob Stallings in the No. 99 GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing Pontiac Riley; Wayne and Ricky Taylor in the No. 10 SunTrust Racing Ford Dallara; and Michael Valiante, John Pew and Michael Shank in the No. 6 Michael Shank Racing Ford Riley.
Acxiom GT teams and drivers include Leh Keen and Dirk Werner in the No. 87 Farnbacher Loles Racing Porsche GT3; Spencer Pumpelly and Kevin Buckler in the No. 67 TRG Porsche GT3; Robin Liddell and Andrew Davis in the No. 57 Stevenson Motorsports Pontiac GXP.R; and Sylvain Tremblay in the No. 70 Speedsource Syntec Castrol Mazda RX-8.
"I can't wait to drive across those bricks at top speed," said Tremblay, GT winner of the 2008 Rolex 24 At Daytona. "We're very honored to participate. As a sports car racer, I never thought that I could get to actually go out and test at Indy."
Buckler, overall winner of the 2003 Rolex 24 At Daytona, has curtailed his driving to concentrate on running his Grand-Am and NASCAR teams. He only drives on special occasions - such as this test.
"This is one of those boxes I can't wait to check off," Buckler said. "Every team owner and driver would love to get behind the wheel at Indianapolis. I was fortunate to participate in the NASCAR race there this year, and now being there with Grand-Am is like the cherry on top. This is a big deal for everyone with the series, to be testing at one of racing's hallowed grounds."
Spectators can enter the track at the Main Gate for free and sit in the bleachers in the infield adjacent to the Hall of Fame Museum. Those bleachers always are open. There will be no admission fee to the infield or garage.
The next Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series race will be Sept. 19 at Miller Motorsports Park near Salt Lake City, Utah (SPEED Live, 5:30 p.m. ET).
News used with permission from Grand Am.