New Corvette DPs, Ferraris, Viper To Highlight Two-Day Test
Thursday, December 01, 2011
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – GRAND-AM fans will get a look at the future Tuesday and Wednesday at Daytona International Speedway in a two-day Rolex Sports Car Series test at Daytona International Speedway.
Four of the new Corvettes are among the six Daytona Prototypes entered, with additional DPs expected for the session.
GT has a strong, 19-car turnout, including three new Ferrari F458 Italia Grand Ams, two Ford Mustangs and a Dodge Viper.
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 for next week's test in the No. 90, with 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.
Action Express Racing will also test a third car, the No. 58 Porsche/Riley with Donohue, Ozz Negri and 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 Ferrari of Fort Lauderdale entry.
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 yet for the No. 15 Rick Ware Racing Poynt-sponsored entry.
Andy Lally, who will be crowned the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Raybestos Rookie of the Year in Las Vegas on Friday, will have his first test with Magnus Racing, joining John Potter in the No. 44 Porsche GT3.
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. Dodge Viper Cup champion Ben Keating and Carlos Gomez will pilot the No. 66 Viper Exchange Porsche. Other drivers include two-time Daytona 500 winner Michael Waltrip and former Formula One and Indy car driver Eliseo Salazar.
Defending Rolex Series GT champions Brumos Porsche leads five 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.
Other Porsches include Scott Rettich in the Alliance Autosport No. 12 PDI Communication System entry; Tim Pappas and Lance Willsey in the No. 34 for Orbit Racing; Frank DelVecchio, Doug Grunnet, Tony Kester and Scott McKee in the No. 55 Acumen Motorsport/ALM Materials Handling GT3; and David Murry in the No. 86 Mitchum Motorsports GT3.
BMW, Mazda and Chevrolet will be represented by single entries at the test.
Bill Auberlen and Paul Dalla Lana return in the No. 94 Turner Motorsport BMW M3. Joe Foster, Don Kitch Jr. and Dan Rogers will share the No. 41 Dempsey Racing Mazda RX-8, and Paul Edwards and Matthew Marsh will join Jordan Taylor in the No. 88 Autohaus Motorsports Flexbox Camaro.