Spirit of Daytona Racing Enters Rolex 24 Spirit of Daytona Racing has officially entered the 47th running of Rolex 24 At Daytona with drivers Scott Russell, Jeff Ward, and Jason Pridmore posted to drive the No. 09 Porsche V8-powered Coyote at Daytona International Speedway in the season-opening event for the 2009 Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal.
While the Rolex 24 event will mark the first appearance in the twice-around-the-clock classic for Russell, Ward, and Pridmore, the trio of motorcycle champions each have several chapters of success already to their names at Daytona in two wheel competition and will look to add a new one on four wheels as they take on 24 grueling hours on the World Center of Speed’s 3.56-mile road course.
In the 2008 running of the Rolex 24 At Daytona, the No. 09 Porsche V8-Coyote took the highest finish for any Porsche-powered Daytona Prototype with its run to tenth in class.
Campaigning a limited 2008 schedule, the V8 Porsche-powered Coyote made significant progress with Spirit of Daytona Racing as the new chassis-motor combination was deployed into competition for an extensive development program. The No. 09 will now wear the latest in Coyote bodywork for the 24, which will be preceded by the “Roar Before the 24” test days on January 3-5.
Russell, Ward, Pridmore, and Spirit of Daytona driver Guy Cosmo had a productive test as the Rolex Sports Car Series racers got their first taste of the 2009-specification Pirelli tires in November testing at Daytona International Speedway, and will look to continue that progress in the Roar test days.
“We’re really focused on getting things off to a good start with a strong performance in the 24, and we were encouraged not only by being able to finish the race last year, but also by how much we learned through the season,” said Spirit of Daytona Racing team owner Troy Flis. “Now we’ve got the new bodywork on the car so we’ll have some new data to put to work with these new tires, but we already learned a lot in November and look forward to pushing further ahead with the test right after the New Year.”
Despite the fact that his driver line up is packed full of Rolex rookies, Flis is encouraged by what he’s seen from his line up as the squad prepares for the biggest race of the season.
“The guys have really been impressive,” said Flis. “There is a lot that goes into the transition from motorcycles to Daytona Prototypes, and they’ve all been really methodical with what they’ve been doing, which is really the main thing any team owner can ask. This race doesn’t give points for one flying lap—you have to be quick and avoid any mistakes for 24 straight hours. These guys all get that, and the approach that they have in the testing we’ve done, it’s crystal clear why they’ve all been champions before.”
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