Juan Pablo Montoya Finalizes Rolex 24 At Daytona Ride
Juan Pablo Montoya's participation in the 45th anniversary of the Rolex 24 At Daytona was made official during the second day of Rolex 24 At Daytona testing when Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates announced their driver lineup.
Owner Chip Ganassi announced his two-car effort for the Rolex 24 on Jan. 27-28 and will have Montoya team with Scott Pruett and Salvador Duran in the No. 01 TELMEX/Target Daytona Lexus Riley.
IRL IndyCar Series stars Scott Dixon and Dan Wheldon will return to the driver's seat of the No. 02 Target/TELMEX Lexus Riley, the winner of the 2006 Rolex 24, with Pruett's full-time Rolex Series teammate Memo Rojas.
Montoya, who has previously visited Daytona International Speedway during go-karts events with his brother, is enjoying his first laps at "The World Center of Racing."
"It was pretty exciting to be out here," Montoya said. "It's great. I didn't even know where the road course went. It was nice. I took a ride in the car this morning. It was nice we're using both banks. It's pretty good, actually helps me a little bit when I come back in the Cup car. It's quite bumpy. You kind of find where the bumps are.
"The car is a lot of fun to drive. As everybody said, I think we've got a winning package, but a lot of people do as well. We need to work hard and keep the car in one piece to bring it to the end. I think if we do a good job, there is definitely a decent chance of winning."
Gordon wraps up test: Three-time Daytona 500 winner Jeff Gordon wrapped up his second and final day of Rolex 24 testing.
Gordon, who will share the driving duties with SunTrust Racing car owner/driver Wayne Taylor and Italian Max Angelelli in the twice-around-the-clock challenge, says he is getting more relaxed after every shift in the No. 10 SunTrust Racing Pontiac Riley.
His car remains fast throughout the session and the four-time NASCAR champion is looking forward to his first Rolex 24 start.
"I really don't know a lot of what to expect once the race starts other than what other guys have told me," Gordon said. "But I think I'm going to have to go out there and experience that for myself. I'll have to let you know after my first stint how much fun I'm having. If it goes anything like what it's gone so far, I'm sure I'm going to be smiling."
Fastest of the day: The No. 02 Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates Lexus Riley showed its speed on Friday. With Dixon and Wheldon, the defending race winning car posted the fastest speed of the entire
test with a lap of 123.234 mph, 1 minute, 43.997 seconds.
The No. 10 SunTrust Racing Pontiac Riley remains near the top of the speed chart with a fast lap turned on Friday of 123.170 mph, 1:44.051.
The Roar Before the Rolex 24: The inaugural Roar Before The Rolex 24 At Daytona will wrap up on Saturday.
The Roar Before The Rolex 24 At Daytona is prepping sports car fans for the 45th anniversary of the Rolex 24 on Jan. 27-28 with fan forums, displays, entertainment in the NEXTEL FANZONE and a technical talk about the Daytona Prototype from Howard Motorsports.
In addition, sports car fans will be able to view all the Rolex 24 At Daytona testing action from anywhere in the historic infield of Daytona International Speedway (with exception of the hot pits) and will have access to the garage area. Admission for the inaugural Roar Before the Rolex 24 At Daytona is $5 at the gate and children 12 and under are free. Gates open at 9 a.m.
Rolex 24 Tickets available: Tickets for the 45th anniversary of the Rolex 24 on Jan. 27-28 are available by calling 1-800-PITSHOP or by logging onto www.racetickets.com