DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Jan. 5, 2009) – The three-day Rolex 24 At Daytona test session wrapped up on Monday at historic Daytona International Speedway.
For the past three days, more than 50 Rolex Sports Car Series cars have been touring the 3.56-mile road course at “The World Center of Racing” preparing for the 47th anniversary of the Rolex 24 At Daytona on Jan. 24-25.
In addition, the KONI Challenge Series teams have been testing for their season-opening Fresh From Florida 200 on Friday, Jan. 23.
The fastest speed posted during the session for the Rolex Series teams was posted by the No. 58 Brumos Racing Porsche entry with drivers Darren Law, David Donohue, Buddy Rice and Antonio Garcia.
The team posted the fast lap on Monday with a time of one minute, 41.733 seconds, 125.997 mph.
“We’re really happy,” Law said during the lunch break. “We came out quickest in the last session. We’ve been building toward this. We finished off last year really well. The car is good. The car is running well and we’ve got four drivers that are quick. We’re pretty happy and feel like we got a real good shot at it.”
Rounding out the top three were the No. 6 Michael Shank Racing Ford Riley (1:41.760) and the No. 55 Level 5 Motorsports BMW Riley (1:41.859).
Fastest in the GT class was the No. 86 Farnbacher Loles Racing Porsche GT3 Cup.
Rolex Sports Car Series teams will return to DIS for the Rolex 24 At Daytona weekend on Jan. 22-25.
Penske announcement: On Monday morning in the Infield Media Center, Penske Racing announced its driver lineup for the Rolex 24 At Daytona and that Crown Royal Cask No. 16 will sponsor their Porsche Riley for the entire Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series season.
Before unveiling the No. 16 Porsche Riley, Tim Cindric, President of Penske Racing, announced that sports car champions Romain Dumas and Timo Bernhard and Team Penske IndyCar Series driver Ryan Briscoe will compete in the Rolex 24 for the team.
“Going into the 24-hour at Daytona, we as a team have two goals,” said Bernhard, a two-time Rolex 24 winner. “Sure we want to win the race because it’s an outstanding race and on the other hand we’re looking for a good start to the season for the whole year. Points here in this race are good for the rest of the season and we can fight for the championship.”
Johnson ready for Rolex 24: After celebrating his third straight NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship, Jimmie Johnson began his 2009 racing season at DIS during Rolex 24 testing.
Johnson arrived at the Rolex 24 test on Saturday and spent significant time on the No. 99 GAINSCO Auto Insurance Pontiac Riley on Monday.
The reigning three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion is preparing for his fifth career Rolex 24 start and his second straight in the No. 99 car.
He has two overall runner-up finishes and is hungry for a coveted Rolex 24 watch.
“It is so much fun to do this event,” Johnson said. “I have been second twice and it is so sweet to finish the race, I can only imagine what it would be like to win. I would love to add that credential to my resume with the Daytona 500 and the Brickyard 400. It would be awesome.”
Rolex 24 At Daytona tickets are on sale now. If purchased by Jan. 9, race fans can save $15 per ticket. Special pricing is available for admission tickets including access to both infield and general admission grandstands. Regular price is $55 – advance price when purchased before Jan. 9 is now only $40. To order, call 1-800-PITSHOP or go online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com
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