DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Last week, England's Ross Kaiser, the 2011 Sunoco Rolex 24 At Daytona Challenge winner, flew to the Virginia International Raceway (VIR) to test a Daytona Prototype on an American circuit for the first time. As part of the Sunoco Daytona Challenge prize, Ross completed two days of testing for the Doran Racing team and drivers Brian Frisselle and Brad Jaeger.
Ross, jet-lagged as he only returned from the last round of the Radical Masters Sunday night before flying out to the states on the Monday, not only had to learn how to drive a left-hand-drive DP car but also a track that he had never seen. Also to be considered was that this was the first test with Continental as the control tire supplier so the team had very little data for a perfect car set up.
Despite those challenges, the test session went well for Kaiser, who posted the fourth fastest time on the Tuesday afternoon session, 1.3 seconds slower than the fastest DP car. Wednesday was hampered by rain until 3 p.m. and Kaiser only got eight laps in the afternoon session on used tires. He posted a time that was only 0.8 seconds off Brian Frisselle’s time set on new slicks and only 0.98 seconds off the fastest time also set on new tires.
Kevin Doran of Doran Racing was very impressed.
"Ross’s driving style seemed to fit the Daytona Prototype’s right off and he and the team worked on laps for familiarity and driver comfort most of the test time as Ross’s speed was right there from early on," Doran said.
At VIR, race instructor and Daytona Prototype driver Guy Cosmo was waiting to take care of Kaiser as his personal race instructor and mentor.
"This is a dream come true really," Kaiser said. "With our season all over in the UK, all of my attention is on the Rolex 24. It’s a fantastic event. Without Daytona and Sunoco this event wouldn’t be available to me so I’m looking forward to racing in one of the biggest events in the world."
Tickets for the Rolex 24 At Daytona are available online at http://www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.