DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – British Formula 3 champion Felipe Nasr, the Sunoco Rolex 24 At Daytona Challenge winner, got his first look at the historic high banks of Daytona International Speedway on Monday afternoon.
Nasr, a native of Brazil, took a tour of the legendary racing facility, met with Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III and rode in a passenger car with Rolex Sports Car Series veteran Oswaldo Negri.
“I have no words to describe,” said the 19-year-old Nasr. “It’s amazing. It’s something completely different that you can’t find in Europe or Brazil.”
On Tuesday and Wednesday, Nasr will hit the track and participate in the 50th anniversary of the Rolex 24 At Daytona December test session with Action Express Racing, overall champions from the 2010 Rolex 24 At Daytona.
Nasr captured the 2012 Sunoco Daytona Challenge after scoring the top average point score out of 100 racers who signed up to the Challenge from the three eligible series in Europe; the Avon Tyres British GT Championship, Britcar MSA British Endurance Championship and the Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series.
Nasr’s prize is a fully funded seat with a to-be-determined team in the 50th anniversary of the Rolex 24 At Daytona on Jan. 28-29.
“When I was a kid, I was always playing video games on this track and now I’m here,” Nasr said. “It’s a big change. Tomorrow will be my first experience here and I’m really looking forward to it.
“I know the circuit is such a famous one. If you look around, you can see it’s definitely got some history and I’m pretty sure I’m going to enjoy (this test).”
During the upcoming two-day test, Negri will serve as a driving coach to Nasr. Much like Nasr, Negri began racing in British Formula 3 before moving onto Indy Lights and GRAND-AM, where he currently competes for Michael Shank Racing.
“Felipe is probably one of the most talented up-and-coming Brazilian drivers,” Negri said. “To win the British Formula 3 championship, not just anyone can do that. He’s proved to be special by winning the championship. He’s going to have a great time here. It’s one of the best places to be. The DP (Daytona Prototype) car is great fun to drive. I’ll help him as much as I can so he will have the best experience here at Daytona.”
Rolex 24 testing scheduled 9 a.m.- 5 p.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday. A section of the Oldfield Grandstands will be open free to the public with access available through the lobby of the Daytona International Speedway ticket office.
For more information on the Sunoco Rolex 24 At Daytona Challenge, visit www.sunocodaytonachallenge.com
The Rolex 24 At Daytona, the kick-off event to Speedweeks 2012 as well as the international motorsports calendar, showcases the world’s best drivers competing against each other lap after lap for 24 hours on Daytona International Speedway’s challenging and demanding 3.56-mile road course.
Tickets for the 50th anniversary of the Rolex 24 At Daytona are on sale online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.