Jan 06 | Day 1 Roar Before The Rolex 24: Allmendinger Ready To Run For Rolex Again With Shank Racing

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The Roar Before The Rolex 24, the three-day test session for the historic 50th Anniversary of the Rolex 24 At Daytona on Jan. 28-29, kicked off on Friday at Daytona International Speedway.

No 10 Chevrolet Corvette
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., -- The Roar Before The Rolex 24, the three-day test session for the historic 50th  Anniversary of the Rolex 24 At Daytona on Jan. 28-29, kicked off on Friday at Daytona International Speedway. 

Between GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series and Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge, 112 cars are tackling the twists and turns of Daytona’s road course preparing for the Rolex 24 At Daytona Weekend.  As the cars hit the track on the first day of the Roar Before The Rolex 24, it was clear that teams are taking this weekend’s test as seriously as any event on their 2012 schedules.

A few teams also announced their driver line-ups for the twice-around-the-clock challenge including Michael Shank Racing, which unveiled their team for the No. 60 Riley-Ford.  This year’s race marks Michael Shank Racing’s ninth consecutive running at the Rolex 24 At Daytona.

“I have kind of the original team that I started with kind of back in 2006 with AJ Allmendinger, Justin Wilson, John Pew and Oswald Negri,” said owner Michael Shank. “I’m really glad we were able to put these guys back together.”

“I feel good about the race team,” said Allmendinger. “In the short amount of time that we have had with the new Riley, the car has been really good and I think we just have to keep developing it over the three day test. We’re going to have a really good shot at this thing.

“There’s a reason I always love doing this race – I think it’s the prestige of it and the way it kicks off the season obviously here at Daytona for us Cup guys. When it comes to the Cup side of it and the Penske organization, it’s the best opportunity that I’ve ever had.”

This past month has been a whirlwind for Allmendinger. He signed to drive the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Dodge for Penske Racing and participated in the recent World Karting Association Daytona Kartweek.

“It’s been a fun crazy off-season,” said Allmendinger. “Things that I had planned for and other things that I hadn’t planned for that happened to me that are really good. I’m really excited about this year as a whole.”

Spirit of Daytona: The locally-based Spirit of Daytona announced that Antonio Garcia, Richard Westbrook, Oliver Gavin and Jan Magnussen will team up on the No. 90 Chevrolet Corvette Daytona Prototype.

“This is the best lineup I’ve had and I’m happy all of the stars have lined up for the 50th Rolex 24,” said Spirit of Daytona owner/manager Troy Flis.
 
Saturday fan forums: On Saturday, fans can interact with their favorite Rolex 24 At Daytona drivers and teams during three fan forums:
• Select TRG Racing drivers from 12-12:15 p.m.
• Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates and select drivers at 12:15-12:30 p.m.
• Dempsey Racing and 50+/Predator Racing select drivers at 12:30-12:45 p.m.

Tickets for The Roar Before The Rolex 24 are $15 and can be purchased online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by phone at 1-800-PITSHOP.

Fastest of the day: The No. 10 SunTrust Racing Chevrolet Corvette DP with drivers Max Angelelli, Ricky Taylor and Ryan Briscoe was the fastest in the Rolex Series on the first day of testing with a speed of 126.382 mph turned in the morning session.

Robin Liddell posted the fastest time in the GT class in the morning session with a lap of 1:49:494 (117.048 mph) in the No. 57 Stevenson Motorsports Camaro GT.R , co-driven by Ronnie Bremer and John Edwards.

Tickets for the Rolex 24 At Daytona are on sale, along with the rest of Speedweeks events. To purchase tickets, go online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by call 1-800-PITSHOP.

Stay connected with Daytona International Speedway on Twitter (www.twitter.com/disupdates) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/DaytonaInternationalSpeedway).

Jan 06 | 112 Cars Expected To 'Roar' At Daytona In Final Test For 50th Rolex 24

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There will be no trophies handed out or champagne sprayed at the end of the day on Sunday at Daytona International Speedway, but GRAND-AM Road Racing teams are treating this weekend’s Roar Before the Rolex 24 At Daytona testing as seriously as any event on the 2012 schedules.

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla.  – There will be no trophies handed out or champagne sprayed at the end of the day on Sunday at Daytona International Speedway, but GRAND-AM Road Racing teams are treating this weekend’s Roar Before the Rolex 24 At Daytona testing as seriously as any event on the 2012 schedules.

Fans can get a glimpse into the future beginning on Friday in the three-day test session, the final tune-up for Rolex Sports Car Series and Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge teams before the 50th Anniversary of the Rolex 24 At Daytona and the start of the 2012 racing season.

A strong turnout of 57 Rolex Series and 55 Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge cars are entered, including top drivers and teams in a variety of new cars.

Corvette Daytona Prototypes from Action Express Racing, SunTrust Racing, Spirit of Daytona and GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing head a 14-car DP turnout which will also include a look at new Riley DPs from Michael Shank Racing and defending Rolex 24 and Rolex Series champions TELMEX Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates.

DP entries have also been filed from Starworks Motorsport, Doran Racing Krohn Racing, and 50+ Racing/Predator.

The GT class will have a strong presence as well with 40 cars entered. Extreme Speed Motorsports, AF Waltrip, Risi Competizione and AIM Autosport Team FXDD will shake down the new Ferrari 458 Italia Grand Am, while APR Motorsport and Oryx Racing will debut customer entries in the Audi R8 GRAND-AM.

Defending GT class champions Leh Keen and Andrew Davis return with Brumos Racing and will be joined by endurance racing legend Hurley Haywood in the No. 59 Porsche GT3.

Joey Hand and Graham Rahal will again join defending Rolex Series champs Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas in the No. 01 TELMEX BMW/Riley, while the team's second car will be driven by international racing superstars Dario Franchitti, Scott Dixon, Juan Pablo Montoya and former Daytona 500 winner Jamie McMurray.

Other drivers with NASCAR ties expected to attend include Boris Said (No. 94 – Turner Motorsports), Max Papis (No. 9 – Action Express Racing), Colin Braun (No. 76 – Krohn Racing), Michael Waltrip (No. 56 – AF Waltrip), Jeffrey Earnhardt (No. 15 – Rick Ware Racing) and Michael McDowell (No. 6 – Michael Shank Racing). Reigning NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Rookie of the Year winner Andy Lally moves to the Rolex Series full-time in 2012 and will be piloting the No. 44 Porsche GT3 for Magnus Racing.

Hollywood actor Patrick Dempsey (No. 40 – Dempsey Racing) and AC/DC lead singer Brian Johnson (No. 50 – 50+ Racing/Predator) will also take their passion of sports car racing to the high banks of Daytona.

World Series pitcher C.J. Wilson (No. 03 C.J. Wilson Racing) and GRAMMY Award-winning music producer Jim Jonsin (No. 07 Rebel Rock Racing) are part of the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge test, while Multimatic Motorsports and drivers Joe Foster and Scott Maxwell will debut the new Aston Martin Vantage eligible for GS competition.

Testing is open to the public, running from 9 a.m.-5:15 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $15 per day. Ticket holders for the 2012 Rolex 24 At Daytona and children 12 and under will receive free admission. In addition to the testing sessions, there will also be open garage access as well as fan forums, pit stop demonstrations and tech talks.

 

Jan 05 | SPEED Offering 21 Hours Of Daytona Preseason Thunder Coverage

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NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams to test the high banks of Daytona on Jan. 12-14.

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- SPEED and SPEED.com present live coverage of Daytona Preseason Thunder testing in its entirety from Daytona International Speedway Jan. 12-14 as racing roars back to life after a short but very lively offseason.

SPEED and SPEED.com combine to offer 21 hours of live coverage during the three-day test session, with SPEED live from all afternoon sessions and SPEED.com streaming the morning sessions.

“With all the changes, teams better bring their kitchen sinks to Daytona next week because they’ll be throwing those at their race cars in desperation, as well,” said SPEED and NASCAR on FOX analyst Darrell Waltrip, who will be part of SPEED’s broadcast team for the test.  “Never have we had so many changes to deal with at Daytona at one time.  We’ve got car and engine styles and the style of racing there possibly changing, not to mention set-up changes.  With all these variables, I think some of the crew chiefs will resemble Larry Mac (Larry McReynolds, SPEED and NASCAR on FOX analyst) and his balding head when the test is over with.” 

John Roberts hosts SPEED’s on-air coverage from the studio above pit road at the start/finish line at Daytona.  Rick Allen and Jeff Hammond call the on-track action during the morning sessions (9 a.m. to 12 p.m. ET) on SPEED.com while Wendy Venturini and Hermie Sadler cover pit road.  Steve Byrnes, Waltrip and Larry McReynolds handle the TV booth duties for the afternoon sessions (1-3 p.m. ET and 3-5 p.m. ET) on SPEED with pit road reporting by Bob Dillner and Randy Pemberton.  Additionally, Senior NASCAR Editor Mike Hembree will be onsite to anchor SPEED.com's coverage.

SPEED invites fans to submit questions and comments through Twitter @SPEED (http://www.twitter.com/speed) using the #daytonatesting hashtag during the test sessions to be answered on-air and on Twitter, and the network also plans to incorporate driver Tweets from the test into its comprehensive coverage.

In addition, special driver chat sessions will be held after testing is complete on Thursday and Friday evenings on Daytona’s Twitter and Facebook pages (www.twitter.com/disupdates and www.facebook.com/DaytonaInternationalSpeedway).

SPEED schedule for Daytona testing (all times Eastern and live unless otherwise indicated):

Thursday, Jan. 12
9 a.m. - 12 p.m. (SPEED.com)
1 p.m. - 5 p.m.  (SPEED)
6 p.m. - 8 p.m. (SPEED encore of 3-5 p.m. session)

Friday, Jan. 13
9 a.m. - 12 p.m. (SPEED.com)
1 p.m. - 5 p.m. (SPEED)
6 p.m. - 8 p.m. (SPEED encore of 3-5 p.m. session)
 
Saturday, Jan. 14
9 a.m. - 12 p.m. (SPEED.com)
1 p.m. - 5 p.m. (SPEED)
6 p.m. - 8 p.m. (SPEED encore of 3-5 p.m. session)

Tickets for Daytona Preseason Thunder are available by calling 1-800-PITSHOP or online at http://www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com

Jan 03 | 1996, 1997 and 1999 Rolex 24 Overall Champions Join 50th Anniversary Display

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A trio of Riley & Scott Mk III cars that captured overall wins in the 1996, 1997 and 1999 Rolex 24 At Daytona will join the display to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Rolex 24.

1996 Rolex 24 champion

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – A trio of Riley & Scott Mk III cars that captured overall wins in the 1996, 1997 and 1999 Rolex 24 At Daytona will join the display of overall Rolex 24 championship cars to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the twice-around-the-clock challenge on Jan. 28-29.

The three Rolex 24 championship cars secured for the display are the No. 4 Doyle Racing Oldsmobile Aurora-powered Riley & Scott Mk III (1996 Rolex 24 winner), the No. 20 Dyson Racing Ford-powered Riley & Scott Mk III (1997 Rolex 24 winner) and the No. 20 Dyson Racing Ford-powered Riley & Scott (1999 Rolex 24 winner).

In the 1996 Rolex 24, the No. 4 Doyle Racing Oldsmobile Aurora-powered Riley & Scott Mk III with drivers Wayne Taylor, Scott Sharp and Jim Pace held off the No. 30 Momo Ferrari 333SP and “Mad Max” Papis in the final hour to win by the slim margin of 65.518 seconds.

Owner/driver Rob Dyson captured his two overall Rolex 24 triumphs in 1997 and 1999. In 1997, the No. 20 Dyson Racing entry with drivers Elliott Forbes-Robinson, John Schneider, Dyson, John Paul Jr., Butch Leitzinger, James Weaver and Andy Wallace won by one lap, 14.891 seconds over the Scandia Ferrari.

In 1999, with weather conditions constantly changing, the selection of dry or wet tires was critical in the No. 20 Dyson Ford’s victory over the Doyle-Risi Ferrari. With Wallace, Leitzinger and Forbes-Robinson behind the wheel, the No. 20 topped the Ferrari by two laps.

The trio of cars joins the field of historic championship cars in the display:
• The No. 96 Arciero Racing Lotus-Climax 19B  from the inaugural Rolex 24 (then known as the Daytona Continental) in 1962
• 1966 Rolex 24-winning No. 98 Ford GT Mark II
• 1968 Rolex 24-winning Porsche 907
• 1969 Rolex 24-winning No. 6 Lola T70 Chevrolet
• 1970 Rolex 24-winning No. 2 Gulf Porsche 917
• 1977 Rolex 24-winning No. 43 Porsche 911 RSR
• 1978 Rolex 24-winning No. 99 Porsche 935
• 1981 Rolex 24-winning No. 9 Bob Garretson’s Style Auto Porsche 935
• 1982 Rolex 24-winning No. 18 JLP Porsche 935
• The Preston Henn Porsches from the 1983 and 1985 Rolex 24s
• 1984 Rolex 24-winning No. 00 Kreepy Krauly Porsche-March
• 1993 Rolex 24-winning No. 98 Eagle GTP
• 1994 Rolex 24-winning No. 76 Nissan 300ZX-Turbo
• 1995 Rolex 24-winning No. 10 Kremer Porsche K8 Spyder

To view the complete list online, visit http://www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com/Vanity-Pages/50th-Rolex-24/50-Years-of-Champions-Display.aspx. Additional cars will be announced as they are secured to be part of this one-of-a-kind display.

In addition to the 50th anniversary display during the Rolex 24 At Daytona, the championship cars will also be on display at the Rolex 50 Years of Champions, a charity gala on Thursday night, January 26th at the Ocean Center. Daytona International Speedway has partnered with the Halifax Health Foundation to host the event with the admissions proceeds benefiting the Halifax Health Foundation, which includes the area’s only Level II Trauma Center. Tickets can be purchased by calling the Halifax Health Foundation office at (386) 254-4111.

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.

Fans can stay connected with Daytona International Speedway on Twitter (www.twitter.com/disupdates) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/DaytonaInternationalSpeedway).

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