Haywood Feels Daytona Paving A Huge Benefit
DAYTONA BEACH, Dec. 20, 2010: Sports car racing legend Hurley Haywood was the first GRAND-AM competitor to try out the repaved Daytona International Speedway for the first time on Friday, and pronounced the facility ready to go for the 49th Rolex 24 At Daytona on Jan. 29-30.
Haywood was joined by Andrew Davis in the No. 59 Brumos Porsche GT3, while Paul Edwards drove the No. 90 Spirit of Daytona Chevrolet/Coyote for the three-hour session. The GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16 will have its first official test at Daytona in the Roar Before the Rolex 24 on Jan. 7-9.
"The banking was very smooth, with no bumps, and it's got tons of grip, so you can run anywhere you want up there no matter what kind of car you are in," said Haywood, a five-time overall winner of the Rolex 24. "The transition from the infield up onto the banking was really nice, with no big transition between the two pavements. I think the repaved speedway will be a huge benefit."
Brumos Racing moves to the Rolex Series GT class in 2011 after competing in the Daytona Prototype division since 2003. Davis will be joined by 2009 GT champion Leh Keen as the team's regular drivers.
"I've grown up watching Hurley and the Brumos Porsche driving around Daytona, and to be a member of this iconic squad is wonderful," said Davis, a seven-time winner in GT competition. "The paving is very different on the banking - and much better. Over the years, you learned where all the bumps are. Now, it's glass smooth all the way around the banking, both high and low."
Edwards returns to the Daytona Prototype ranks after six years running fulltime in the GT class - winning the 2008 championship.
"Daytona felt smoother than the last time I was here in a GT car, even though the Daytona Prototype is a lot harsher since the DPs run a lot lower and are stiffer," Edwards said. "I don't think I hit the deck once today. It's going to be pretty exciting racing a DP here in the Rolex 24."
Practice and qualifying for the Rolex 24 At Daytona begins on Thursday, Jan. 27. The race takes the green flag at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 29. Portions of the race will be televised live on SPEED and broadcast on the Motor Racing Network. For additional information, visit www.grand-am.com.