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Segal Wraps Up Daytona Test and Preps for Rolex 24

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DAYTONA BEACH, January 10, 2011): Defending GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16 GT champion Jeff Segal wrapped up a full weekend of on-track activity at the Roar Before The Rolex 24 test at Daytona International Speedway with the No. 69 FXDD/SpeedSource Mazda RX-8 GT team and now has his sights set on a strong run in the 49th Rolex 24 At Daytona on January 27-30.

“I’m happy to be back at the track,” said Segal, whose previous most recent on-track activity was at last month’s GRAND-AM test at Homestead-Miami Speedway. “We’ve been putting a lot of thought into making the car fast this year, and really, I’m glad we are finally at the racetrack to see what works and what doesn’t. We’ve had a pretty trying test, things haven’t worked out as well as we had wanted to in terms of the speed relative to our competitors but every time the car got on the track it got a little bit better. I think we’re ready.”

Segal and the SpeedSource team will spend the remainder of the month preparing for endurance classic. Although the No. 69 Mazda experienced difficulty in last year’s contest, the team’s No. 70 SpeedSource Mazda RX-8 GT claimed the class victory. The 25-year-old Miami resident expects to get his turn at the front this year and knows what it takes to get there.

“You watch what you eat, try to stay lean on the things that you put into your body to make sure that you’re healthy for the race,” Segal said. “Any kind of endurance activity, so for me cycling. Doing an hour and a half, two hours on the bike with your heart rate up is the closest thing that you can do to being in the car for that amount of time. That really helps.”

Focus is paramount, as drivers can be subjected to extreme temperatures and changing weather conditions throughout the twice-around-the-clock event. In addition to the elements, Segal will be battling against an entry list that features not only 30 GT class cars, but also 17 Daytona Prototypes.

“For me, the biggest thing is clearing your head,” Segal continued. “There’s a lot that goes on in a 24-hour race and you just have to be relaxed at the start of it, because if you’re not, there’s no way you’re going to make it through.”

Segal and his full-season teammate Emil Assentato – with whom he shared the 2010 Rolex Series GT title – will be joined by Nick Ham, Anthony Lazzaro and Nick Longhi for the 49th running of the Rolex 24 At Daytona, scheduled for January 27 – 30 at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla.