Grand Am Rolex - Napleton Racing To Make Road Racing Debut At Daytona
DAYTONA BEACH, Jan. 24, 2013: Napleton Racing and drivers David Donohue, Shane Lewis, Dr. Jim Norman and Nelson Canache are set for the team’s GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series debut with the No. 16 Napleton Racing Porsche Cayman S in the new GX class in this weekend’s Rolex 24 At Daytona. The day-long Daytona race, January 26 – 27, starts Saturday at 3:30 p.m. EST with live coverage on SPEED beginning at 3 p.m. EST/12 p.m. PST.Donohue – who won the Rolex 24 overall in 2009 – and Lewis – who scored a class victory two weeks ago in the 24 Hours of Dubai – lead the debuting Napleton squad. After racing primarily in Daytona Prototypes since 2003, Donohue embarks on a new challenge in the new class.
“I'm very excited for this year's Rolex 24, and for driving with Shane, Jim, and Nelson for the first time,” Donohue said. “Napleton Racing has rushed since November to get the car built for the Roar test, and it proved to be a good car for the class so far. We learned a lot from the test and should come be back for the race weekend with a much better package overall. Michael Colucci and Ron Barnaba and the rest of the crew have been working tirelessly for the last three months for this weekend, and I think they've done a fantastic job with this new Porsche Cayman."
For Lewis, the year couldn’t have started much better. He set the fastest lap in class at the Roar Before the 24 test earlier this month, at a 1:56.167 (110.324 mph) and then took off straight for Dubai where he won his class in a Cor Euser Racing Lotus Evora. He is upbeat heading into the event, following the team’s pace in testing.
“We walked away from the Roar knowing we had a really good car,” Lewis said. “Was there still a huge amount of work to do? Yes. Do we know the Mazdas will come out swinging? Again, yes. Are we ready for the fight? You bet we are! The key to success in the GX class for its first ever race at Daytona will be consistency and staying out of trouble, more than pure outright speed.”
Although the team is new to the Rolex Series, Napleton Racing has assembled a stellar body of work in other championships. Based out of Chicago-area dealership Napleton Porsche of Westmont, the team earned a pair of GTS-class victories with two different Caymans in the Pirelli World Challenge last year. Napleton Porsche of Westmont also owns and operates the Pirelli Cayman Interseries Endurance Cup Championship that completed its third full season of competition late last year at Daytona.
“I have been very impressed by the team that Ron Barnaba has put together,” Norman said. “We have well over 100 24-hour races represented within the team members supporting our Cayman, and we expect to use all of that experience to our advantage this weekend.”
With that experience on display, it’s as solid a group as could be assembled for a 24-hour race.
“This Napleton team is the best group of people you can imagine,” Lewis said. “They want this win bad – almost as much as I do – and that’s why we work so well together. Everyone on the team is giving their very best and while the 24-hour is new to them, they have a great history with the Cayman, and that’s going to be our strong suit.”