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Ferrari 333SP, Panoz Unofficially Break Track Records in Respective Classes

12 January 1998

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- The Ferrari 333SP of Yannick Dalmes, Bob Wollek, Max Papis and Ron Fellows "unofficially" broke the Can-Am track record as teams continued a three-day test session in preparation for the Jan. 31-Feb. 1 Rolex 24 At Daytona. Their Ferrari 333SP was clocked at 1:40.384, for an average speed of 127.670 mph around the 3.56-mile road course. The current Can-Am record of 1:40.456 seconds or 127.578 mph was the pole-winning speed set by the same team in last year's Rolex 24 At Daytona.

In the GT-1 class, the exotic "Batmobile-looking" Panoz GTR "unofficially" broke the GT-1 track record with a lap of 1:44.610 seconds, for an average speed of 122.512 mph. The current GT-1 record is held by Olivier Baretta who set the mark in a Dodge Viper GTR during qualifying for last year's event.

1997 Rolex 24 At Daytona champion Dyson Racing, who turned in the fifth quickest time in Can-Am, is focused on a repeat visit to Daytona's Victory Lane. "This is a race that is very easy to lose," said Rob Dyson, the team owner. "And I know because my team has lost a bunch of them. The key to our winning the race last year was that we were lucky. You win this race with a lot of luck. You have to stay out of trouble and out of the pits and your drivers have to use their heads. This is a preparation race and it's also a drivers' race, but at the same time luck is a big factor.

"I'd like to come back and win this race again, and I hope we can do it this year. We're here to run for victory, not just to participate. We're here for one reason, we come with the same agenda every time, it's very simple -- just win the race."

The test continues Sunday. A section of the Oldfield Grandstand is open to fans daily at no charge from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with access through DAYTONA USA, "The Ultimate Motorsports Attraction." Guided tours of the Speedway are also available (weather permitting) from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. for a nominal fee.