Sylvain Tremblay – Daytona Prototypes
His Way To Go
setting off some kind of rush to commit to the Daytona Prototypes
at the end of June, Sylvain Tremblay (right), owner of SpeedSource
Race Engineering, was the first team owner to announce plans to
race a ‘new’ Daytona Prototype. This will be the Multimatic
Ford Focus (which won the class at the Rolex 24), with a debut at
Watkins Glen in early August.
and Selby Wellman will drive the car in all four remaining Rolex
Series events, prior to the purchase of two new Multimatic chassis
for the 2004 Rolex 24 and beyond.
We asked Sylvain
Tremblay to explain the attraction of the Daytona Prototype class.
you and your drivers choose the Ford Focus?
"We have a seven year relationship with Multimatic and Dynamic
Suspension and we know first hand the quality and support that they
offer. Paul Mears has about several hundred Ford vehicles at Mears
Transportation in Orlando. Those were two big factors, but the biggest,
was test driving the car at Mosport and how well "put together"
it is, from a design and execution stand point, we fell it is the
you’ve been happy to race in the Grand Am Cup, so why the
decision to move up to the Prototypes?
"No doubt, we are very happy in Grand Am Cup and we are going
to announce a new 2004 program for Cup in the next month or so.
The decision to move up was twofold, it was customer driven and
we believe in what Grand Am is doing long term. SpeedSource operates
many different racing programs, we run over 20 race cars in-house
and supply engines and gearboxes as well as suspension development
for both club and pro teams all over North America."
himself is pictured winning in the Porsche Boxster he shares with
Scott Schlesinger - at Barber Park's maiden meeting. And on the
podium at the same event - below.)
think there will be a significant number of them on the grid for
the Rolex 24 next year – and then throughout the season?
"I would love to take the credit for getting the "Wave"
started, but the Daytona Prototype concept makes sense and more
and more teams are looking at them as a viable option. I hope to
see 10 to 15 on the grid for the 24 and I am sure it will grow from
these cars capture the interest of fans and start to build a sizeable
"Stability is the key, both in terms of rules and teams. The
rules are going to be the same for years to come, so teams can plan
to run the same cars for years and the initial investment makes
more sense. The quality of racing will build the fan base with time."
year’s Grand Am meetings tended to be a little ‘low
"Yes, but in the early stages even the first WSC cars were
low key the first year. The cars are still being developed, and
with only a handful of cars but the races have been great, once
we have 10 or more the "Show" will improve."
Daytona prototypes going to be cost-effective to run?
" In many ways the cost restriction are helping teams make
the jump to this class, initial estimates point they are going to
be roughly what a Porsche GT3R cost to run at the front."
are, is that at the expense of creating a spectacle?
" Spectacle is what NASCAR is all about and the cars are low
tech, what makes the spectacle is the number of cars, the quality
of the teams and how equal the competition is."
Is it a
big jump for your team, from the GSl Class to the Daytona Prototypes?
"We have a great staff of talented people and new facilities
to meet the challenge and we are expanding our personnel to handle
the work load of all of our race programs. The cars are fairly simple
in terms of prototypes and the full support of Multimatic will make
the jump easier."
any other option for your team, if you wanted to move up the ladder?
"No, not any that made more sense than Daytona Prototype. It
is the highest class in Grand AM and we have the chance to get in
on the ground floor of a new class with new cars, so the timing
is great for us right now."
the co-drivers be next year?
"We are still working out the driver line up for the program.
Paul Mears will drive one with myself and Selby Wellman, the other.
We are racing both cars at the Rolex 24 and we are searching for
funded drivers for that race and a co-driver for Paul for the season."
"Mears Motor Coach is one primary sponsor and we are going
to announce the rest of our partners in the coming months."