Daytona Testing – Day 2, November 7
“Session information not yet available,”
says the GA website (on the complete lack of lap times over the
two days). At least they’re consistent: times weren’t
available at last December’s Homestead test. The absence of
such information does dilute the offering. We’ve still got
Russell Wittenberg unwell too.
“The test was designed so that teams could
get acclimated to the new BOSCH electronic control unit (ECU), which
will be mandatory on all Daytona Prototypes beginning next season
and on all GT machines by mid-year,” stated Grand Am’s
release after Monday’s day 1. Despite that statement, almost
the only mention of the Bosch units (in Tuesday’s release)
was the fact that Krohn Racing was getting “acquainted with
the new BOSCH ECU”.
So some teams were running the new units, some (most?)
The situation at Krohn Racing was a little odd.
The team has switched to Pontiac engines, for this week at least,
a fact which came as a surprise to even Colin Braun on Monday, but
the only explanation was along the lines of “because we are”.
The Pontiac V8 was “running good” in #76, although “we’ve
had a few hiccups with the new ECU, but we’ve been able to
remedy the problems,” said engineer Steve Newey.
There will be two of the green Rileys at the Rolex 24, driver announcements
in due course.
was fastest on day 2 in the #76 Riley Pontiac, a 1:43.947 just over
two-tenths slower than Angelelli’s best on Monday. Light showers
played a part in the afternoon, preventing any improvements.
Max Angelelli was second-fastest on the day in the
#10 SunTrust Riley Pontiac with a 1:43.951 – just four thousandths
slower. Jeff Gordon will be in this car for the Rolex 24.
Over at Cheever Racing, a change of brake discs
was needed to cure “a lack of retardation” and Christian
Fittipaldi set a 1:45.2 after lunch, just before the rain, two-tenths
slower than fellow Brazilian Thomas Erdos’s best time on Monday.
Erdos will be back with the team at Homestead next month.
covered the Grand Am plan for 2008 already, and the Castroneves
/ Hornish news (they’ll be racing the #60 Riley), and the
former reckoned that “the car is awesome. It’s not as
easy as I would have expected it to be and it’s going to take
more time to get used to it. Fortunately, I have good teammates
that are helping me understand the car. I only did 10 laps before
it started raining, and I hope the rain stops so I can get back
out there. If not, I’ll come back in January and figure it
Champion Bobby Labonte tried the #19 Finlay Motorsports Crawford,
and was “real excited with the chance to sit in this race
car,” but he hasn’t committed to race it yet. “I’ve
always liked road racing, I just haven’t had a chance to do
a lot of it,” he said. “I’m not very good at it,
but hopefully if I work hard at it, I’ll learn more and be
better at the end of the day.”
With Luis Diaz racing in the ALMS in 2007, Chip Ganassi had the
Mexican (replacement) Carlos Pardo sharing his Riley Lexus with
Scott Pruett. “We’re here with Carlos, testing him to
determine who will be my teammate for 2007 in the No. 01 CompUSA
Lexus Riley,” said Pruett.
the driver (rather than testing) news, Patrick Carpentier was going
very well in the SAMAX Riley, third-quickest in Monday’s test
sessions and then fifth fastest on Tuesday morning.
competitive for the first half of the race last year,” said
team owner Peter Baron. “I know the team can do it. I know
the drivers can do it. I don’t want to just finish this thing,
I want to win.”
The Team HLM Infiniti G35 was having its third
test ever this week, after brief runs at Mid-Ohio and VIR. Bryan
Sellers and Terry Borcheller drove it at Daytona. Sellers: “It’s
always tough when you debut a brand-new car, because when you get
one problem solved, another one comes up. The good thing is, when
we’ve had some clean laps, the car has been responsive. We’re
not having the same issues all the time. The fact that the car is
here is a tribute to Max Crawford and all the guys at Crawford Race
Cars. The car was originally supposed to debut in March (this year),
but I think it was a good choice to delay the car to get things
sorted out. It’s been good today to get things sorted out
for the future.”
No times for the new car, of course.
Jim Matthews and Marc Goossens were testing the
Riley Motorsports #91 Riley Pontiac, team manager Ken Swan admitting
that “we’re just trying to find some more speed.”
Expect two high profile names to join these two for the Rolex 24.
for once, actually has a Riley DP for sale: that is it hasn’t
yet been snapped up by the next, eager customer.
“It’s good and bad,” said parts
manager Mike Croake, “because if someone wants to come in,
we’ve got a car ready to go. The down side is that there isn’t
the same demand there has been in the past few years, but I’m
sure we won’t be carrying this one around for very long.”
Farnbacher Racing won the GT Class at the Rolex
24 in 2005, and Farnbacher Loles will be present next year with
three Rolex entries.
“We’ll have three cars for the 24-hour,” Peter
Goebel said. “One car will have strictly professional drivers,
all four drivers. The second car will have two pros and two gentlemen
and the third car will be people that have been here, like Don Bell,
who has been here for, I think, 16 consecutive 24-hour races. He
will be in there with three other gentlemen.
Goebel suggested that by January the team will be running “with
the new Grand-Am spec cars from Porsche. We won’t get the
cars until late in the year, so we will also run the Homestead test
in December with the GT3 but we’ll have the new cars in time
for the Daytona test in January.”
It was a little
confusing at Team Sahlen, which has always seemed to run Porsches
in the past. They will run Corvettes in 2007, but were running a
pair of Pontiac GTOs this week, the cars obtained from Horizon Motorsports.
Team Sahlen will run two Porsches and a Corvette in the Rolex 24,
then two Corvettes throughout the remainder of the season.
The next Grand American sanctioned test will take
place at Homestead-Miami Speedway, as part of the official Hoosier
Racing Tire test, on December 5-6. Jeff Gordon and Sam Hornish are
likely to be involved then - and a batch of fully tested ECUs should