Daytona, Sebring Test, Coming Up Amelia Island

Orlando, FL (January 31, 2009) – It’s that time of the year again, the racing season has already kicked off its 2009 season last week. The season opener at Daytona, which saw the most exciting finish its history, will be hard to top. With the return of Team Penske to the Grand Am Series and the strong Chip Ganassi team, which won the last three Rolex 24’s at Daytona, the weekend was one to remember. Add the historic Brumos Porsche to the mix and it turned out to be a great recipe for the event. Lately, the Rolex 24 has had the best drivers in motorsport participating and this year was no different. Having the best drivers from all forms of racing came together, (Jimmie Johnson, Scott Dixon, Dario Franchitti, Juan Pablo Montoya, etc.) to the closest finish ever and what a great win it was for Brumos Porsche.

The Brumos team came so close several times last year and then end up winning the biggest race of the year, It was quite the feat. Congratulations to David Donohue, Darren Law and Buddy Rice. It was not easy for the Brumos team, Donohue had to hold off world class driver, Juan Pablo Montoya of the high-powered Ganassi team. Having Montoya behind you is not going to make it easy and after 23 hours of racing you just want it over. Darren Law told me he could not even watch the last hour he was so nervous, when you get this close it only takes one problem and you are out. However, Donohue kept his composure to bring the car home and into victory lane. The win was extra special for him and the Brumos team as it came 40 years after his David’s father Mark won the event in the Lola T-70 with Chuck Parsons and the Penske team. Also, it was special for David and the team because they believed in his driving abilities and overcame some electrical gremlins that developed during the weekend. They only figured it out just before the race. Getting the pole was huge boost for the team and they were really pumped for the race. David told me that some changes to the team in personnel really helped to make this win possible, In years past, any problems they would have would’ve stressed out the team. However this year, the team held steady and worked through any problem that came up. Donohue and the team aren’t done yet, now they have their eyes on the overall championship. Donohue feels they have a great shot to challenge for the championship after last year running up front and being so close. The win last week in Daytona was a great way to kick off the year and was a huge confidence booster.

Team Penske had some problems that took them out of contention and they’ll bounce back with their drivers Romain Dumas and Timo Bernard. This team which won three championships in the ALMS and the 12 hours of Sebring last year will be tough. I spoke with Dumas about the change to this series and the big change from going from a light open cockpit spyder to a heavier Grand-Am styled car. Dumas said the cars need to be driven completely different. The Porsche Spyder you attacked the track and with their carbon brakes they stopped on a dime, they were forgiving. The Grand Am with the cost-saving steel brakes and being prone to aero push you really have to be smooth and it is very easy to over drive the Grand Am car.

ALMS had their test at Sebring January 26-28 and many of the drivers that drove at the Rolex 24 were there to test at Sebring. Darren Law fresh off his win at Daytona was there Monday to test for Flying Lizard Team. He was a bit tired from Daytona but he ready to go. The car count was down for the test but HPD (Honda Performance Division) there in force with their new P1 car to compete against the Joest Audi and Peugeot for the 12 Hours of Sebring.

The other car getting a lot of attention was the new BMW M3 car. BMW announced the Dirk M

Share Button