Daytona Beach, FL: If there is one thing that Spirit of Daytona is comfortable with, it is change. Since starting out in 1999 with the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16, the Daytona hometown team has seen more than its share of success. Through the years they have fielded a variety of cars, engines, and driver lineups. In the process they have claimed 16 class wins, two team championships and a driver championship. Determined to match that level of success since moving to the Rolex Series’ DP class, they devoted much of 2009 to development, running a limited schedule for that season. The team’s move to the #90 Porsche V-8 Coyote in mid-2009 and the signing of Buddy Rice and Antonio Garcia as full-time drivers for 2010 are steps in the right direction, as many predict 2010 will be the break-out year that sees Spirit of Daytona back in the spotlight and consistently running up front.
Despite challenges at this year’s season opener Rolex 24 at Daytona, the team has more reason than ever for optimism. The upset Rolex 24 win by Action Express Racing was scored with the Porsche V8 engine by Lozano Brothers Porting that was largely developed for Rolex Series competition by Spirit of Daytona. The #90 will race at Homestead again wearing the popular Menard’s yellow paint scheme adopted for the Rolex 24 at Daytona, as their standard 2010 team colors are finalized. Regardless of the color on the outside, as the team travels to Homestead for Round 2 of their 2010 season they are sticking with their formula, confident they will see their #90 Porsche Coyote live up to its full potential.
Spirit of Daytona team owner and manager Troy Flis acknowledges the high level of competition in the Grand-Am Series, but knows his team has done their homework and feels a podium is right around the corner. “We have put a lot of effort and focused our resources in the past into development and getting a new car and engine combination to a competitive level in this series. If you look at the record-setting close finishes we have seen in the past 1-2 years in Grand-Am, it is obvious that any of these cars are capable of winning. We are really happy for Ben Lozano and the success of his Porsche V-8 with their Rolex 24 win this year, and feel that win was just the first of many to come for the Lozano Brothers. With an engine that is now a proven winner, and the driver talent we have on board with Buddy and Antonio, I can’t wait for Homestead and the rest of the season. Spirit of Daytona is long overdue some recognition - I really feel all of the pieces are in place for this to be the year everyone finally learns who we really are.”
The Homestead-Miami Speedway will host round two of the Rolex Sports Car Series season with a 2.75 hour race starting at 5:00 PM ET on Saturday, March 6th. Race action will be broadcast live with coverage scheduled to begin at 5:00 PM on SPEED TV.