Daytona Beach, Fla. (29 May 2013) – In a season that saw the team score a breakthrough Daytona Prototype victory and go on to net three Rolex Sports Car Series victories, there is one box that remains unchecked from the 2012 Spirit of Daytona Racing to-do list: Detroit.
Last year, the team was en route to what looked to be a sure triumph in the Chevrolet GRAND-AM 200, only to get caught up in GT traffic which took the team out of contention for a victory.
This weekend, Spirit of Daytona Racing travels north to Detroit, Michigan for the Chevrolet GRAND-AM 200 and Round 5 of the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series championship with a Sharpie ready to check that item off the to-do list.
Drivers Ricky Taylor and Richard Westbrook will be back in the No. 90VISITFLORIDA.com Corvette DP at the 2.35-mile Belle Isle street circuit as the duo targets a podium run on the home track for team partner Chevrolet.
After scoring three victories last year, Spirit of Daytona Racing has raced to three hard-fought top-five finishes this year – including a podium result at Barber Motorsports Park – but the group has yet to celebrate from victory lane this year. Spirit of Daytona hopes to do that this Saturday.
“This was definitely one that got away from us last year, so we’ve had this weekend on our mind for a long time!” offered team owner Troy Flis. “We will have to see what the new layout does for the Corvette DP, but I think we had a good package last year and hopefully we will be able to once again have a good mechanical platform to give Ricky and Richard all the grip they need.”
Despite a late-race incident in last year’s Belle Isle event, which took the No. 90 machine out of podium contention, the Chevy powered Daytona Prototype showed strong pace throughout the weekend. Spirit of Daytona unloaded off the transporter with alacrity, setting the second quickest lap time in last year’s first practice session and then running among the top-five throughout most of the weekend.
The majority of the GRAND-AM teams gained experience on the tricky street course when GRAND-AM made its debut in Detroit one year ago, but the track layout has been changed ahead of the 2013 race, with a longer back stretch and some new pavement in areas, providing a new challenge for drivers and teams alike.
Spirit of Daytona Racing sits fifth in the championship standings and the team would like nothing more than to gain some valuable ground in the championship hunt this weekend with another strong outing in the No. 90 VISITFLORIDA.comCorvette DP.
It will be a busy weekend for the team as GRAND-AM shares the venue with the IZOD IndyCar Series. A compact schedule will see practice get underway on Fridaywith two sessions ahead of a 15-minute qualifying session which will take place at4:55 PM (ET). Spirit of Daytona Racing will participate in a final 30-minute practice session Saturday morning with the 2-hour Chevrolet GRAND-AM 200 set to go green at 12:25 PM (ET).
Live timing and scoring can be followed at www.grand-am.com. The race will be televised Saturday via tape delay beginning at 5:00 PM (ET) on SPEED.