I misspoke about the fastest driver in the first Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series practice Friday at Daytona International Speedway. The No.01 Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates BMW Riley Daytona Prototype was the fastest car, but due to a technical misunderstanding on my part, I incorrectly identified the fastest driver. JOEY HAND was fast, but veteran Ganassi driver and last year’s champion, SCOTT PRUETT, was actually the fastest driver – in both Friday practice sessions. In the second practice, Pruett’s time was 1:41.034/126.848, just a shade faster than the morning session.
I also incorrectly listed the fastest morning GT driver. It was BILL AUBERLEN, not BORIS SAID, in the No.94 Turner Motorsports BMW M3.
SPENCER PUMPELLY of VA topped the GT times Friday afternoon, with a lap of 1:50.170/116.329 mph in No.67 TRG Porsche GT3 Cup. His co-drivers are STEVEN BERTHEAU, NASCAR driver BRENDAN GAUGHAN, WOLF HENZLER, and ANDY LALLY.
The weather was chilly all day, but the wind picked up briskly in the afternoon and it was hat-blowing, three-layer cold.
Forty-five of the 48 Rolex Series cars were on track in the afternoon. One of the cars not yet on track is No.37 Rick Ware Racing Porsche GT. One of its drivers is EARNHARDT….as in JEFFREY, the nephew of DALE JR., son of Jr’s half-brother, KERRY EARNHARDT. The co-drivers are DOUG HARRINGTON, MAURICE HULL, ERIC LUX, and SCOTT MONROE.
Despite the brand new slick, smooth track, the lap times aren’t that much different from last year.
2010 DP P1 1:40.466 127.565 mph No.10 Ford Dallara
2011 DP P1 1:41.0431 126.837 mph No.01 BMW Riley
2010 DP P2 1:41.761 125.942 mph No.99 Chevrolet Riley
2011 DP P2 1:41.034 126.848 mph No.01 BMW Riley
2010 GT P1 1:50.222 116.274 mph No.70 Mazda RX-8
2011 GT P1 1:50.377 116.111 mph No.94 BMW M3
2010 GT P2 1:49.961 116.550 mph No.45 Porsche GT3
2011 GT P2 1:50.170 116.329 mph No.67 Porsche GT3
Saturday is a long day for the Rolex Series. It has one hour 45 minutes in the morning, 90 minutes in the afternoon, then another hour at dusk, followed by 90 minutes of Night Practice, ending at 8 pm. Saturday’s high is forecast for 68 degrees F/20 C. The low is almost freezing – 36 degrees F/2.22 C. At least it will be sunny.