Spirit of Daytona Racing headed to Round Seven of the GRAND-AM
Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16 season following their
team’s best DP result and their first podium of 2010. Ready to kick off the second half of their season the same way they ended the first half, no effort was spared. The team put in many long hours, even making time to work in some additional testing before their arrival at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. The track proved challenging as the team worked on finding a set up for their Porsche V8 Coyote that would enable the drivers to keep pace with the leaders. Buddy Rice qualified the #90 in 6th place and was the starting driver. In a difficult race with six full course cautions and numerous incidents, Rice held his own and put Spirit of Daytona in the lead at one point during his stint. Antonio Garcia took over to finish the race, overcoming extreme heat and a lack of grip to bring the car in for a 5th place finish, the team’s second consecutive top five result.
Buddy Rice is pleased with the progress the team has made, saying, “I think our car was
fairly competitive, although we still have things to work on. A lot of our competitors are
more experienced at getting their race package tuned up than we are, so we need to keep
working on that. Some of these tracks are new to us, so we basically just arrive on race
weekend and go for it, but we are really doing very well. We have another top five finish now and are getting better every week and backing it up, so we certainly can’t complain. Our team deserves a lot of credit – they are making the car better and everyone is working hard. We are seeing improvement every weekend. Our goal, going forward, is to keep our program in the top five and put Spirit of Daytona back on the podium.”
Closing driver Antonio Garcia described the challenges, saying “Since the beginning of the weekend we were lacking grip overall and it was still that way for the race. When our team runs into problems with the car, our lack of experience makes it difficult. Instead of knowing what we need to do, we may have to take a guess, or may be a bit late finding a solution. Instead of losing one or two hours solving a problem, we are losing a lot more time because we are guessing instead of knowing exactly what is needed. That is what happened this weekend. We did improve the car a lot since the first session and had a fairly good car for the race. Buddy was even able to run in the front for a bit. At the end it was all about staying on the track and not losing your position. I gained positions on other people’s mistakes, because all the cars were running almost the same lap times. I think our finish is a good result, especially since our car was not really 100%. With it not really perfect we still got a 5th place, so we just need to get our car really good again to get back on the podium and then go for our first win of the season. I think that is what the Spirit of Daytona team deserves.”
The Mid-Ohio results put Spirit of Daytona in a tie for 7th place in the Rolex Series Team standings, only five points out of 5th place in a very close contest. The #90 now has a streak of six consecutive top ten finishes out of seven races, with back-to-back top fives their last two rounds. The next race will take the team back to their hometown track, Daytona International Speedway, for the July 3rd running of the Brumos Porsche 250.