Will The 100th DP Race Be Synonymous With 1st Win for Starworks?
The July 3rd running of the Brumos Porsche 250 at Daytona International Speedway will be the 100th race for the Daytona Prototypes, the premier class of the GRAND-AM Rolex Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16. The class debuted at the 2003 Rolex 24 At Daytona, when six DPs from four manufacturers led the field to the green flag for America's premier endurance race. The DP concept was announced on the eve of the 2002 Rolex 24. The concept called for an affordable class using stable rules and a platform that is designed for close and safe competition. The revolutionary machines have redefined prototype sports car racing, applying sensible rules - underscored by a firm commitment to a level playing field. To date, 79 DPs have been built.
Starworks Motorsport owns two of the Riley Daytona prototype chassis and is getting ready to compete in its 8th race this season. After the great results registered by the #8 Corsa Car Care machine so far this season and the speed shown by both cars at Mid-Ohio two weeks ago, the question that is on all team drivers' minds is: will it be the day of their first race win?
Daytona International Speedway has always been a rewarding racetrack for team owner, Peter Baron. In 2006, Baron's racing team SAMAX finished second overall in the Rolex 24 At Daytona. Baron's team led over 100 Rolex 24 laps in 2007 and last year Peter Baron led Orbit Racing to a third place finish at the Brumos Porsche 250 with Bill Lester and Ryan Dalziel at the wheel.
Last January marked the first race for Starworks Motorsport at the Rolex 24 At Daytona. The team immediately showed potential as the team led laps and was on the way to a top-five finish with the #7 Starworks Motorsport Dinan-BMW Riley co-driven by Lester, Forest, James and Von Moltke. But tragedy struck and the team had to retire with four hours remaining due to the young Von Moltke crash exiting the pits and ended the Starworks Motorsport 2010 Rolex 24 effort early.
One of the Starworks Motorsport drivers who loves Daytona is Ryan Dalziel. Ryan won the 2010 Rolex 24 At Daytona earlier this year and is excited to go back to Daytona Beach. "I love Daytona and can't wait to go back," announced Ryan Dalziel. "I've got a really good record there and Starworks is really motivated just now. Mid-Ohio was very disappointing for us so we are looking forward to going back for the win. Nothing else will be acceptable to us. We know we have the speed, we just need a little luck" added a very motivated and confident Dalziel.
Dalziel teammate Canadian, Mike Forest, raced at Daytona with Starworks Motorsport this year and he too is looking forward to returning to the famed racetrack. "It will be good to get back to the track after the disappointment in Mid-Ohio," commented Forest. "Even though we had such a great car and it looked like we were going to have a good shot at a win we need to focus on Daytona now. It is a very different track than Mid-Ohio but we need to take the same approach and keep working towards getting that first win" Mike Forest continued.
Bill Lester was also included in the original 2010 Rolex 24 At Daytona drivers' line up and is excited to go back to Daytona where last year he scored a podium finish at the same Brumos Porsche 250 July race with co-driver Ryan Dalziel. "If last year is any indication, then the Brumos 250 at Daytona should definitely be a race for me to look forward to," stated Bill Lester. "Getting my career best DP finish of 3rd place in 2009 with Ryan Dalziel was quite a satisfying experience and I don't see why my current co-driver, Nelson Philippe, and I can't at least duplicate that achievement if not succeed at it. Also, leading the last race at Mid-Ohio for the duration has served notice that our #7 Flex-Box Starworks Dinan-BMW/Riley is really starting to hit its stride now and is proving that we're turning the corner on what's been a challenging 2010 season thus far. I'm fully expecting us to carry this newly established momentum right into Daytona with a goal of capturing another podium finish at this race" added Lester.
Nelson Philippe will race the #7 Starworks Motorsport Dinan-BMW Riley machine for the third time and will make his official Daytona International Speedway racing debut. "I am really excited about the Daytona 250," announced Frenchman Nelson Philippe. "I feel so good in the car after Mid- Ohio and I can't wait to race in Florida. This will be the closest race to home for me this year, so I have high hopes! We are all Florida based here at Starworks Motorsport so look out for the #7 and #8 cars in the race! I have never raced at Daytona International Speedway before so it should be interesting but I know the track well from watching the Rolex 24 At Daytona for many years, so I should learn it in a few laps" added Philippe.
After seven races and before the Daytona 250, Ryan Dalziel is ranked 3rd in the 2010 Rolex Series driver point standings and Mike Forest 7th.
The Brumos Porsche 250 two-hour, 30 minute race will take the green flag shortly after 11 a.m. on Saturday, July 3rd. The SPEED TV broadcast time for the Saturday, July 3rd Brumos Porsche 250 at Daytona International Speedway has been moved to 1 p.m. ET. The television coverage will run from 1-4 p.m., including the post-race activities.