Spirit of Daytona, SunTrust Racing and Action Express Racing continued to work with the new Corvette Daytona Prototypes Wednesday as a two-day Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series test concluded in preparation for the 50th Anniversary Rolex 24 at Daytona, set for Jan. 28-29, 2012.
The four Corvette DPs showed steady improvement throughout the test, with some posting their fastest laps in the final hour. Darren Law ran an unofficial lap of 1:41.687 in the No. 5 Action Express Racing Corvette DP co-driven by David Donohue, followed by the No. 9 Action Express entry of Joao Barbosa, Terry Borcheller and JC France, the No. 10 SunTrust DP of Max Angelelli and Ricky Taylor, and Antonio Garcia and Oliver Gavin in the No. 90 Spirit of Daytona Corvette DP.
"Our new Corvette is very similar (to the 2011 Dallara) as far as handling goes," said SunTrust's Ricky Taylor. "Daytona isn't such a critical downforce track, so I think once we go to the smaller, tighter tracks that require downforce, we'll see a difference. Here at Daytona, we just normally trim the car out as much as possible to try to get that straightline speed."
Running a previous generation Daytona Prototype, Felipe Nasr continued to impress by turning in the fastest unofficial lap of the test, 1:40.438 (127.601mph) in the No. 58 Action Express Racing Porsche-powered Riley. The 19-year-old Brazilian won the 2011 British Formula 3 championship and earned his ride in the 2012 Rolex 24 by outscoring competitors in three Europeans championships to win the Sunoco Rolex 24 At Daytona Challenge.
Spencer Pumpelly was quickest in the GT class for the second straight day, running a lap of 1:50.200 (116.298mph) in the No. 66 TRG Porsche GT3. The GT class also featured three teams running the new Ferrari 458 Italia Grand Am as well as the premiere of the Audi R8 Grand-Am. Both cars were built by the factory specifically for Rolex Series competition.
Two-time Daytona 500 winner Michael Waltrip turned his first laps on the Daytona International Speedway road course in preparation for his Grand-Am debut. Since his AF Waltrip team's Ferrari was not yet ready, Waltrip and co-drivers Rob Kauffman and Rui Aguas practiced in a TRG Porsche GT3.