Radical SR3 Challenge racer Bradley Smith has won the 2014 Sunoco Rolex 24 at Daytona Challenge, winning the prize drive in the Rolex 24 at Daytona (January 25-26) valued at more than $250,000.
In winning the prize, put up by fuel suppliers Sunoco, Smith follows fellow Radical racers Derek Johnston and Ross Kaiser, who won the prize drive in 2010 and 2011 respectively. To win the prize this year Smith had to beat another Radical driver, with his place as winner only confirmed when, I tricky conditions Radical EuroSeries driver James Abbott missed out on pole position in his latest race at Monza, and with it the Challenge points on offer.
“I am blown away to have won such a fantastic prize,” said Smith. “My long term goal is to race Prototype and LMP cars but never in my wildest dreams did I imagine it would happen quite so soon and to race at such an Iconic track and meeting as Daytona is incredible. The American fan base is a huge and knowledgeable one and I hope I can provide them with something exciting to watch.”
“This year has been a fantastic year for me, becoming a BRDC Rising Star, winning the Radical SR3 Challenge and now winning the Sunoco Rolex 24 At Daytona Challenge prize is a superb way to end the year.”
He added; “it’s not all down to me though as my family team have worked incredibly hard behind the scenes to get me to this point. My Dad prepares my car and is fanatic about details. It’s this attention to details that gives me the reliability as well as a fast car to enable me to do my job to the best of my ability. I have had some incredible support to get to this point and would like to thank them all, friends, family and my sponsors Eneos, Momo, Corbeau, Brown & Geeson and Hood Jeans for their belief and help given to me, in what has proved to be such an amazing year”
Winning the challenge will put Smith on the grid for January’s historic race, the opening round of the Tudor United SportsCar Racing series formed by the merging of the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) and the Grand-Am Rolex Series.
Smith now begins a period of intensive preparation, starting with winter testing alongside an experienced driver coach as he gets behind the wheel of a Daytona Prototype around Daytona International Speedway for the first time. What team Smith contests the race with has yet to be decided.
“Bradley Smith is a young, very fast and able racer,” said Anders Hildebrand, MD of Anglo-American Oil Company, Sunoco distributors in the UK and Europe. “From the first race weekend at Snetterton in early April this year, when he stunned the whole Radical paddock with his amazing speed, he has never looked other than a champion and indeed the guy to look out for as the potential winner of the Sunoco Daytona Challenge.”
“Seeing Bradley battling it out with the very best sports- and prototype car racers in the world at the very first race with the merged ALMS and Rolex Series is just going to be fantastic. This is destined to be the fastest Rolex 24 race after the introduction of the bus stop at the back straight as the Daytona Prototypes are said to be getting more power and better aero – and Bradley will be there as a worthy winner of the Sunoco Daytona Challenge at this historic event”.