Spirit of Daytona Racing are getting set for the inaugural round of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship at Daytona and look to start their championship push off on a strong footing.
Spirit of Daytona are stepping into the unknown after the merger of Grand-Am and the American Le Mans Series with the new Prototype (P) class seeing a mix of Daytona Prototypes and LMP2 machines.
However, team boss Troy Flis has said that even though the championship has changed, the goal remains the same: “We have to do every single lap that we can possibly can to have a chance at this championship–and that starts with the Rolex 24 this weekend.
“There is no question with a new championship and new rules, that we’ve all got a lot to adjust to. But the fact is that the teams that do the best job of maximizing the package that they’ve got are the ones that we will be hearing about this year and every person on this team has been working their tails off to put us in that position.”
Indeed it isn’t only their surroundings that have changed, the team are getting to grips with a Corvette DP that has been given a power and downforce upgrade. But the team’s driver line-up of Michael Valiante, Mike Rockenfeller, and Richard Westbrook are feeling confident they can taste success.
Rockenfeller, a winner of the Rolex 24 at Daytona in the past, was optimistic about the TUDOR Championship: “I think the 24 is going to be a great race for the fans. There are going to be a lot of different cars on track and it’s cool that the cars each have different strengths. For example the LMP cars are a lot faster on the corners, as they should be, but they are slower on the straight to make the same lap time and I think that is fascinating for people.
“In my opinion I think it is the right thing to have the two series combine and now it is up to the series to make it a good race atmosphere. Of course it will take some time, people have to understand that we will have to find the right balance of performance between the cars. But once that is done I think it is going to be a great future for endurance racing in America and for me it is great to be a part of this historic first race together.”
Spirit of Daytona will have their first taste of the 2014 Rolex 24 at Daytona on Thursday as the practice sessions begin.